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2017 Visa Eligibility Requirements

2017 Eligibility for a K-1 Fiancee Visa


Sponsor is US Citizen
U.S. citizens ONLY, can sponsor an Alien Fiancee. Legal permanent residents are NOT eligible.

Free to Marry
You and your fiancé(e) must both be free to marry, at the time you submit your petition. This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death.

Face to Face Meeting
You must also have met with your fiancé(e) in person, "face to face" within the last two years before filing.

Planning to Marry
You must affirm that you both intend to marry during your fiancee's stay in the USA.

Bona Fide Relationship
You must be able to convince immigration that your relationship is genuine.

Financial Eligibility
You must be able to prove annual income of $16,240 plus $4,180 for any dependents.


In order to successfully petition for your spouse or fiancee to come to the USA, or obtain a Green Card after marriage, you the US sponsor must demonstrate to Immigration that you have enough income coming in, to support your spouse, and household.

The minimum financial requirement is that you must have income equal to and preferably more than 100% of the poverty income level where you live to be eligible to sponsor for a Fiancee Visa, and over 125% of the poverty level to be eligible for Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status.

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services publishes their Poverty Guidelines.

The new Poverty Guidelines have risen about $200 from last year.

As of March 2017, for residents in the continental US the Financial Eligibility requirements for Permanent residency are as follows.

Required Annual Income (For Fiancee Visa)
$16,240, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$20,420, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$24,600, if 4 Persons in Family or Household

For each Additional person add $4,180

Required Annual Income (For Spousal Visa or Green Card)
$20,300, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$25,525, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$30,750, if 4 Persons in Family or Household

For each Additional person add $5,225

The Financial eligibility thresholds are lower for active military, and higher for residents of Alaska or Hawaii.

Proving your Income.

Normally you provide your most recent Federal Tax Return, 3 to 6 pay stubs showing 'Year to date' earnings, plus a letter from your employer confirming your job, and what your expected annual pay is.

If your income might be low, but you have 'money in the bank' your cash assets, can be used as a alternative for annual income.

'Cash' assets are assets which can be easily converted (sold)to cash. For example: stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, cash in the bank

You may have a lot of other assets such as your car, boat, coin collection, business or investment property but because these can NOT be easily turned to cash immigration will not accept them as alternatives to annual income.

The one exception to an asset that is hard to convert, but CAN be counted is your home. If the market value of your home is higher than your mortgage you may use the equity just like a cash asset.

$5 cash assets is the equivalent of $1 annual income

For example, a retired Fiancee Visa sponsor living in California, with NO income, and no dependents would need to have 5 times $16,240 or $81,200 in cash assets to quality for the Fiancee Visa.

Alternatively a combination of income and assets will work.

For example, if the sponsors income is $10,000 per year, then he should have $31,200 cash or convertible assets to qualify.

$16,240 - $10,000 = $6,240 x 5 = $ 31,200 cash assets needed.

What if you don't have enough income OR assets?

In that case you can ask a relative or friend to act as a joint-sponsor.

Just like buying a car, your joint-sponsor could 'co-sign' your loan.

When a joint-sponsor is used the size of the household increases. The combined household (for the financial calculations) would include the household size of the sponsor combined with the household size of the co-sponsor.

For example, a college student petitioning for his fiancee, asks his father to joint-sponsor.

Both the college student and the father would each complete an affidavit of support. The student's household is just 2 persons, himself and his fiancee. The father's household would be father, mother, and the two siblings still living at home.

Thus the combined household would be 6 persons, and the combined income of both sponsor and joint-sponsor would have to be $32,960 or more.

A joint-sponsor can be used for any Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status petition, and can be used for MOST Fiancee Visa petitions. Not all consulates allow the use of a joint-sponsor for a Fiancee Visa.

For example: Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria do not.

If you are applying for a Fiancee visa and need a joint-sponsor, before filing the petition, best is to contact the consulate directly and confirm whether the consulate's policies permit the use of a financial joint-sponsor.

Eligibility for a CR-1 Spousal Visa


US Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
U.S. citizens o Legal permanent residents may sponsor

Legally Married
You and your spouse are legally married.

Bona Fide Relationship
You must be able to convince immigration that your relationship is genuine.

Financial Eligibility
You must be able to prove annual income of $20,300 plus $5,225 for any dependents.


By Fred Wahl
The VisaCoach

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