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2018 Financial Eligibility requirements for K-1 Fiance Visa

The 2018 requirements for financial income eligibility have been updated in March and have risen $200 from last year. To successfully petition for your fiancee to come to the USA, the US citizen sponsor must demonstrate to Immigration he or she has enough income coming in, to support future spouse, and household. The USA sponsor must have income equal to and preferably more than 100% of the poverty income level where he lives.

The way the financial eligibility calculation works:

The sponsor's annual income, adjusted for the number of dependents his combined household will have, should be at least 100% of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guideline for his state.

Each year in March the Department of Health and Human Services publishes their Poverty Guidelines. As announced in 2018 the guidelines have risen about $ 200 from last year.

As of March 2018, for residents in the continental US the Financial Eligibility Thresholds for K1 Fiance Visas are as follows.

Required Annual Income
$16,460, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$20,780, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$25,100, if 4 Persons in Family or Household

For each Additional person add $4,320

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

To demonstrate his income, the US sponsor normally provides his most recent Federal Tax Return, 3 to 6 pay stubs showing 'Year to date' earnings, plus a letter from his employer confirming his job, and what his annual pay is.

Cash Assets can count as an alternate to income.

In some cases a sponsors income may be low, but he has 'money in the bank'. Cash assets, can be used as a substitute for annual income. 'Cash' assets are assets which can be easily converted (sold) to cash. For example: stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, cash in a checking account can be used. Other assets that can NOT be easily turned to cash with the EXCEPTION of equity in his home, are not useable.

$5 cash assets = $1 annual income

For example, a retired Fiancee Visa sponsor living in the continental USA, with NO income, and no dependents would need to have $82,300 in cash assets to quality for the Fiancee Visa.

5 x $16,460 = $82,300

Alternatively a combination of income and assets will work. For example, if the sponsors income is $10,000 per year, then he should have $32,300 cash or convertible assets to qualify.

$16,460 - $10,000 = $6,460 x 5 = $ 32,300 cash assets needed.

If the sponsors income or assets are not enough to achieve the eligibility threshold, he can ask a relative or friend to act as a joint-sponsor. Just like buying a car, a second person could 'co-sign' your loan. In this case he is financially joint-sponsoring your petition.

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 students household is just 2 persons, himself and his fiancee.

The fathers 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 $33,740 or more.

A joint-sponsor can be used for MOST Fiancee Visa petitions but Not all. For example, the US consulates in Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria do not allow the use of a co-sponsor.

If you are applying for a Fiancee visa and know you will 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.

As of March 2018, for residents in the continental US who are not on active military duty, the details are as follows.

Persons in Family or Household 48 Contiguous States and D.C. Alaska Hawaii
2 $16,460 $20,580 $18,930
3 $20,780 $25,980 $23,900
4 $25,100 $31,380 $28,870
For each Additional person add $4,320 $5,400 $4,970


By Fred Wahl
the VisaCoach

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