In order to successfully be approved for a CR1 or IR1 Spouse visa that allows your foreign spouse to enter the USA and take up permanent residence with you, US immigration must be confident that you, the US sponsor, have enough financial strength, to support and feed your future family. They must be convinced that there is no chance your new family would need public benefits such as welfare, or food stamps to survive.
The financial requirement is that your income must be over 125% of the poverty income level, based on the number of people you have to support, in the state where you live.
Each year the Department of Health and Human Services publishes their Poverty Guidelines. As announced in 2021 the guidelines have risen for a household of 2 persons by $ 225 from last year.
For residents in the continental US the Financial Eligibility requirements
for Spouse Visas are as follows.
Required Annual Income
$21,775, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$27,450, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$33,125, if 4 Persons in Family or Household
For each Additional person add $5,675
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.
Cash Assets can count as an alternate to income.
In some cases a your income may be low, but you have ‘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 your home, are not useable.
$5 cash assets is the equivalent of $1 annual income
For example, if you are retired living in the continental USA, with NO income, and no dependents would need to have
5 times $21,775 or $108,875 of cash assets to qualify for the spouse visa.
Alternatively a combination of income and assets will work.
For example, if your income is $10,000 per year, that means your annual income is short by $11,775 so you will need to have 5 times that amount or $58,875 cash or convertible assets to qualify.
This is calculated by subtracting $10,000 from the annual requirement of $21,775. And then the difference of$11,775 times Five equals $58,875 of cash assets needed.
What if you don’t have enough income OR assets?
In that case you would 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 a financial joint sponsor
to your application and he is guaranteeing, your household will not
need welfare or public benefits.
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, you ask your father to joint-sponsor.
Your household is just 2 persons, you and your new spouse. Your fathers
household is your 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 need to be $44,475 or more to qualify.
This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach,
here to personally guide you on this journey.