To be approved as Financially eligible, YOUR annual income,
should be at least 100% of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
poverty guidelines, based on the number of people you will have to support.
Each year in February or March the Department of Health and Human Services
publishes their Poverty Guidelines. As announced in 2020
the guidelines have risen for a household of 2 persons by $ 330 from last year.
As of March 2020, for residents in the continental
US the Financial Eligibility Thresholds for K1 Fiance Visas
are as follows.
Required Annual Income
$17,240, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$21,720, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$26,200, if 4 Persons in Family or Household
For each Additional person add $4 ,480
The Financial eligibility 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 American Fiancee Visa sponsor
living in the continental USA, with NO income, and
no dependents would need to have
Five times $17,240, or $86,200
in cash assets to quality for the Fiancee Visa.
Alternatively a combination of income and assets will work.
For example, if the American sponsor’s income is $10,000 per year,
then he would need to have cash assets, of $36,200
cash or convertible assets to qualify.
This is calculated by subtracting $10,000 from the annual
requirement of $17,240. And then the difference of $7,240
times Five equals $36,200 of 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 $35,160 or more.
A joint-sponsor can be used for MOST Fiancee Visa
petitions but Not all.
Sorry, but the US consulates in Philippines, Indonesia,
Vietnam and Nigeria do not allow the use of a co-sponsor
for Fiancee Visas.
If you are applying for a Fiancee visa and suspect
you might need a joint-sponsor, then the best thing
for you to do, before filing any application is to contact
the consulate directly and ask them whether the
consulate’s policies permit the use of a financial joint-sponsor.
If they don’t allow a joint sponsor and your income and assets
won’t be enough, then the way to proceed, is to change your
plans. Instead of applying for the fiance visa with plans
to marry in the USA, you marry first then apply for a spouse visa.
The spouse visa application process always allows the use of
a joint sponsor no matter what country your partner is from.
This was Fred Wahl, The VisaCoach