In order to successfully be approved for a K1 Fiance
visa that allows your foreign fiance 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 $ 180 from last year.
For residents in the continental
US the Financial Eligibility Thresholds for K1 Fiance Visas
are as follows.
Required Annual Income
$17,420, if 2 Persons in Family or Household
$21,960, if 3 Persons in Family or Household
$26,500, if 4 Persons in Family or Household
For each Additional person add $4,540
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 = $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 $17,420 or $87,100 in cash assets to quality for the Fiancee 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 $7,420 so you will need
to have 5 times that amount or $37,100 cash or convertible assets
This is calculated by subtracting $10,000 from the annual
requirement of $17,420. And then the difference of $7,420
times Five equals $37,100 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 co or 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 have to be $35,580 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,
here to personally guide you on this journey.