Minimum Income Requirements for Fiance and Marriage Visa Processing

Income Requirements and Poverty Guidelines for 2015 have been updated and can be found at the following pages –
2015 Fiance Visa Income Requirements
2015 Marriage Visa & AOS Income Requirements

Satisfying minimum income requirements is necessary for visa issuance, but often people who meet the requirements are still denied the visa for two reasons:

  1. The U.S. citizen or joint sponsor does not have stable earning; or
  2. The immigration officer distrusts the relationship or will not regret denying the visa because of how the U.S. citizen lives.

Having a joint sponsor often does not make a good impression. The income is part of the presentation of the general case. Financial disclosures make an impression on immigration officers, positive or negative. It helps to be working with a qualified immigration attorney on immigration filings and file correctly the first time. Some mistakes are irreversible and will put your family member at risk. There is a great value in working with a qualified immigration attorney for a reasonable fee since you only want to go through this process one time, if possible.

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Stable Earnings:  The U.S. citizen petitioner must have stable U.S. employment over the minimum required for green card, fiance visa, and marriage visa processing.  Generally, you must show enough income during a calendar year so that your tax returns will show more than the minimum required. 

The type of work has a bearing on stability.  Income that is just over the minimum required is less stable than a greater income level.  Income from seasonal work will tend to be less stable than full time employment throughout the year.   Unemployment earnings count as earnings.  However, unemployment is not stable earnings.  Unemployment earnings combined with a new job can possibly show stability.  Retirement benefits, VA benefits, Social Security retirement or disability are all good sources of earnings, but not SSI. Welfare payments can disqualify the U.S. citizen petitioner from immigrating a foreigner.

It is commonly thought you are required to produce 3 years worth of tax returns, and some consulates do in fact require this.  Regardless, your most recent personal income tax returns are the most important core document under consideration.  Prior years are only relevant to help show stability and a history of earnings.  The amount of income in prior years is not generally very important.

For a fiance visa, income must be proven at the end of case processing.  For marriage visa processing, income must be proved up about six months after initial submissions are made. This gives you time on the job to build stable earnings while your case is in process.

U.S. Based Earnings:  The income must be U.S. based earnings.  An exception is for U.S. military stationed or on deployment overseas, and also for Department of Defense Contractors.  Very few others qualify based on earnings abroad.  Sometimes, we can finesse a case where the U.S. citizen is working abroad on temporary assignment, but is paid by a U.S. company.

Assets in lieu of Earnings:  For marriage visas and green cards only, it can be possible to show enough liquid assets and home equity as a substitute for earnings.  The amount of equity required is more than three times earnings.  Assets in lieu of earnings is generally not allowed for fiance visa processing.  Assets can help show stability where earnings are modest.

Financial Cosponsorship:  Nearly all consulates will allow a financial cosponsor for either fiance or spousal visa processing.  A notable exception is the U.S. consulate in Manila who will not currently allow a financial cosponsor for fiance visa processing.  In Manila, you must qualify on your own or your fiance will be denied the fiance visa.  A financial cosponsor is allowed for all marriage visa processing by rule as well as for stateside adjustment of status to become a permanent resident green card holder.

Amount of Earnings:  Income is gross earnings after business deductions as reported on your personal income tax returns. The amount of income required is based on poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services, and is based on the total number of dependents of you and your fiance or spouse.  If using a financial cosponsor, all cosponsor dependents must be counted. 

Fiance Visa:  For fiance visa processing, you must have stable earnings more than the base income level set by the HHS.

Marriage Visa:  For marriage visa processing, U.S. citizen petitioners must have stable earnings more than 125% of HHS poverty guidelines.

Exception:  In all cases, U.S. military personnel may earn at or over the base levels set by HHS.

2013 Poverty Guidelines for the
48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Persons in

Fiance Visa

Marriage Visa


For more than 8, add $4,020 for a fiance visa and $5,025 for a marriage visa.


2013 Poverty Guidelines for

Persons in

 Fiance Visa   

Marriage Visa


For more than 8, add $5,030 for a fiance visa and $6,288 for a marriage visa.


2013 Poverty Guidelines for

Persons in

   Fiance Visa  

 Marriage Visa  


For more than 8, add $4,620 for a fiance visa and $5,775 for a marriage visa.



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  1. aristeo martinez says

    I-601 extreme hardship fiancee waiver and K-1 fiancee visa is what my fiancee is trying to apply for me but I live in Manila and I read that co-sponsorship is not applicable here.Is there any way that she can apply for me because she’s a senior citizen and relying only on her sss benefit monthly .She’s living alone now and belonging to the poverty guideline.Thank you.

    • says

      Aristeo, Thanks for your follow up inquiry. Do you mean SSI? SSI is a form of Social Security welfare. The fact that your fiancee receives welfare actually disqualifies her from immigrating you to the U.S. as either a fiance or spouse. You must not benefit from U.S. welfare. Since you will live in the same home together as husband and wife, you will benefit from her welfare and this violates the rules. Certainly, SSI cannot be counted as a qualified source of earnings.

      Often, we’ve processed for clients even though they are on SSI with the use of a financial cosponsor. We simply do not volunteer SSI information to immigration agencies. If asked, we must tell the truth and the U.S. citizen must stop receiving welfare to continue.

      Certain other forms of Social Security payments are not welfare and can count toward the minimum income requirement. SSDI is an insurance benefit, not welfare. SSR is a retirement benefit which is perfectly fine to receive. Please check with your fiancee and confirm what type of benefit she receives.

      If she cannot meet minimum income guidelines then she will need a financial cosponsor unless she has a great deal of equity, such as home equity. Also, you must marry first and process on a marriage visa. A cosponsor is not permitted currently on a fiance visa through the U.S. consulate in Manila.

      You should proceed on a 601 bar waiver with the assistance of a well-qualified U.S. immigration attorney. A large majority of bar waivers are denied, so you don’t want to take chances. There is more information about bar waivers on our website. Go to the menu of services on our home page and look for bar waivers.

      I-601 Waiver

      I hope this helps. Kind regards,


  2. Jason Estrella says

    Hi. Thank you for posting this article. It really helps me a lot. But still I have questions with respect to this. Let me tell you the scenario. My girlfriend is also a Filipino who lives in the US for seven years now but she hasn’t applied for her US citizenship yet. She is still a legal permanent resident. She’s coming to visit here in Manila (Philippines) in November this year and we’re planning to get married. My question is, can she petition me while she’s still a LPR? How about the income requirement? I think she cannot meet the income bracket and we’re going to use my Aunt in San Francisco as our co-sponsor. My girlfriend works as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Jason, Thank you for this inquiry. Let’s separate out some issues. You mention you are planning to marry. Are you planning to marry in November when she visits you in the Philippines? In your situation, it is necessary to marry in the Philippines for a couple of reasons:

      Firstly, an LPR green card holder cannot immigrate a foreign fiance to the U.S. Also, in the Philippines a cosponsor is not currently allowed for K fiance visa processing. A cosponsor is allowed for marriage visa processing only. If you want to use a cosponsor in the Philippines then you must marry first and apply for a marriage visa since a fiance visa will not work in your case.

      As long as you marry in November, then opportunities open up for you on the marriage visa. Yes, your aunt is welcome to be a financial cosponsor. It would be better if the cosponsor were from her side of the family and not your side. Immigration officers may question whether you are using the marriage visa as a way to be with your family in San Francisco. If her family member cosponsored, then it will appear that her family approves the relationship. It is not necessary to use her family as a cosponsor, but it would be better if possible.

      Also, case processing will be delayed by about 3 years currently because your future wife is not a U.S. citizen. Often, cases are intentionally slowed down to help avoid what is called chain migration: one new immigrant reaches back and brings other immigrants to the U.S. It would help to know how soon she may obtain U.S. citizenship. If she can apply for it this will shorten processing time. It can be possible to begin filings for a marriage visa and then have your wife apply for U.S. citizenship. When she achieves it, we can upgrade your filings and bring you to the U.S. more quickly based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. It helps to know if she intends to apply for U.S. citizenship and when she can do it. Kind regards, Allan Lolly

      • Jason Estrella says

        Thank you very much for responding to my question. This is the best answer I have ever received so far. So we’re going to get married first here in November, files the spouse visa then she applies for US Citizenship to speed up the process once she obtains it.

  3. ryan says

    hi! i just want to ask if what is the fastest way so i can get my girlfriend in the Philippines to USA, specifically California. i just moved in California last month with an immigrant visa..definitely, not yet a green card holder. can i possibly get her in the US even if i am not yet a us citizen?are there any other way to get her as soon as possible?please help me out.thank u.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Ryan, Since you just arrived on an immigrant visa you should be green card approved and awaiting green card issuance while waiting in the U.S., yes? In this case, a permanent resident cannot immigrate a foreign fiancee to the U.S. Only a U.S. can bring a foreign fiancee to the U.S. on a fiancee visa.

      You can immigrate a foreign wife on a marriage visa. However, there will be a 3 year hold placed on the case currently because you are not a U.S. citizen (plus additional processing time of several months). Since you are newly arrived it makes sense to marry abroad and begin immigrant processing for your wife. You must normally hold onto your green card for 5 years before you may apply for U.S. citizenship. The only way I can think of to speed this up would be for you to join the U.S. military. If you join the military you can obtain U.S. citizenship right away. Kind regards, Allan

  4. Liezel says

    Hi Allan,

    Sorry, I’ve got too many concerns :O
    My husband, an American, and I just got married last month in Philippines after 4 years relationship. He used to visit me in United Kingdom as I currently live here with a Work Visa. I came back to UK and he came back to USA. My questions are:

    1. Is he able to get me from here? I believe there’s a Philippine Embassy and US embassy here in UK. Someone told me that I won’t be able to process my papers here because I still have Philippines Passport. But I also believe that I can process here in UK because I have my marriage license and certified from National Statistics Office in the Philippines in hand. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    2. What would be the minimum amount in the bank account that my husband need to show aside from the Income Tax? We’ve downloaded the Affidavit of Support form and it states that we need to tick for partially or fully dependent. Does it mean that I can also prove that I can support myself partially if I will show my assets in Philippines and in UK? Is the latest 6-months bank statement will do for my husband?

    3. I believe that my husband received something from SSI. But he started not to when he worked more than he was supposed to work in certain hours. I just don’t know when was it.

    As far as I am concerned, these are only queries that ticks me off. As I have tried inquiring in global visas but their fees are way too expensive. Thank you so much for this website and for being so open to help us. God Bless you.

    Kind regards,


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Liezel, You can immigrate to the U.S. from the U.K. provided you are in lawful status there and can remain in lawful status through to marriage visa issuance. It sounds as if you should be o.k.

      As noted in my original comment, the amount of income or savings required depends on the total number of dependents of your husband and you. I need to know the total number and where he lives to do calculations. You have a chart above and you can do them yourself if you like.

      The fact that your husband is on SSI disqualifies him from immigrating a foreign spouse to the U.S. We often will not mention this as part of our filings and typically the issue does not arise. I’ve immigrated many times where the U.S. citizen is on SSI.

      Please email me at if you would like assistance with forms or case processing. If you simply want answers to questions, I would be glad to have a paid phone consultation. I charge $60 for the first 15 minutes and then $3 per minute after that time. Please consider. Kind regards, Allan Lolly

  5. David says

    I want to marry my girl friend and she only has a visa but I’m on ssd will I lose my check if I get mrried

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      David, This is really a question for the Social Security Administration. I believe a marriage should not affect SSDI, but am not positive. SSDI counts toward the income requirement to undergo immigration processing for your fiancee. Kind regards, Allan Lolly

      • Brian says

        I have seen 2 attorneys in Colorado at $200 and am getting different answers. Ive been told by one that I cant use my SSDI or my considerable amount of savings to bring my wife and baby to the usa, and that I need a sponsor for her. I am so frustrated as I cant find an answer to this on either or and Ive spent $200 for nothing.

        • Allan S. Lolly says

          Brian, SSDI is qualified earnings. You must also show stable earnings, so if the SSDI will terminate soon then it will not satisfy the stability requirement. Savings generally count, but depending on the type of savings. If you have savings in the bank under your name, then it counts. Kind regards, Allan

  6. John says

    Hi allan, i have an important question.. i am U.S citizen, i have a girlfriend in the Philippines and i am planning to file a petition for fiancee visa but i am newly at my job, i started last August 19, 2011 to present that’s about 10 months from now but i had my last year tax with my previous job that got ended last April 2011, will i have any problems on income issue? because you said co-sponsor in manila are not allowed. please help me. i have gross pay of $2,240 each month, did i meet the requirements to support my fiancee here in US? thanks

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      John, It sounds as if you may meet guidelines because you were in between jobs for about 4 months. Unemployment income counts if you received it to help meet income guidelines. The important question is the type of work you perform. If you work in the same or similar industry as before, this suggests job stability. If the type of job changed, I would want to know more about what happened.

      If you have an interest in working together, you are welcome to please email me at, or call. Kind regards, Allan

  7. Nancy says

    My husband is from Syria…lived and worked in Greece for 10 years and now lives in the United Arab Emirates…where we met as working expats. We we’d in this country under Shareia Law, and I will now register our marriage at the US Embassy. For medical reasons (concerning my daughter) I had to cancel my contract and take a job back in the US (making more than enough for income qualifications). He has an appointment for a visiting visa in one month, but we fear that once my visa is cancelled, they will not want to give him a visiting visa ( visa cancellation is unavoidable at this point). What can be done? With the civil war in Syria, not much can be obtained in that dude easily. Please help us as we are stuck between a Rick and a hard place.:/

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Nancy, There is a part of his immigration with which I have no expertise: Temporary Protective Status. There was a recent change in policy regarding TPS for Syrians. Can you please do a Google search for information on this subject? TPS for him may or may not apply in this instance. I practice family immigration law, so I do not want to comment on TPS issues.

      To answer your question, the chances of him obtaining a visitor visa to the U.S. are very low. There is a risk he may enter the U.S. and not want to depart at the end of his stay. There must be some compelling reason he would not want to remain in the U.S. I would not have him apply because any visa denial becomes part of his immigration history and does not look good.

      I do not know your source of earnings while working overseas. My impression is that you were not working for a U.S. company. If your new job in the U.S. and can earn sufficient U.S. based income by the end of the calendar year, then you should be able to qualify for a marriage visa based on income earnings. A marriage visa will take time. He is in the U.A.E. now and so may be out of harm’s way. He would need to wait for marriage visa processing to complete.

      You are welcome to reach me at for further discussion if you like. Kind regards, Allan

  8. Jessa says

    Hello, i have a question, my boyfriend wants to apply for a fiancee visa i am from Philppines, we met 3 months ago and we are ready for all the documents, but his major concern is he dont have any money in bank account and he gace his house to his wife after their divorce, but he got a stable job for 8 years already and have an income of 3,500 USD monthly.. he is living with his parents right now and he is only supporting his 2 kids partially. can he still apply for fiancee visa for me? what are the other stuffs he can use to prove he can support me? thanks.. God bless

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Jessa, Great question. This is a very good example of how to understand income requirements for case processing.

      Since your U.S. citizen fiance is applying to bring you from the Philippines to the U.S. on a fiancee visa, savings and equity do not matter. The amount of child support he pays should not matter. In your situation what matters is the total number of dependents and the amount of his qualified earnings.

      You mention he gives partial support for two child dependents. Plus, there is you and him. I assume he is not also supporting his parents? Do you have any children immigrating with you? If the answer is no, then the total number of dependents is 4: You, him, and his two children.

      Minimum income requirements depend in part on where in the U.S. he resides. Please look at the chart above. The cost of living in Hawaii and Alaska is higher than the other 48 states. If he does not live in HI or AK, then the total amount of his qualified earnings must be over $23,050 currently.

      You mention that your boyfriend earns $3,500 gross per month. This amount equals $42,000 per year, well above the minimum required. If these are stable earnings and he has no business deductions, then he qualifies. Earnings are proven at the end of case processing for a fiancee visa and so he should maintain his employment until you are issued the visa. I hope this makes sense. Kind regards, Allan

  9. Jay says

    This is really an informative blog. I wanted to thank you before I presented y issue. I met my Filipina fiance while working here in Korea last year. I don’t have US based income because I am working in Korea. Is there anyway that I can still petition her successfully? I have been working in Korea for 14 months. I don’t pay taxes here and my income after deductions is about 1800 dollars a month or 21600 a year when converted from won. Please help. Thanks

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Jay, In this situation you will not qualify for a K1 fiancee visa for your Filipina fiancee because you do not have U.S. based earnings. An exception would be if perhaps you work for the U.S. Department of Defense or are a missionary abroad. The type of work you perform in Korea makes a difference. A financial cosponsor in the U.S. is not possible because your fiancee resides in the Philippines.

      There are a few choices:

      1) You could marry her and try to qualify based on assets in lieu of income earnings;
      2. You could marry and use a financial cosponsor, who would be a U.S. resident who can meet income guidelines on your behalf; or
      3) Relocate your fiancee to a country other than the Philippines and process on a fiancee visa using a financial cosponsor.

      I hope this additional information helps. Kind regards, Allan

  10. Mike R says

    Hi Allan,

    This is a great and informative blog. My inquiry is that I will be applying for the K1 visa this month for my fiance in the Phils. But I have a question regarding the income requirements. I do not have tax returns from the last few years as I was living abroad in the Phils. I was working there for a while, however my overseas income was under the amount required to file my taxes in the US, hence, no tax returns. Also I just returned to the US(florida) and had just started my job. My salary is $28,000/year, above the 125% poverty level. What will I need to submit in place of the tax returns? and do you think that by the time they will require the financial support documents, my time on the job will suffice? I look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks!

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Mike, Great question. Based on what you wrote you will not be able to show sufficient income to meet guidelines under after December 2013, nearly 1 1/2 years from now unfortunately.

      You must show sufficient earnings at the end of case processing on a fiancee visa. Your fiancee will not attend her interview until after April 2013. By then your 2012 tax returns are due. Based on what you wrote you will not be able to show sufficient earnings on your 2012 returns since this is August 2012 and you just recently started your job here in the U.S.

      Your choices are: 1) earn more money so that you meet income guidelines prior to the end of this calendar year; 2) marry her abroad and use a financial cosponsor; 3) move her residence outside the U.S. and process on a fiancee visa through another country using a cosponsor; or 4) file for the fiancee visa and delay case processing until you’ve filed 2013 returns in 1 1/2 years.

      I wish I could give you better news. If any of these other choices are possible for you, you are welcome to contact me at Kind regards, Allan

      • Mike R says

        Hi Allan,

        I appreciate your prompt reply, though am very disheartened about the news. Would they not take into consideration the fact that I was abroad, and just because of the timing, that my tax returns only show 4-5months of working? Can I write a statement about this, and then have documents from my employer stating my income in a 12month period? Because this is above the poverty level. Thanks again

        • Allan S. Lolly says

          Mike, You can try it, but the likelihood of this working is small. It is not a good basis for an immigration plan, unfortunately. It is better to look for alternatives. Kind regards, Allan

  11. Adam says

    Hi Allen,

    Can a co-sponsor’s income include SSI received on behalf of a disabled child? I have 3 disabled siblings who receive SSI & if my parents can claim that as part of their income, then it won’t be any problem to qualify for the financial requirement for co-sponsorship. If the Embassy Consular in Manila would disallow the SSI portion of my parents’ income, however, they would not meet the criteria for our family size.

    I understand that I would need to marry my fiancee in the Philippines in order to utilize my parents as co-sponsors (we’ve received the approval of the I-129F). We don’t want to waste money pursuing a visa right now if we know my parents won’t be accepted as co-sponsors. We also would not bother getting married in the Philippines if it is not going to make getting her to the United States any quicker.

    Also, if I can’t use my parents as co-sponsors, is it possible to delay case processing until after I’ve filed my 2013 tax return in 18 months? How would I go about doing that?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Adam, The SSI your parents receive for their children cannot be used to help meet income guidelines as financial cosponsors. A cosponsor cannot be used for K1 visa processing through the Philippines. You must qualify on your own. It can be possible to delay case processing for 18 months while you work to meet income guidelines on your own, or you can marry and use a different cosponsor.

      I am available to help clients with immigration processing. If you want to work together with me you are welcome to write to Kind regards, Allan

  12. Chris says

    I have been on Social Security Disability for the past 28 years (and see no change in my status before I reach retirement age.) My girlfriend is from Mexico. I wanted to know whether my income is based on the entirety of my SSDI, or only the part that I receive after deductions from Medicare Part B? And are the income requirements the same when marrying an illegal immigrant? Thank you for your help!

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Chris, The income requirements are the same whether the foreigner is legal or not legal. There are a variety of possibilities for illegals independent of the marriage. I’ve not had a question before distinguishing Medicare Part B deductions and so I am unsure of the answer. I believe the answer is that gross distributions count, not net, so deductions for Part B should not count. I would need to research. Kind regards, Allan

  13. Faith says

    Hey Allan,

    I am engaged to an American and living in the Philippines. WE realize now that it won’t be possible for me to obtain a K1 fiancee visa because his income is too low.

    Another woman who lived in the Philippines tells me that she too married an American and applied for a CR1 Visa, and only had to wait 8 months before she was fully married and be able to enter America with her husband. =)

    My question is, does this visa allow a cosponsor who is not family? Will my US Embassy in Manila allow co-sponsorship, since my fiancee has just started working and would be labeled as NOT having a ‘stable’ income until a full year of employment in his job?

    Please let me know if it is possible to transfer my K-1 Visa process to a CR1 Visa, and if so, how I would go about completing that process. Really appreciate it! Thanks for your help!


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Yes, it is possible to use a friend of your fiance as a financial cosponsor. There is no requirement that the cosponsor be a family member.

      You cannot transfer a K1 fiancee petition to a CR marriage petition. Your fiance must withdraw the K1 petition and refile from scratch on a marriage visa petition.

      There are many issues that come up during normal case processing. I am glad to help with marriage visa processing if interested. Please reach me at Kind regards, Allan

  14. Ryan Swingle says

    Hi Allan,
    I would like to know if I personaly can be a sponsor for my fiance in Brasil or is it required that I find someone else to be the sponsor?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Ryan, You are the foreign fiance in Brasil, yes? The U.S. citizen must be the primary financial sponsor. A financial cosponsor is possible. However, that cosponsor must have U.S. based earnings. Please see the requirements above. They are essentially the same for a cosponsor. Kind regards, Allan

  15. Tim says

    Thanks Allan for the informative blog! I have a girlfriend that I met in The Philippines about 4 and 1/2 months back and spent 60 days with her there. We want to get married. She has no real money or job there. I have about $35k in liquid assets ( cash and silver coins from the mint unopened) I have not worked in 6 years, I have been traveling the world. I have no income at this time. What is your best advise as to get her into the US? Thanks so much!

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Tim, You have three choices: 1. Marry her and bring her to the U.S. on a marriage visa using a financial cosponsor; 2. obtain employment and keep it to that you can report sufficient earnings in a calendar year; or 3. have her reside in a different country so that you can bring her on a fiancee visa using a financial cosponsor. The Philippines does not currently allow a financial cosponsor on a fiancee visa, only on a marriage visa. Assets generally do not count for fiancee visa processing, only for marriage visa processing. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  16. Mark says

    Hi Alan

    I want to bring my girlfriend who I have a 1 year old son with to the United States to get married.She is currently in the Philippines with my son there.Our child does not have my last name,and my name is not on the birth certificate,due to fear of our family knowing.I send $500-$600 a month to them.She is also my first cousin,and i know i cannot get married there.But i do know that we can get married in California legally.I currently live in Washington state,which is a state that does not allow us to marry but will accept the marriage from another state.

    I want to file for a k1 visa for her next year when i get my taxes done.After i have worked this year and have saved money up.

    I currently have made $10,300 so far this year,with about at least $5,000-$8,000 more in expected earnings.I currently work through a staffing agency working as a temp.I also have about $10,000 in assets.Tax season next year i should have about $3,000-$5,000 saved in the bank in cash.

    But I know won’t be able to make 125% above the poverty guideline as is required for a household of 3 people.And cosponsor is probably out of the question.Is there any alternative I can do to prove I can support all of us? Or what is the best option for me to be able to bring her and our son here.



    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Mark, Greetings. Good questions. Given you are in Washington State, you must show stable, qualified earnings of more than about $24,500. Figures tend to rise near the end of January each year, so I’ve taken that into account. You should earn between $15,000 to $18,000 this year, which is not sufficient for K1 fiancee visa processing. If you marry outside the U.S. such as in Thailand, then you can include your savings to help make up the earnings shortfall. $15,000 in the bank plus $18,000 in earnings for 2012 is still not enough for a family of 3 on a marriage visa. You would need more like $20,000 in earnings for calendar year 2012. If you were to take a second job, you might be able to qualify. Another option would be to use a financial cosponsor for the marriage visa.

      How to immigrate the child is a bit tricky. The U.S. government will claim the child is a U.S. citizen and so you cannot immigrate a U.S. citizen. At the same time there are a bunch of requirements to help a child obtain U.S. citizenship in your case. A DNA blood test will become important and you will need to register the child’s birth abroad. Going to the Philippines and working with the American Interests Section at the U.S. consulate is the most direct way to solve the problem. There are other choices, but it would take time to explain and would seem confusing. Basically, the child will come one way or another and will at some point be a U.S. citizen. I hope this information helps. Kind regards, Allan

  17. Kristina says

    Hi my name is Kristine I arrived in Texas 9months ago I’ve been between jobs for a while now and In one point I needed state Wellfare because I got pregnant and I needed Medicaid and WIC Will this affect the fact that I will petition my parents in 2 months but I know I don’t have a good set amount of income I will have to let my aunt sign an affidavit of support and she is my mothers sister she lives in California . Pls help me will my petition for my parents be approved..?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Kristina, I am so sorry it has taken this long to reply. Since you are the U.S. citizen, you can receive WIC and Medicaid, and still immigrate your parents to the U.S. Yes, your aunt in California can qualify as a financial cosponsor even if she is not with you in Texas. Kind regards, Allan

  18. leny says

    hi Alan,
    i just wanna ask if my fiance’s back owed taxes will be the reason for me to deny during my interview at USEM?we dont have any bank statement and paystub to show them coz he alwys gets paid by cash…is this can be a problem for us? thnk you

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Leny, A tax judgment can prevent you from obtaining a fiancee visa for your fiancee. Owing taxes without there being a tax judgment should not prevent your fiancee from obtaining a fiancee visa. It is important to file tax returns and report what is owed. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  19. mhel says

    Hi..hello allan just i ask you something because i have an american fiancee and we met 4months ago and we spend our time in skype.. i am a filipina but i am here now in abu dhabi united arab emirates and we have plan to get married there in us and he dont have a stable job, can we get a fiancee visa and how long the processing? i need your advise.. thanks and have a good day…

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Mhel? Greetings. It is possible to obtain a fiancee visa through Abu Dhabi even if you are Filipina so long as you are in temporary residence status in the U.A.E. Your U.S. citizen fiance will need a financial cosponsor if he does not meet income guidelines. The U.S. consulate in Abu Dhabi will currently allow for a financial cosponsor even if the U.S. consulate in Manila will not allow it. If you are using a financial cosponsor, it is necessary that you not process on a fiancee visa through Manila. A K1 fiancee visa through Abu Dhabi is currently taking me about 10 months from the time we file until your visa interview at the end of case processing. If interested, you and your fiance are welcome to email me at or call (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  20. martins says

    Good day, though i am still waiting on your response to my previous post but i must say that your response to people question on here as been of great information to others like me. Thanks for that great job.
    Please, my fiancee is just about to submit a K1 visa petition on my behalf and i will like to know
    1) Does she have to submit documents along with the petition to show she met the Minimum Income Requirements or that is only needed when the petition is approved and i needed to go to the embassy for visa.

    Answer: For a fiance visa, income requirements must be proven at the end of case processing, not at the time of filing.

    2) she as been out of work for over 2years now because she is taking care of her grandma but live on survivors benefit from her late husband. can that be used as a reliable financial source?

    Answer: Yes, survivor benefits might possibly be used to help show stable U.S. earnings. They should qualify.

    3) she live together with her grandma in the house she gave to her, can that be used as an asset she own and can the grandma also stand as a cosponsor since she receive almost 2k per month as benefit.

    Answer: Assets are generally not allowed to meet financial income guidelines for K1 fiance visa processing. Income earnings from assets such as a rental unit can qualify.

    4) What are the documents needed to show The U.S. citizen petitioner meet a minimum income requirement that is the poverty level .

    Answer: Depends on the situation. If you decide to hire me to work on your case, I will be glad to review and advise on documentation.

    5) which document does the co-sponsor needed to present to support in a k1 petition.

    Answer: Same as number 4. I am available for hire.

    Thank you and looking forward to your great response.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Martins, Thank you for the compliment. I’ve placed the answers below the numbered questions in bold italics. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  21. niceblue says

    Hi allan,

    Im a greencard holder for 7 years and planning to file cetizenship next year. I have a long time girlfriend living in the philippines. When i visit her last 2010 for 3 months,she got pregnant. Now, i have a 1 year and 7 months old son in the philippines with my girlfriend. My girlfriend send me the birth certificate and i signed in it. I haven’t seen my son since he was born, i want to bring them here in US. What is the fastest way should i apply? I earned $2000 a month. Am i qualify to apply fiance visa with my son? Thanks..

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      A permanent resident cannot qualify to immigrate a foreigner fiancee. You must be a citizen first and also you must have met your fiancee within 2 years prior to the date the initial submissions are made to the USCIS. This means you must meet your fiancee again before you can bring them to the U.S.

      Your fiancee is a foreigner, and so is your child due to the timing of the birth. They both need to immigrate and obtain green cards.

      Your income should satisfy minimum income requirements so long as you have stable U.S. earnings and no other dependents. If you would like assistance, please let me know. I help green card holders apply for U.S. citizenship in addition to immigrating foreigners from abroad. Kind regards, Allan

  22. January Wake says

    Hi Allan,

    My husband and I have been married since 2004, we have three children that are dual citzens. I’m American and he is Britsh. I’m heading stateside this month to start visa paperwork and to get sorted for his arrival. I’m going to obtain work obviously though I will next have a current tax return from earning within the USA. I will file back taxes for last year and this year amended. As far as cosponsorship goes. If my parents were to sponsor him are we allowed to also use our savings and his pension from the RAF Royal Air Force to count towards the 125 % above poverty income?

    Kind Regards,


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      January, Your husband’s Air Force pension should not normally count because he is not work authorized in the U.S. It would might be possible to challenge the income requirement due to his pension. However, normally this is done when the foreigner is already work authorized in the U.S. There is also the possibility that you might have income from his pension given you are married. If so, then that income may help you meet income guidelines, but then there is the problem that the income is not U.S. based earnings. I would need to research these issues concerning his pension.

      You may use your savings to help you meet income guidelines. Any funds held jointly would need to be divided out somehow to identify what you own.

      Your parents can be financial cosponsors, but this is a separate consideration. Incomes on a marriage visa are not combined between sponsor and cosponsor unless you live together in the same household. This information is a bit confusing, but I hope it helps. My email is Kind regards, Allan

  23. MaiHoneyHart says


    I married an American man last June 2011. Now, I am trying to get all my requirements for my Spousal Visa..but one thing that makes me more discouraged to pushed through the application is that my husband incounter some problem about his taxes. Can this affect to his sponsorship to me? Does Tax issue is a big heindrance for my husband to petition me as his wife. Right now he is on Social Security Disability Pension would this be fine for him to sponsor me? Do I dont have a chance to be with him in US? Please give me advise and enlighten me…thankz

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Malyn, Yes, your husband’s tax problem can limit your ability to immigrate to the U.S., depending on what is the problem. If he simply has failed to report his income or has a tax lien, he can be prevented from immigrating a foreigner to the U.S. There is not enough information to know how his tax problem might affect you.

      Social Security Disability pension (SSDI) qualifies as valid income for immigration purposes provided the income is ongoing. If interested in working with me, you and your husband are welcome to call (858) 483-0311 or email Kind regards, Allan

  24. janna says

    Hi Allan. I want to ask advice from you. Im from Philippines. I dated an american a year ago. He is working and had a good job. But then he got sick and couldnt work anymore. He wants to work but the doctor advice him not to. Weve been planning to get married. He already filed for a disability and hearing will be in 2 months. We didnt expect this to happen. I love him and he loves me so much. We just cant stop this.He plans to come here after he gets disability. What is the best thing to do? Shall he file for a fiance visa? or a marriage visa? Please help us about this. I want to be with him. I will appreciate your response so much.

    Thank you

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Janna, There are a number of advantages and disadvantages concerning fiancee versus marriage visa. Here is a good blog post outlining some differences:

      K1 Fiance Visa or CR Marriage Visa – Which is Better?

      Your question is more focused on income requirements given your fiance’s disability claims. If he is making an insurance claim and not a claim for welfare benefits, then insurance payments can be acceptable for case processing on either type of visa, fiancee or marriage. For fiancee visa processing, it is important that he receive a stream of income from the insurance disability and not lump sum payments. Lump sum payments are considered equity not income, and equity does not qualify for fiance visa processing. Only income counts for fiancee visa processing at nearly all consulates.

      Equity, such as a lump sum insurance payment, can count for marriage visa processing. On the whole, I think marriage visa processing has advantages over fiancee visa processing, but both visas are perfectly valid and good visas. Kind regards, Allan

  25. james pierson says


    I am a US citizen and married a girl in Costa Rica. We have a child together. We were divorced 4 months ago in CR where I was living with her. I’m back in the USA now and we want to get married again but live in the states. I have not worked in 4 years. I have 50k in the bank and a 50k paid for house. We also have a child together. Do I meet the minimum financial requirements in FL? Does having a child together help even though I don’t have a job?

    Thanks James

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      James, Savings and home equity will very likely not count for fiancee visa processing. In addition, you have a difficult story to tell in terms of her immigration itself. You were married and divorced.

      Savings and home equity can count for marriage visa processing. In addition, I think remarriage will tell a better story and should help increase her chance of success in immigrating to the U.S.

      The child imposes an added burden on the income requirement. It is not clear to me based on what you wrote that you have $50K in home equity for immigration purposes. If this is true and if neither of you have any other dependents, then your savings and home equity should support marriage visa processing, but not fiancee visa processing. Kind regards, Allan

  26. Juliet says

    Hello Allan,

    We just got married and I need to file Affidavit of support for my husband, and I have a child from previous marriage.
    I had 1099 for $ 26,000 for past two years but my tax returns shows gross income of $ 11,000. So which income will be considered? I currently work only part time, but I have $ 35,000 in my bank account and my husband purchased an apartment CASH for $80,000 six month ago. Will that be a problem?

    Thank you !

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Juliet, The income reflected on tax returns is gross earnings after business deductions, so it is likely closer to the $11,000 figure, not the $26,000 shown on the 1099. You must maintain those earnings through to visa or green card issuance. It sounds as if your earnings may have dropped this year, so your situation may not be stable. You must have stable earnings over the minimum required.

      For a marriage visa or adjustment to permanent resident based on marriage, your liquid assets count, but generally not your husband’s earnings or savings.

      The total income/savings required depends on the number of dependents of each of you. If it is the two of you–not dependents–then you may qualify based on what you wrote.

      It sounds as if you are trying to obtain permanent residence for him stateside. I wonder what visa he has and whether he qualifies for stateside processing. If you have an interest in working with me, I would be glad to help set out an immigration plan. Kind regards, Allan

  27. John Titor says

    Hi, I was wondering about minimum requirements for co-sponsorship. In this case, a US citizen would be sponsoring a Canadian spouse to move to the US. To my understanding, the US citizen could have a co-sponsor back them up; the co-sponsor needs to be earning 125% of the poverty level.

    Does the actual sponsor need to be earning this much, too? Is the sponsor allowed to put all the financial responsibility on the co-sponsor? Is there some kind of minimum/maximum a co-sponsor can contribute?

    Also, I was wondering if the poverty guideline should include the person being sponsored. For example, if there was a household of 4 (including the sponsor and co-sponsor), should the guideline for 5 persons be used? Thanks in advance.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      John, For marriage visa processing, a sponsor does not need to earn income provided that the financial cosponsor meets income guidelines. There is a minimum level of earnings or savings the cosponsor must meet, but no maximum. Yes, the amount of earnings required is based on the total number of dependents of the foreigner, U.S. citizen petitioner, and the financial cosponsor.

      In your example, if the sponsor and cosponsor live in the same home with two other people and the sponsor and cosponsor have no other dependents, and also if the foreigner resides abroad without any children, then the total number of dependents would be 5. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  28. Diane says

    Hi, thank you for this wonderful and informative blog. I have a questions that I have been unable to get a clear answer on even talking on the phone to the immigration office. I am a US citizen who lives in France and I’ve been married to a french man for 5 years now. I have a small at home business and dont even make enough to file income tax. My husband on the other hand has a good income. We want to relocate to the US but not sure how to go about this seeing as I have no income. If we have 30k in a savings account would that count as enough assets to move back home? I dont really know anyone back there that can cosponser him.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Diane, This is an unfortunate situation. Your husband will not qualify to challenge the income requirement because he is not yet authorized to work in the U.S. For a family of two–your husband and you–you would need savings of about US$60,000 for a marriage visa as a substitute for lack of U.S. based earnings. You do not have enough in savings. If you could borrow money from a relative or friend to make up the difference, this can be a good choice. Without a financial cosponsor, your only remaining choice would be to return to the U.S. and earn sufficient income for a calendar year to meet income guidelines. I wish I had better news. If borrowing money is a possibility, you are welcome to write me at or call. Kind regards, Allan

  29. Said says

    Hi Allan thank you for the great informations in this blog , I have some questions to ask you and i hope that i am not bothering you with , I am from Morocco and i have met my fiancé a year and a half now she had a great job unfortuntaley she lost it few months ago and she is living now on her unemployment income , my question is : can she apply for K1 with the unemployment income ? she lives alone in a house that her mother gave to her as a gift , and she has no kids so the houshold size is 2 me and her . Thank you so much

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Said, Thanks. Yes, she can apply for a K1 fiance visa while on unemployment income. However, there is a caution:

      Unemployment income counts as qualified earnings to help meet minimum income requirements, but it does not show stable earnings. If she can be unemployed for a short amount of time and then become reemployed, this will help show job stability. Job stability requires looking at her education level, career path, type of jobs, etc. Each person’s situation is different. It is possible to apply for a K1 visa while she is unemployed and then gain employment during case processing.

      Home equity can help satisfy income requirements for a marriage visa, not so much a K1 fiance visa.

      A separate problem you have is that you are in Morocco, a high fraud post. The rate of visa refusals at the U.S. consulate in Casablanca is higher than average worldwide. High income earners tend to garner more respect than low income earners, so low income can decrease chance of success in obtaining a K fiance visa. Your fiancee is welcome to call to discuss if you have an interest in possibly working with me on your immigration. My number is (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  30. Pons says

    Hey Allan,

    I was wondering if I can file for petition while I’m in A-School, this is a Fiance Visa I’d like to file. How long will that take to materialize? And do Military people have “special treatment”? By the way there’s a lot of useful information here that I learned. Good to know there are people like you who knows these and helps people like us.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Pons, Thanks. Is “A-School” for active duty military? If you are receiving military pay as active duty, then the income requirement for a marriage visa is the same as for a fiancee visa. (Normally, most people must earn more to qualify for a marriage visa as compared to a fiancee visa. There is a note in my original comment on this.) Also, the G-bill for studies after being honorably discharged from the military will count toward the minimum required so long as the G-bill pay goes to you and not directly to the school or landlord. If you deposit it in your account and then pay your tuition and other bills, then it counts toward the minimum.

      The time it takes to obtain a fiancee visa depends on where each of you reside. If you are active duty going on deployment or changing duty stations, you might qualify for an expedite, depending on the need.

      Unfortunately, I’ve found that military personnel are treated the same as anyone else, except for the items noted above. There is no special treatment for disabled Military Veterans for some reason. Here is more information that is helpful to those in the military:

      US Military Deployed or Stationed Overseas

      You are welcome to contact me off-list if you like. Start with, or call (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  31. marya says

    Hi Allan
    I am an American citizen and i have an apartment here in USA but i don’t work
    Can i apply for my fiance ?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Marya, Equity in the apartments generally may not be used to meet income guidelines for a fiancee visa. Rental income may be used. Often, landlords will take so many deductions and depreciation that the gross earnings after business deductions drops below the minimum required for immigration purposes. If you reported sufficient income earnings on your most recent income tax returns to meet income guidelines and you still earn about the same income through to visa issuance, then you likely can qualify. I would be glad to discuss with you separately if you like. Please email me at Allan

  32. Neil says

    Hey Sir Allan, good day!

    I am from the Philippines and I have a fiance from Cantonment Florida, she’s a US citizen. We are now about to apply for K1 visa, but my fiancee’s finances doesn’t meet yet the minimum income of a petitioner, and we have to wait for 3yrs so she’l meet that income requirement and apply for K1.

    Two of my relatives and her parent are willing to co-sponsor us, but as you have said co-sponsorship for Fiancee Visa is not allowed in the Philippines.

    Can I marry my Fiance here in the Phils. next year and apply for Marriage Visa, so that our relatives can co-sponsor us? Is it legal for me and my fiancee to get married here then apply for Marriage Visa? What choices do we have so we can be together in the US soon?

    We are looking forward for your advice Sir Allan.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Neil, I did not mention that your fiancee must wait 3 years working to qualify for a fiance visa for you. I mentioned that the U.S. citizen must have stable U.S. earnings. How that standard is met is different for each person, so there is no 3 year rule. Certainly, she must have at least one year’s worth of tax returns to show she has stable earnings over the minimum required.

      Yes, you can use a financial cosponsor for a marriage visa. Also, a marriage in the Philippines is valid worldwide, including in the U.S. There is no problem marrying outside the U.S. I hope this helps. Please call me if interested. Kind regards, Allan

  33. Lalaine says

    Hi Allan,
    Hope you can help me with this questions.
    1. Can fiancee visa be filed even me and my american boyfriend personally met me last month,and been talking for 3 months only?i heard before fiancee visa is filed, the requirement is 2 years communication.

    Lelaine, Yes, a fiancee visa can be filed now, even if you have not known each other for 2 years.

    2. I was never been married before in Philippines, but had only child who will be 18 on April 29 next year.My american boyfriend wants us to be married coming January next year, can he include my son still in his petition for me if he is back February in the USA already? I want my son to follow me to USA also.

    I am not sure I understand your question clearly. If you want to marry outside the U.S., then you must marry before the child turns 18 or the child will not be able to immigrate to the U.S. as your dependent. If the child turns 18, then the only way to immigrate the child as your dependent would be by applying for a fiancee visa. In order to qualify for a fiancee visa you must marry in the U.S. after you arrive here and must not marry outside the U.S.

    3. Is there a chance my son can be with me also someday in USA if i go ahead of him in USA?I have Filipino neighbors here, their parents are US citizens, but until now their petition was not granted, they waited for 20 years already and i heard they were denied.I am afraid that it will happen to my only son.

    Your son can follow you to the U.S. The problem is not doing things correctly. Often, people work on their own and make mistakes without considering the serious consequences of those mistakes. It is worth paying an attorney a reasonable amount to ensure things are done properly.

    4. How long will my son will wait before he can follow me in USA?

    It depends on how things are handled. Generally, as a dependent on a fiancee visa he must enter the U.S. within one year after your visa is issued. Things can be a bit more flexible for him when proceeding on a marriage visa.

    5. If my son got his green card, can he go back to Philippines to finish his studies?How long is the waiting for the green card to be released for my son?

    Yes, he can return to complete his studies. If on a fiancee visa, he must plan to be in the U.S. at least about 6 months in your case. If on a marriage visa, he can return to the Philippines immediately after arriving in the U.S.

    7. How long will i wait before i can petition for my son to be with me in the USA?

    This depends on the type of visa. There can be a labor cost savings by filing at the same time and then splitting up the cases as needed.

    Hope to meet you someday, Sir Allan, i cant pay now, maybe someday if am working already in the USA.

    God Bless.

    Please have your U.S. citizen fiance call me if interested in working together. Kind regards, Allan

  34. George says

    Hi Allan

    I am delighted at the great insight you give to every question. Please I have this question : My wife has only worked for 3 months. She hasn’t worked before this time. I believe her job will earn her a steady income since she works as a nursing assistant. She is a US citizen and we married June this year. Please I want to know if she can petition f
    or me at this time since she has not as of yet filled for income tax returnstaxreturns

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      George, Thank you for the compliment. Congratulations on your marriage. Your wife should be able to qualify as a financial sponsor if she can earn sufficient income during this calendar year. She started working about 1/2 way through the year, so she should target enough pay to meet income requirements by December 31. If she can do so and if she continues to work at the same job through to visa issuance, then she should be able to qualify based on income alone. Otherwise, she would need savings or home equity to help supplement her income, or a financial cosponsor. I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  35. Juana Montoya says

    thanks for all the useful info above, here is my specidic case…
    I want to apply for a fiance visa…Im a US citizen have an income of 15-16 for past years and 32 for this current year… (A small student loan/debt too does that make a difference?)

    Debts are generally not relevant. Current and stable income is important.

    My fiance we met here in US, he went back to Mexico about six month ago…I have visited him twice there…He has two US children but was never married to mother, was once married to another women but that ended when she cheated on him and they got divorced…

    It sounds as if he was in the U.S. for a number of years. I wonder if remained in lawful status throughout his stay. If not, there can be problems.

    Will our case take longer since he was in the US once before already, and because he has kids, or because his from mexico and things between our countries tend to take longer…???

    It really depends on the situation. Fiance visas are currently quite a bit faster than marriage visas through Mexico. The case can take longer if he was not in lawful status in the U.S. If that is the case, he might be barred from the U.S.

    would it had been better for us to have gotten married while he was here???

    Generally, I like marriage visas as compared to fiance visas, but it really depends on the situation. Both are good visas.

    Oh I forgot to mention that he owns some money (here in the US) to a credit card and a hospital bill from like 2 years ago..

    His debts are not generally relevant.

    Is a Fiance visa a good thing for us or should I just go there get marry there and if so what is the time frame diference???

    Marrying in Mexico is not easy. If you have an interest in further discussion and if you have an interest in possibly working with me on your fiance’s immigration matters, please first email me at and report his immigration status while he was in the U.S. Kind regards, Allan

  36. Vinnie says

    Hello Allan,

    Thank you so much for having this blog as I have a lot of questions and I am very confused. I am a US born citizen. My wife is Iranian we were recently married in Turkey. I make approx $23,000-$24,000 annually and have income from a boarder of $9600 annually. I have approx $10000 in equity in my home. Do i qualify to bring here here. Is the income from the boarder usable with a lease? Thank you in advance.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Vinnie, Yes, the income from the border counts. You appear to meet income requirements based on what you wrote. It will help to review your reported earnings for tax purposes. Kind regards, Allan

  37. Darriel A. Williams says

    George. I have to say that this is probably some of the best information I’ve gotten online besides the USCIS website. I really appreciate the fact that you are so willing to help others, when most wouldn’t dare give this kind of information without a fee involved. Not that I wouldn’t pay, but, just nice to see some volunteer. So I just want to say, thanks. Well, I do have a concern. I’m 44 going on 45 in november. I collect disablility though I’m able to work a certain amount of hours a month without breaking the law per say. I have a fiance that lives in Cebu and we want to get married, but I’m concerned that applying for a K-1 Visa will not be as easy as it was when I was making good money. I’ve only been on disablility for about a year now and I receive around $1,500 a month. I am on dialysis, but besides having visits to the clinic, I’m physically good to go and work and do the normal things in life. Anyhow, We’ve been together since 2006 and I visited VANESSA in Cebu in christmas of 2008. It wasn’t until 2011 of January before I got very sick. I live with my mom now, but in the process of getting my own place within the next month. Will my fiance be able to come here with the type of income I have, is it better to apply for a K-1 Visa, and can I persue this without a co-sponsor. Better yet, do I need to get a lawyer to do the paperwork? Sorry for the long windedness. And thanks again. Darriel

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Darriel, Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. Generally, I try to reserve free advice for family and friends (there’s plenty of them). My hope is to show my level of knowledge so that others will consider the value of services.

      If it’s just the two of you, no dependents, then you should normally be able to meet income guidelines for a fiancee visa based on what you wrote, provided you are receiving insurance disability and not welfare. If you’ve applied for a K1 in the past, then the level of income required now might rise making you ineligible based on current wages.

      Your comments suggest you’ve not met within the past two years, which is a problem. Waivers of the in-person meeting requirement are typically denied so you should not assume a medical condition will trigger a waiver.

      Yes, it is best to seek assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer provided the fees are reasonable. I’m available. Kind regards, Allan

  38. Carla says

    Hi Allan,

    I just wanna ask if my boyfriend can petition a fiancee visa after his boot camp in us marine? He still holds a green card. Im here in the philippines. And ive met him 4 years ago.. How many months will the petition be granted?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Carla, Military personnel are held to a different standard for income requirements. Even if he recently joined the military, he likely can qualify for a fiancee visa for you provided neither of you have any children.

      The problem is that you’ve not met within the past 4 years. You need to meet in person again. More importantly, he must be a U.S. citizen in order to petition you for a fiancee visa. Fortunately, green card holders who join the U.S. military typically can apply for U.S. citizenship immediately. He should look into applying for U.S. citizenship now. Here is more information concerning U.S. military personnel immigrating foreigners:

      US Military Deployed or Stationed Overseas

      I hope this helps. Kind regards, Allan

  39. Rajesh says

    Hi Allan,
    I have a situation over here. Can you please help me out if you can? I am recently married to a US citizen who was previously a widower and currently receiving social security survivors benefits because she is caring for a child under 16. in 2011 she received social security benefits in her name and in her daughters name around 12000 each which makes a total of 24000 that she received from SS, she worked from May – Dec 2011 and has income of only 12000 in her tax return, but she will have worked for the whole year in 2012 by dec 2012. My question is that she has a family of 4 including her 19 year old son and me (that she is going to sponsor as a spouse of US citizen) and she has to show income of around 28000 in total. Her income is low in 2011 tax return as she worked only 7 months which i previously mentioned, we were going to file my application for green card right now but we dont know if she can count the social security benefits as income for sponsoring because her benefits is going to be terminated due to remarriage. please correct me if i am wrong. but she will continue to receive around 12000 annually in her daughters name. Can we count her total income in 2011 at 12000 from her job + 24000 from social security benefits at a total of 36000 which is more than the minimum required of 28000 for a family of 4?? but will the immigration official ignore the her portion of social security benefits received because she will no longer receive it as she remarried. She has some assets like savings deposit and cars. Does she have to show her assets in calculating her income to meet the minimum requirement? I was told by a friend that i have to find a joint sponsor because she said they only look at total taxable income in her tax return. my wife showed her social security income of 12000 in her 2011 return but is not taxable.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Rajesh, Immigration agencies do not look solely at your tax returns or taxable income. They also look at other things. You cannot count income that will terminate upon remarriage. I am available to help people go through immigration processing and I am available by phone to discuss services. Some want information only and so I can also accommodate with a paid phone consultation. I charge $60 for the first 15 minutes, so it’s reasonable. Please call our offices and report whether you might like my assistance with immigration processing or only want information. My number is (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  40. Jessica says

    Hi Allan thank you for the great information in this blog. I have few questions to ask you;I’m a foreign graduate student and got married to an American veteran who served in the army for some years.Currently, he receives some veteran benefit from the government. The issue is that my husband is now partially disabled and that affects his to work prospects. He hasn’t work for about 8 years. Because of this, he can’t meet the minimum income requirement needed to sponsor my green card application. The issue at stake is that my husband filled to be compensated for his disability he is currently suffering from, which is directly related to his role during active duty. I would like to ask if there is any special consideration for veteran cases such as my husband’s? I would also like to know if the veteran benefits such as housing allowance and few others, can be factored into the minimum income required for him to sponsor my green card? Also, does the benefits he receive have any impacts (negative) on my application even if we manage to get an outside sponsor? These questions are on my mind for months and your answer will be highly appreciated. Jessy.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Jessica, Additional benefits will be a problem if they are welfare-type benefits such as SSI. Since the disability is related to his duties as a soldier, I suspect he may have some benefits available that are not welfare related. Housing allowance and other similar benefits should count if they are paid directly to him and not to the housing authority. A financial cosponsor should not have a negative impact on you because he is a disabled vet. There should be no stigma.

      If you have an interest in working with me on your immigration filings, you are welcome to call me to discuss at (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  41. mayme says

    I have K1 filed petition, but was been denied and returned to USCIS. We are considering to re file a new petition. Do we need to write a withdrawal letter to the USCIS for the denied petition, before we can refile? or can we just submit the refile petition? Pls help me. Thanks


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Mayme, If you simply paper over a visa denial with a new filing, your chances of success on the new filing drop substantially. When a consulate officer denies a visa, they are sending a strong signal that your fiance is not welcome to the U.S. This is why it is important to do things right the first time and then you must defend yourself on that visa before taking further steps. When you do not do things properly, it’s like digging a hole deeper and deeper.

      Are you working with an attorney on your matter? Is it that you somehow believe no does not mean no? It means no. If you have an interest in working with me, I may very well be able to help. I will want to review what has occurred leading to this point and make recommendations going forward. You are welcome to call me at (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  42. Kasi says

    Hello Allan,

    I have question about Affidavit of Support. My husband is US citizen and currently he is earning $1440 per month ($17280 yearly) from last 3/4 months. His last year and past 2 year income was only $5000 to $6000 per year and before his new job he was unemployed for 3/4 months. But he has some stock and market value is around $100,000. In this situation what you think we need to find out the cosponsor or we are OK ? Our household size is 2 (wife and husband).
    Thank you.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Kasi, Your husband must have sufficient reported earnings on his upcoming 2012 tax returns. It appears he was not employed for part of 2012 and that he may not earn enough to meet income guidelines by the December 2012. Is this correct? In this case, he will not meet income guidelines based on earnings alone. However, since you are processing on a marriage visa (not a fiancée visa) he has the opportunity to supplement his earnings with assets. Stock market value of around $100,000 is more than enough to support a family of two: your husband and you. It seems he should qualify based on what you wrote.

      If you have an interest in working with me, you and your husband are welcome to call (888) 483-0311. I hope to hear from you. Kind regards, Allan

  43. Mark says

    Hello, if I want to attempt to bring my girlfriend from China to the U.S. and only work minimum wage (+tips) and only barely clear the poverty line for a one family household around 12,000, what would my options be? I believe if I need to I can find a sponsor, but I would rather attempt it myself if I can. I read somewhere that I would need to make the rest up via savings account is that true?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Mark, Good question. You can supplement earnings with savings for a marriage visa, but not a fiancee visa. If you earn more than the minimum required and continue to maintain earnings during case processing then this is good. Although savings are not considered for fiancee visa processing, the fact that you have savings helps support stability. Keep in mind that it is not enough to simply earn more than the minimum required. You must also show stable earnings. When your earnings are low, it helps to have a long history of earnings and also some money in the bank. I hope this makes sense. Kind regards, Allan

  44. Eric says

    My girl friend is in Vietnam. I would like to know if I can use co sponsor to file for K1 fiancee visa in Vietnam?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Eric, Yes, you can use a financial cosponsor in Vietnam in order to meet income guidelines for a fiancee visa. A concern is that the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh is a high fraud post, which means the number of visa refusals in Ho Chi Minh is higher than the average worldwide. In this situation, you need to be careful about negative factors. It simply is a fact that someone who is a high wage earner will likely garner more respect than someone with less earnings. The type of job you have can have a bearing on success. It should not be this way, but it’s something to consider when dealing with a post like Ho Chi Minh. I would want to give a good case assessment and then help set out an immigration strategy with you. If you have an interest in possibly working with me, you are welcome to call to discuss at (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  45. Holly says

    Hello, just a quick query regarding working for a US employer to satisfy income requirements if living abroad….I am a US citizen, live in France with French spouse and would like to be able to sponsor him on my own, however I am doing research now.

    I am contemplating whether or not working for a US based company, if I’m paid directly into a US bank account (or perhaps how I am paid wouldn’t even matter), while living in France, would allow me to use my income as it is listed on my tax returns as applicable for support, rather than its being considered foreign earned income that is not applicable. I would have to pay taxes in France however, as I am resident here. So it would be a foreign earned income exclusion tax situation. I have read that the intending immigrant’s income can be used so long as it continues from same source after immigration. Does this policy apply for the sponsor, if I kept working for the same company while in France until he and I go together once he’s approved (after I prove intention to set up domicile, etc.)? And we intend to save thousands to supplement the application with assets x3. Thank you kindly in advance if you are able to reply. I read your previous reply to the woman in France, among others and we are working out how to piece this thing together.


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Holly, Greetings. According to the rules, the situation you describe works very well if you are in the U.S. military or a Department of Defense contractor, or perhaps if you are a missionary. The rules do not generally help you otherwise. Having said that, a consulate officer may be willing to bend the rules to accommodate since you will maintain your same employment earnings after you relocate to the U.S. An unfriendly officer will reject. Savings as a supplement are always a good thing, but it seems you may not have enough to replace earnings with assets entirely.

      A choice might be to move to the U.S. prior to your husband’s visa interview so that your earnings are U.S. based with you physically present and working in the U.S. Your job history while abroad should count toward stability. The fact there is a tax treaty with France should not be relevant since you are reporting the income and it is stable earnings.

      Please call or email me if you like. My email is If calling from overseas, dial (212) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  46. Lara says

    Alan, is it true what friend of mine told me , if house is for foreclosure what sponsor in own or co-own, than sponsor/man,marrying a foreign woman, he can not apply for being a sponsor for his fiancee. Should he declare that the house is in foreclosure status indeed?

    What happened than if he was trying avoid the foreclosure , just buying a time , and than to forced the foreclosure as soon as his fiancee will get a visa to US and they will got married? What is consequences if any?

    Thank you,

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Lara, A home in foreclosure alone should not normally affect your fiance’s ability to immigrate you on either a fiancee or marriage visa. It will help to review the financial situation of your fiance to check for other possible issues. If you have an interest in working with me, please have your fiance call (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  47. Yvonne C says

    Hi Allan,

    I am in the process of applying for a K1 visa for my fiance who is coming here from Nigeria. We have submitted all necessary documents with the esception of the I-134, which has yet to be requested. My question is this, I am a federal employee and I am a bit uncomfortable with releasing such information required for the I-134. Are these documents necessary if they receive proof that I am a federal employee?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Yvonne, Proof of Federal employment is not normally sufficient. I think the visa application would be rejected. For example, some people feel it is a right not to file income tax returns. Immigration agencies will want you to comply with it’s rules or the visa will not issue. There is a good deal of discretion when it comes to showing stable U.S. earnings and so I am afraid that if the submissions are not up to par it can cause trouble. Immigration filings are treated confidentially by the U.S. government. The U.S. consulate in Lagos has a high visa denial rate, so you need to be careful processing there. Kind regards, Allan

  48. Ryan says

    Hi Allan,

    I have a Filipina fiancee and I want to marry her next year. We are planning to start working on our papers this month. I’m just worried about the minimum requirement if I would pass it. I computed all the money I made up to this time and all in all I made 18700 as my Gross Net Pay. In my previous work at Hub Hyundai I made 8480 (Jan to May) and in my current work (Aug to Oct) I already made 6947 (taxes were already deducted). Therefore the Net Pay I made already for 2012 is 15427. I don’t know how you compute for the minimum requirement but do you think I will pass the minimum income requirement for 2012? I don’t want to pursue with the visa application if this year I will not pass the income requirement. I have asked some people about the minimum income requirement for 2 is 15130. So do you think in this case I will pass it? Please let me know your expert comment on this. Do you have a site? I would like to avail your service to help me bring my fiancee here in the USA. I await your reply. Thank you so much for this blog it’s very helpful. More power to you!

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Ryan, Greetings. It would help to know what sort of job you currently have. You are over the minimum now. At issue will be stability. In all likelihood you should be able to meet income guidelines if you can remain employed at your current job or along the same career path through to visa issuance. It is acceptable to begin case processing now.

      I would be glad to help and yes, I have a site: You are also welcome to call me at (888) 483-0311, or email My rates are reasonable and I can be effective. Kind regards, Allan

      • Ali says

        HI Allan,

        I’ve a question , I’m US citizen just got married from non US citizen .
        We are gonna start preparing the documents & the papers that are required to file for a green card for her,
        I’m a student not working but i have my friend he will be her sponsor .
        my question is , my friend works as a medical resident in a hospital he is a green card holder and just started his residency july 2011 and this means he has only 6 or 7 months tax return .
        is he a good candidate to be a sponsor for my wife , i know that they ask for 3 years tax return .

        thank you so much .

        • Allan S. Lolly says

          Ali, Your friend should be a good candidate for a financial cosponsor. Although he has not been working long, the type of employment as a medical resident after obtaining a doctorate should help show stability. Please email me off-post if you would like to discuss further at Kind regards, Allan

  49. Ken Drake says

    Great blog…Hi Allan.

    I have a situation I have not seen here, I am on SSD permanent disability and I receive $1147.00 a month or $13,764.00 a year. I have two kids, ten and four, who I have custody of and live with me. I receive $1500.00 a month, or $18,000.00 a year, in child support which is confirmed in our divorce papers. The child support does not show in my tax papers.
    Also the last two years before getting SSD I was on unemployment totaling about $21,000 a year and I was married the first year and filed jointly, the second year we were separated and filed separately .
    My ex wife has had her job for 8 years. My questions are…Can child support be counted as income?
    and Are my tax returns OK? I was receiving child support of $1300.00 a month when we were separated but I don’t have legal papers to prove it, I do have bank account records that show I transferd the money to my account each month.
    I hope you can help me, I need it. Thanks, Ken.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Ken, Greetings. Child support can count toward stable U.S. earnings. The fact that your tax returns do not reflect child support payments is inconsequential. Unemployment can count toward meeting income guidelines, but can undermine stability. You have a job now, so this helps. If you have an interest in working together, you are welcome to email me in follow up at, or call (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

  50. joy says

    Hi Allan.

    I had American fiancee and he is a US citizen,and we are about 5years already in relationship.We always communicate through online and his coming this month.He is currently on his new job bout 6 months and his income is $1500 per week.And he wanted me to follow him when he came back in states.My question is what is the best and easiest way for me to go with him?Do we marry here in Philippines even in civil marriage only?Can he apply me fiancee visa or spouse visa for me?and how about his income is hes income is enough for me to go there with him?we love each other so much we wanted to be together. thank you Allan and god bless..

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Joy, Your email address is not included in your post, so I am not sure how to get a message to you. If you happen to see this post, please email me at

      To answer your question, I suspect he can meet income guidelines. Unfortunately, you cannot marry in the Philippines and immediately come to the U.S. as the wife of an American. You need to obtain a marriage visa, which is currently taking aobut 8 1/2 months to process. Kind regards, Allan

  51. Ken Drake says

    Hi again Allan.
    Just one more question…On the income chart above would I count 3, my self and 2 kids, when filing or 4 including my fiance?

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Ken, Yes, you include yourself, your fiancee, and child dependents of both of you when tallying the number of dependents. Allan

  52. Josh Foster says

    Allan, first of all thank you for this wonderful site and answering everybody’s complex legal questions. It’s so kind of you to do this.

    My situation is: My Indonesian girlfriend and I have 1 month to file before the 2 year limit is up for seeing each other in person. I have made more than a sufficient amount of money in my small corporation ($26,525 in 2011) to qualify, but I don’t report it on my 1040. I only report $4K in earnings on my 1040 so I can qualify for a health insurance plan in my state to help me with complex partial seizures. I give myself lots of K1 distributions to get the money over to my personal account. Is there any way I can use the income reported on my 1120 from my corporation to prove I make more than $4K a year?

    Sincerest Regards,

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Josh, No. That’s the whole point of having an income requirement. If you pull your income down too low and do not report sufficient income on your tax returns, then the immigration officers simply will no cooperate in issuing a visa. You may be reporting properly for tax purposes, but immigration agencies are a different group and they want to see the income reported and taxes paid. You will likely need a financial cosponsor. Kind regards, Allan

  53. John says

    Hi Allan,
    Your blog has been very informative. We have just recently heard from USCIS that our petition is approved to proceed with K1 visa application. My question is I do not have stable income as I am a seasonal worker and does not meet the poverty line as you mentioned. I have no saving as I have been out of work in the past 2 years. I live in California and my fiance is in Malaysia. Can I get a co-sponsor for my fiance’s K1 application? Will this affect the visa approval rate for my fiance? Is there any options that could help with the fiance visa approval?
    Thank you.

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      John, Yes, in this situation you should be able to use a financial cosponsor. The consulate in Kuala Lumpur is not required to accept a financial cosponsor on a K1 visa, but they are currently accepting them to the best of my knowledge. Yes, your income level and source of earnings can have an effect on chances of success in obtaining a fiancee visa. I cannot tell your chances of success based on what you wrote. You’ve filed on your own, so in this case I can offer a paid phone consultation if you would like to discuss further, that way we both get something out of the exchange. I charge $60 for the first 15 minutes. My number is (888) 483-0311. Please call and mention you would like a paid consultation. Kind regards, Allan

  54. Craig says

    Hi Allan

    I am a UK citizen married to an American citizen, we have applied for a CR1 visa for myself to go live with my wife and step-daughter.

    I attended the consulate interview, however was turned away due to insufficient evidence of my wifes property but if we provided that we would be issued a visa. We provided the required evidence however they are now saying we need a joint sponsor in the US in order to process the visa.

    We have tried to obtain a joint sponsor, however no-one we know either earns enough or is willing to help.

    We are looking to try and obtain a UK visa for my wife and step-daughter, would this be the best option and is there any advice you can give with regards what would prevent my wife coming to live with me in the UK.

    Many Thanks


    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Craig, Your wife may qualify for a marriage visa for you. It’s hard to tell based on what you wrote. Consulate officers are sometimes incorrect, so you should not necessarily accept what an immigration officer states. I am available to assist with case processing and it seems you want information only. In this case, I can offer a paid consultation to help sort things out. This way we can both benefit by the exchange. I charge $60 for the first 15 minutes, plus $3 each minute after that time. If interested, please call me at (212) 483-0111. Kind regards, Allan

  55. Jen says


    Thanks for this blog it’s very helpful.

    I’m a Philippine national living and working in kuwait for 3 years. I have American fiancé who worked and live here for more than 3 years, he’s having a good income that meet income requirements but suddenly this month he got fired in the company for simple reason.Now he is planning to go back to US to finish his studies. He worked in military before when he was in US.

    Now my question is there any possibility that his petition will get denied coz he is unemployed right now? He can’t provide income tax for the past 3 years coz he was overseas, he can provide only the years when he was working in US. He don’t have assets either or big amount saved on his bank account but his parents can cosponsor me. He was divorced but no kids to support with.

    What is the best thing we can do in this case? Please advice. Thanks!

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Jen, Your fiance very likely cannot currently qualify for a fiance visa based on what you wrote. Sometimes, we can finagle the documentation so as not to raise a red flag and yet still be honest in our filings so there is no misrepresentation. If he was recently terminated, it may be possible for him to regain employment stateside in a short time so that the gap in employment is short and his earnings appear stable. Even if he resides overseas, he still should be filing U.S. income tax returns and excluding a certain amount of income based on overseas earnings. Please have him contact a U.S. accountant for more information regarding the need to file tax returns for prior years. Immigration agencies will very likely want to see them as part of your immigration filings.

      If you process through Kuwait City, it is possible for your fiance to use a financial cosponsor when processing on a K1 fiancee visa. If you plan to return to Manila for case processing, then a financial cosponsor will not work on the K1.

      Please have your fiance call me to discuss if interested in working together on your immigration filings. My number is (888) 483-0311. Kind regards, Allan

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  57. maria says


    I got married with my husband, who was then a green card holder, in May 2010. He applied for US Citizenship and got his Naturalization Certificate in November 2012.

    My husband, who suffered a heart attack in 2007, is on SS Disability Pension and receiving roughly $1180/month. He has a part time job with a monthly income of $200.00

    He is trying to petition me. My questions are:

    1) Would his SS Disability Pension and earnings from his part-time job qualify as income?
    2) Do we still need to ask for someone to be his co-sponsor for the Affidavit of Support?
    3) Will someone who has recently filed for I-864 for his fiancee’ (now his wife) and 2 kids, still qualify to be a co-sponsor?
    4.) If my husband’s SS Disability Pension and part-time job earnings will not be considered, can we ask our friends and relatives to sponsor me?

    Thanks and best regards,

    • Allan S. Lolly says

      Maria, Based on what you wrote, your husband’s earnings should count toward the minimum required. It does not seem to me the SS Disability Pension is a welfare payment. If it is SSDI, then it is a government insurance benefit and should count. Even so, if the total number of dependents is two–your husband and you–then the minimum required is currently $18,913. His total combined income is short at $1,380 per month, which equals $16,560 per year.

      A U.S. resident family member or friend can be a financial cosponsor, even if that cosponsor has sponsored another foreigner in the past. The cosponsor must count all dependents, including those on any prior sponsorship filings, and meet income guidelines based on the total. Kind regards, Allan

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