Fiance (K1) Visa Income Requirements

US citizens can only immigrate a foreign fiancé to the US if the citizen has sufficient income to receive that the foreigner does not receive US income.

The minimum income requirement is one of  various requirements for obtaining a fiancé (K1) visa. The amount required depends on the total number dependents of each of you and your fiancé.

Income Requirements for a Fiancé Visa

1. Amount of earnings

As a petitioning US citizen, you must have a stable income, above the annual income level set by the Department of Health and Human Services. The amount is based on the total number of dependents. For example, you need a stable income of more than 2 dependents, if the total number in your family is 2: your fiancés and you. Number of dependents 3 if you or your fiancé have a dependent child.

A joint sponsor is not allowed under law. However, some U.S. consulates abroad will consider joint sponsorship when adjudicating a fiancé visa application. The amount required of the joint sponsor would increase based on the total number of dependents of the joint sponsor. So, add the total number of dependents in your combined households and check the table below to learn the required income.

2. Tax observations

Many believe that a 3 year tax liability is required, but this is only true for some US consulates. The most important are the last tax incomes of individuals.  Earlier years are important only to show the history of earnings to show stability of earnings. Therefore, the amount of income from years ago helps show stability, but is generally not very important in meeting the required income level.

  • Employee Income: The amount reported as gross income in your W2 tax form with few exceptions.
  • Employer Income: Adjusted gross income after business deductions reported on your personal income tax returns, modified by various other adjustments declared on your tax returns.

Often not everything depends on tax returns, but we use tax returns as a starting point. The income requirement is examined at the end of the fiancé visa process. Thus, we have a chance to work on a showing of stable earnings during the fiancé visa process.

3. Stable income

The US citizen applicant must have a stable job in the US in excess of the minimum required for a fiancé visa. As a general rule, you must show enough within a calendar year to meet the higher minimum requirement for your tax income.

What minimum income requirements K1 visa petitioner must meet?
What minimum income requirements K1 visa petitioner must meet?

The type of work matters. For example, in most cases, a permanent job in a large company is more stable than reselling goods on eBay. Also, an income slightly higher than the required minimum tends to be less stable than high earnings. Likewise, seasonal work tends to be less stable than full-time work throughout the year. Each situation is individual and is considered independently.

Unemployment earnings are counted towards minimum requirements. But unemployment implies instability, and this is a negative factor. However, unemployment benefits can help meet the minimum in a particular year. As a result, unemployment earnings can be good, but not for too long. You need to have a job.

Finally, retirement benefits, VA benefits, social use or disability pensions are all good sources of income, but not SSI. SSI payments may deprive you of your fiancé’s immigration eligibility. So, try not to focus on welfare subsidies. As you can see, there are many considerations when evaluating whether income is sustainable.

4. Earning in the USA

Income must be US earnings, usually from work in the US.  US armed service members stationed abroad are exempted. US contractors working abroad can also be exempted. Sometimes we arrange to settle a case where a US citizen is working abroad on a temporary basis, but receives fees from US based companies. Very few others working abroad will qualify to satisfy the US based earnings requirement. As such, it is good to spend time together abroad with your fiancé, but not to such an extent that you lose your job in the USA.

5. Assets instead of income

Assets instead of earnings (property instead of income) are generally not allowed for a fiancé visa. Savings help show financial strength, but do not count toward the amount required to satisfy the minimum income requirement.

6. Financial joint sponsor

Consular posts will sometimes consider a joint sponsor for fiancé visa processing. The US Consulate in Manila is an exception. The last time we checked, Manila will not allow a joint sponsor for fiancé visa processing.

A joint sponsor can also be a problem if it’s not a relative or someone who is trusted to help the foreign fiancé remain off of US welfare benefits. Thus, you should be especially careful when relying on a joint sponsorship if you are unable to meet income requirements on your own.

HHS Poverty Guide for Fiance Visa 2022

48 border states and the District of Columbia

Family/household members
Poverty guide
2
$18,310
3
$23,030
4
$27,750
5
$32,470
6
$37,190
7
$41,910
8
$46,630

For families/households with more than 8 people, $4,720 is added  for each additional person.

Alaska

Family/household members
Poverty guide
2
$22,890
3
$28,790
4
$34,690
5
$40,590
6
$46,490
7
$52,390
8
$58,290

For families/households with more than 8 people, $5,900 is added  for each additional person.

Hawaii

Family/household members
Poverty guide
2
$21,060
3
$26,490
4
$31,920
5
$37,350
6
$42,780
7
$48,210
eight
$53,640

For families/households with more than 8 people, add $5,430  for each additional person.


 

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