Marriage Visa Income Requirements

US citizens and green card holders can only immigrate a foreign spouse to the US if the citizen or green card holder has sufficient income or savings to ensure that the foreign spouse does not receive US welfare.

It is generally considered that you must submit tax returns for 3 years, but only some consulates require this. Your most recent income tax returns are the main document. 

1. Stable Income Requirements for Marriage Visa 

The US citizen applicant must have a stable job in the US in excess of the minimum required for a green card, fiancé visa, and marriage visa. As a general rule, you must show enough income during the calendar year for your tax returns to show more than the required minimum.

The type of work affects stability. Income just above the marriage visa minimum income is less stable than higher income levels. Income from seasonal work will tend to be less stable than from full-time employment throughout the year. Unemployment earnings are considered earnings. However, unemployment is not a stable income. Unemployment earnings, combined with a new job, can show stability. Retirement benefits, VA benefits, Social Security benefits, or disability pensions are all good sources of income, but not SSI. SSI social security payments may disqualify your spouse from obtaining immigration benefits.

It is generally accepted that you must submit 3 years of tax returns and some consulates do require this. Either way, your most recent personal income tax returns are the most important primary document you consider. Previous years are only important to demonstrate stability and earnings history. The amount of income in previous years is usually not very important.

To apply for a marriage visa, income must be verified approximately six months after the submission of the initial documents. This gives you time at work to earn a steady income while your business is in progress.

2. Earning in the USA

Income must be earned in the US. The exceptions are the U.S. military , stationed or stationed overseas, and Department of Defense contractors. Very few others are eligible based on overseas income. Sometimes we can settle a case where a US citizen is working overseas on a temporary business trip but is paid by a US company.

3. Assets instead of income

For CR marriage visas and green cards only, sufficient liquid assets and net worth can be shown in lieu of income. The required amount of equity capital is more than three times the profit. Assets instead of earnings are generally not allowed for a fiancé visa. Assets can help show stability where income is modest.

4. Financial joint sponsorship

A financial joint sponsor is allowed for marriage visas under the rules. Joint sponsorship is used when the petitioning US citizen is unable to meet income requirements on their own. Joint sponsors who have a close relationship with the US applicant will be more trusted to help keep the foreigner off of welfare than a distant relative or friend who does not have close family ties to the US applicant.

5. Amount of income

What is the income? This is the gross income after business deductions shown on your personal income tax returns. The amount of income required is 1) based on the total number of dependents you and your spouse have; and 2) poverty guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services. All dependents of the joint sponsor must be considered when using one.

6. Consideration of the public charge:

A public charge is a foreigner who receives certain welfare benefits in the United States. This is independent of the minimum income required of the US petitioner. Strong evidence of the petitioner’s financial worth (or joint sponsor), well above the minimum income level, helps the foreigner prove to US immigration authorities that the immigrant will not become a public liability.

Marriage Visa Application Guide 2022

48 border states and the District of Columbia

Family members/households
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child
For all other sponsors
2
$18,310
$22,887
3
$23,030
$28,787
4
$27,750
$34,687
5
$32,470
$40,587
6
$37,190
$46,487
7
$41,910
$52,387
eight
$46,630
$58,287
 
Add $4720 for each additional person
Add $5900 for each additional person

Alaska

Family members/households
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child
For all other sponsors
2
$22,890
$28,612
3
$28,790
$35,987
4
$34,690
$43,362
5
$40,590
$50,737
6
$46,490
$58,112
7
$52,390
$65,487
eight
$58,290
$72,862
 
Add $5900 for each additional person
Add $7,375 for each additional person

Hawaii

Family members/households
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child
For all other sponsors
2
$21,060
$26,325
3
$26,490 
$33,112
4
$31,920 
$39,900
5
$37,350 
$46,687
6
$42,780 
$53,475
7
$48,210 
$60,262
eight
$53,640 
$67,050
 
Add $5430 for each additional person
Add $6,787 for each additional person

Call for help

Before proceeding, consider a licensed professional immigration legal representative. Immigration law is broad, varied, and covers many types of immigration. Government agencies are becoming increasingly hostile. Our team will help you prevent unnecessary mistakes, avoidable delays, anticipate problems, and effectively guide your case to a successful conclusion. We provide a free initial consultation for those interested in working with us on case processing and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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