Sponsorship Requirements for the K-1 Visa Explained

Sponsorship Requirements for the K-1 Visa Explained

The K-1 visa, also known as the Fiancé visa, is a non-immigrant visa category that allows the foreign citizen fiancé (e) to travel to the United States and marry their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The newly married spouse can then apply for a green card based on marriage. People planning to come to the United States on a K-1 visa must understand the financial requirements and other eligibility criteria their sponsor must meet to prove that they are eligible to sponsor the visa.

Apart from income, other requirements, including the application fee, filing, medical clearance, traveling to the United States, etc., should meet for visa approval.

What are the primary income requirements for the K-1 visa?

Income requirements for the K-1 visa are submitted twice by the sponsoring U.S. citizen fiancé (e). The first time will be during the consular process to bring the beneficiary fiancé (e) from their country into the U.S. The second time will be during the K-1 adjustment of the status process.

Forms submitted during the K-1 visa submission process are:

  • I-134 Affidavit of Support- This is the first income form that the sponsor must fill to show the visa applicant will not become public charges after arriving in the United States. The HHS Poverty Guideline measures the petitioners’ financial ability. The sponsor must show that their income meets the poverty guideline of that specific year. Once your visa application is approved, your fiancé (e) can come to the U.S on a non-immigrant visa. 
  • I-864, Affidavit of Support- Now that your fiancé (e) is in the United States, you both should get married within 90 days of their arrival in the country. Your fiancé may continue living in the U.S. legally only after filing for the adjustment of the status. It is where you must submit another affidavit of support. 

One must note that the K-1 visa applicant is not allowed to work in the United States. Therefore the U.S. authorities want to know that their financial needs are well cared for once they arrive in the country.

The income requirements for the K-1 visa is described as follows:

Family Size (Including applicant)                                                    Income Requirement

            2                                                                                                              $21,134

            3                                                                                                              $26,662

           4                                                                                                               $32,187

           5                                                                                                               $37,712

           6                                                                                                               $43,237


If you lived in states where the cost of living is higher, such as Alaska or Hawaii, the required amount for two members is $26,412 and $24,325.

What if I can’t meet the basic income requirement?

There are a few exceptions if you fail to meet the income criteria for the K-1 visa: 

  • If you are active in the U.S. armed forces, your basic income is much lower than other sponsors. Any active-duty U.S. armed forces member has a starting income requirement of $16,910.
  • You may use your assets in the household to add up to your income requirement. However, the assets must be worth at least three times the difference between your actual household income and the income requirement. 
  • You can also have a joint co-sponsor who will help you meet the financial requirement. A joint sponsor is a qualified person who takes the “legal responsibility” of jointly supporting your family with you in the U.S.

How our immigration experts can help?

The K-1 visa application is a complicated process; therefore, taking help from a professional immigration consultant is essential. The income requirement is the most challenging part of the entire application, so take your steps wisely. At Abhinav, we can help you lodge your fiancé visa application professionally and take care of all the complexities surrounding the process.

To get in touch, call us on 8595338595 or drop an email at [email protected] to get started with your application.

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