K1 Visa Joint Sponsorship Explained

Updated on April 8, 2024

When a U.S. citizen wishes to bring their foreign fiancé(e) to the United States on a K1 visa, they must demonstrate their ability to financially support their partner. However, not all U.S. sponsors meet the income requirements set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In such cases, joint sponsorship can be a valuable solution. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of K1 visa joint sponsorship and how it can help couples overcome financial obstacles.

30 Second Recap:

K1 visa joint sponsorship allows another individual to accept financial responsibility for a foreign fiancé(e) if the primary U.S. citizen sponsor does not meet the income requirements. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old, reside in the U.S., and have sufficient income. Joint sponsorship can help couples overcome financial obstacles and strengthen their K1 visa application, but joint sponsors must understand the legal obligations and potential liabilities involved.

What Is K1 Visa Joint Sponsorship?

Joint sponsorship allows another individual, in addition to the U.S. citizen petitioner, to accept financial responsibility for the foreign fiancé(e). This joint sponsor must meet the income requirements and agree to support the foreign fiancé(e) if the primary sponsor is unable to do so. The joint sponsor’s income and assets are considered alongside the primary sponsor’s when determining the foreign fiancé(e)’s eligibility for the K1 visa.

Who Can Be a Joint Sponsor?

A joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) who is at least 18 years old and resides in the United States. They must also have an income that meets or exceeds 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size. The joint sponsor does not have to be related to the primary sponsor or the foreign fiancé(e), but they must be willing to accept legal responsibility for the foreign fiancé(e)’s financial well-being.

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How Does Joint Sponsorship Work?

To establish joint sponsorship, the joint sponsor must complete and sign Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form is a legally binding contract between the joint sponsor and the U.S. government, in which the joint sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the foreign fiancé(e) if necessary. The primary sponsor must also complete a separate Form I-864, and both forms must be submitted as part of the K1 visa application process.

Benefits of Joint Sponsorship

  1. Overcoming Income Requirements: Joint sponsorship allows couples to meet the financial requirements for the K1 visa even if the primary sponsor’s income is insufficient.
  2. Strengthening the Application: By demonstrating additional financial support, joint sponsorship can make the K1 visa application more compelling and increase the likelihood of approval.
  3. Sharing Financial Responsibility: Joint sponsorship allows the financial responsibility for the foreign fiancé(e) to be shared between the primary sponsor and the joint sponsor, easing the burden on the primary sponsor.

Considerations for Joint Sponsors

  1. Legal Obligation: Joint sponsors must understand that they are entering into a legally binding agreement and are responsible for the foreign fiancé(e)’s financial well-being until they become a U.S. citizen, have worked for 40 quarters (10 years), or leave the United States permanently.
  2. Liability: If the foreign fiancé(e) receives means-tested public benefits, the joint sponsor may be required to repay the government for those benefits.
  3. Duration of Responsibility: The joint sponsor’s financial obligation continues even if the couple divorces or the primary sponsor dies.
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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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