What Is the Minimum Income Requirement for a Fiancé Visa?

Updated on April 11, 2024

When planning to bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States on a K-1 visa, it’s essential to understand the financial requirements set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). One of the most important aspects is the minimum income requirement for the U.S. citizen sponsor. In this blog post, we’ll explore the income criteria, why they exist, and what to do if you don’t meet the minimum threshold.

30 Second Recap:

To bring your foreign fiancé(e) to the United States on a K-1 visa, you must meet the minimum income requirement set by USCIS. As the U.S. citizen sponsor, your annual income must be at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size. If you don’t meet this threshold, you can explore options such as finding a joint sponsor, using your assets, or combining your income and assets to fulfill the financial sponsorship requirement.

The Purpose of the Income Requirement

The U.S. government wants to ensure that foreign fiancé(e)s entering the country will not become a public charge, meaning they won’t rely on government assistance for financial support. To prevent this, USCIS requires the U.S. citizen sponsor to demonstrate that they have sufficient income or assets to support their foreign fiancé(e) after they arrive in the United States.

Minimum Income Threshold

To meet the income requirement, the U.S. citizen sponsor must prove that their annual income is at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size. The household size includes the sponsor, their dependents, and the foreign fiancé(e) (and their dependents, if any).

For example, as of 2024, the minimum annual income for a household size of two (the sponsor and the foreign fiancé(e)) is $20,440. This amount is higher for residents of Alaska and Hawaii due to the higher cost of living in those states.

It’s important to note that these guidelines are updated annually, so it’s crucial to check the current requirements when preparing your K-1 visa application.

Proving Your Income

To demonstrate that you meet the minimum income requirement, you’ll need to provide evidence such as:

  • Federal income tax returns for the most recent tax year
  • W-2 forms or other wage statements
  • Employment verification letters
  • Pay stubs

If you are self-employed or have other sources of income, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as business tax returns or proof of investments.

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What If You Don’t Meet the Minimum Income Requirement?

If your income falls below the required threshold, there are still options available to help you meet the financial sponsorship requirement:

  1. Joint Sponsor: You can find a joint sponsor who is willing to accept legal responsibility for supporting your foreign fiancé(e). The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old, and meet the same income requirements as the primary sponsor.
  2. Assets: If you have significant assets, such as savings accounts, investments, or property, you may be able to use these to supplement your income. The value of your assets must be at least five times the difference between your income and the required minimum income threshold.
  3. Combining Income and Assets: You can use a combination of your income and assets to meet the financial sponsorship requirement. In this case, the value of your assets must be at least three times the difference between your income and the minimum income threshold.
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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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