The sponsoring fiancé (which must be a U.S. citizen) must meet minimum income requirements when applying for a K1 visa. This lets the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) know that the sponsor has the financial means to support themselves and their fiancé while the foreign national is in the United States and not yet able to work.
Everything You Need To Know About The K1 Visa Income Requirements in 2021
This review discusses the income requirements for K1 visa sponsors in 2021. For more information specific to your case, consult with an immigration attorney.
A Stable Gross Earnings That Are More Than 100% Above The Federal Poverty Guidelines
The sponsoring fiancé must prove they gave a stable gross earnings that is more than 100% above the federal poverty guidelines in the United States. If the sponsor’s household size is only them and their future spouse, then the income requirements to receive a K1 visa must be a minimum of $17,240 annually after deductions in 2021. This number goes up if the household is larger, such as if the sponsor has one or more children.
The Requirement Increases to 125% When Your Spouse Applies for Permanent Resident Status
The stable gross earning requirements go up once the spouse applies for permanent resident status. For the foreign national to receive permanent resident status, the sponsor must show stable gross earnings of $21,775 per year after deductions in 2021, assuming it is just them and their spouse. If there are more dependents, then the minimum earning requirements go up with each dependent.
You Must Show That You Have Stable Earnings
Stable earnings mean that the earnings are consistently above the minimum earnings level. Keep in mind, this does not necessarily have to come from your income, and earnings may also include but not be limited to:
- VA benefits
- Social security benefits
- Disability benefits
- Retirement earnings
Part-time or temporary work may not be considered stable. In addition, unemployment earnings are not likely enough to reach the necessary earnings level, unless it is combined with a new job. Ideally, the individual should have a permanent level of earnings (whether from income or benefits) that is expected to continue long-term.
You Are Required to Work and Earn Your Income in The U.S.
K1 visa sponsors are also required to earn their income in the United States rather than from a foreign country. There are exceptions to this rule, such as if you are completing work for your U.S. based employer (i.e., a temporary overseas assignment provided by the DoD for a U.S.-based government contractor). However, if you are employed in another country, then your income is not likely to be considered stable once you return to the United States.
You Must Show Your IRS Tax Return
To ensure the most reliable proof of earnings, the USCIS typically requires your IRS tax returns from the most recent year(s). In some cases, the sponsor may be asked to provide tax returns from the previous three years. These documents typically do not have to be provided until the end of the case processing, however, which gives the sponsor time to arrange their tax return documents.
Joint Sponsorship May Be an Option if You Do Not Qualify
Joint sponsorship may be an option if you (the U.S. fiancé sponsor) do not meet the necessary K1 visa income requirements in 2021. Joint sponsorship allows you to add another sponsor, such as one of your parents, for example. This can be useful for those who are not qualified for any reason, such as if they are in college or unemployed for another reason and unable to earn a full-time income.
Can I Use Assets Instead Of Earnings To Meet K1 Visa Income Requirements in 2021?
Unfortunately, assets are not accepted in the place of income for K1 visa applicants; earnings are the only accepted version for income.
What Do I Do If I Do Not Meet The K1 Visa Income Requirements?
If you do not meet the income requirements for the K1 visa in 2021, then you should not apply for the K1 visa. Instead, consult with an immigration lawyer, who can review your case and help you determine the best path to take. It is best to wait and have a plan that will work rather than apply and be denied late in the K1 visa process due to a lack of sufficient income to be considered a sponsor.
Pride Immigration Can Help You And Your Fiancé Through The K1 Visa Process
Our dedicated and experienced immigration law team can help you and your fiancé through the K1 visa process. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at (571) 520-6116 or send us a message today. We take pride in assisting our clients through the challenges the K1 visa process can often present.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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