When a K1 petitioner cannot meet the minimum income requirements, they can use a joint sponsor. A joint sponsor is not the primary sponsor of the fiance visa petition. Still, they must meet all the requirements of a citizen fiance, including the 125% minimum income requirement for their household size.
They undertake to take legal responsibility and co sponsor the foreign fiance. This can be a big decision, and one must understand the risks involved before undertaking to be a joint sponsor.
What are the K1 visa income requirements?
As part of the K1 eligibility criteria, applicants must meet the minimum income requirements based on the HHS poverty guidelines. They must also demonstrate that their household income is the same as or higher than 125 percent of the United States poverty level for your household size.
Household size includes the U.S. sponsor, their dependents, relatives living with them, and the immigrants they are sponsoring.
In terms of dollars and coins, the base income requirement is $21 775 and goes up by $5,525 with every extra dependent in the household. However, the exact guidelines could vary depending on the consular officer conducting the interview.
If the sponsor is on active duty in the United States Armed forces, and the immigrant is your child or spouse, the income requirements must only equal 100% of HHS poverty guidelines.
Affidavit of support
Form I-864, Affidavit of support, is a binding agreement a person signs pledging to financially support the immigrant whose name appears on the Affidavit.
You can find blank immigration forms with written instructions, including the Affidavit of support, free at the USCIS website.
Once the intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident, the signee becomes the sponsor. Usually, the sponsor is the person who filed the petition on behalf of the foreign citizen.
An affidavit of support means you accept legal responsibility for the K1 immigrant until your dependent becomes a U.S. citizen, or they are credited with 40 quarters of work.
The sponsor’s obligation ends when your dependent dies or ceases to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and departs the country.
However, divorce does not terminate a sponsor’s obligation to their dependent.
If an immigrant receives any means-tested benefits from a government agency, the sponsor must pay the cost to the agency that provided these benefits. Failure to pay may result in a suit by the immigrant or agency to recover the debt.
Any household members and joint sponsors that combined their income to meet the income requirement threshold are responsible for financially supporting the immigrant.
How to file an affidavit of support?
The K 1 visa sponsor should complete and file Form I-864 when they’re almost attending the visa interview or about to begin the application process for permanent resident status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. A joint sponsor must also complete Form I-864.
What happens if you don’t meet the income requirements?
K 1 visa applicants have several options if they don’t meet the income requirements:
- Adding the cash value of their assets, including money in bonds, stocks, and real property.
- Counting the income and property of a family member
- Counting the property of the relatives you sponsor
Seek attorney services for more information about income requirements and your options. Note that independent attorneys offer services that constitute a separate attorney agreement.
When joint sponsors are needed?
A joint sponsor is a person willing to accept legal responsibility to support the immigrant with the citizen sponsor. As a rule of thumb, a joint sponsor must meet all the same requirements as the citizen fiancé but must not be related to the immigrant.
The HHS poverty guidelines stipulate that a joint sponsor (or the co sponsor and his or her household) must satisfy the 125% income requirement.
The citizen sponsor cannot combine their income with the joint sponsor to meet the income requirement.
Qualifications to be a joint sponsor
Asides from having sufficient property or income and signing Form I-864, joint sponsors must also meet the following requirements:
- Must be a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must be living in the U.S., its possessions, or territories
- Must be ready to be jointly liable with the U.S. sponsor to financially support the K1 visa beneficiary
- Must have an income of at least 125% of the poverty threshold for his or her household, including the visa petitioner; or
- Must have assets at least 5 times the difference between his or her income and 125% of the poverty threshold
K1 Joint sponsor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
#Who can be a joint sponsor?
Any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. You must be 18 and above and live in any U.S. 50 states.
#What is the limit for joint sponsors in a K1 visa application?
Immigration law does not place any restrictions on the number of joint sponsors. But each sponsor must meet the 125% HHS poverty guideline threshold to be eligible.
#What are the duties of a joint sponsor?
A joint sponsor accepts the legal responsibility to support the immigrant and refund any costs for means-tested public benefit they get until the sponsored immigrant naturalizes.
#Do the joint sponsors attend the visa interview?
It’s no requirement for joint sponsors to attend the visa interview. But the foreign national must supply the co sponsor’s supporting documents, including W-2 forms, employment verification, and recent federal tax return.
Contact Us For More Information
Need help navigating complex immigration laws and procedures on joint sponsors? The Herman Legal Group Law Firm can help.
Let us put our skills to work for you. We can analyze your case, identify the available options, and help you decide the safest, most cost-effective, and quickest route to success.
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