Have you learned about the marriage-based green card process and determined that you are eligible to become a U.S. permanent resident?
If so, you probably know that among eligible criteria are specific income requirements that a sponsor has to meet. This applies whether you are a sponsor, a joint sponsor, or a substitute sponsor. Since many people doubt whether they meet these criteria, we prepared this article to dive into more details on determining your eligibility regarding enough income.
The sponsor must:
Be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, living in the United States and at least 18 years old.
Have an annual income of at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (more people in a household, the higher income is needed).
can use assets as well to meet these requirements. (cash, stocks and bonds, and property).
Also, remember that any other household member can help the financial sponsor meet these requirements, and this person doesn’t have to be a family member. The immigration spouse seeking the green card (the “beneficiary”) may also help the situation by using the income, but only as long as this income will continue from the same source after the green card is obtained.
Continue to read to find out about possibilities to meet this requirement.
Minimum Income Level
The household income has to be equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size.
The most common minimum annual income for a marriage green card is $21,775, assuming that the sponsor is not in active military duty and is sponsoring only one relative.
The table showing the income requirements increase based on the family size you can find here. Note that, as USCIS stated on this page, residents of Alaska and Hawaii have to meet higher income requirements than the 48 Contiguous States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
If a sponsoring spouse is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, the income only needs to be equal to 100% of the U.S. poverty level for the household size.
The U.S. government updated its Poverty Guidelines on Apr. 1, 2021.