K1 Visa Income Requirements

k1 visa income requirements

One of the most common worries of fiancé visa sponsors is meeting the income requirements. If your fiancé will come to the U.S. to marry you and eventually live with you, you will need to make sure you have the funds to support your future spouse. The United States government sets a minimum income requirement for fiance visa to ensure that applicants won’t need government assistance in the future. 

What are the Income Requirements for a K1 Visa?

In order for your application to be considered, you must prove that your stable gross earnings after business deductions are more than 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Once you are finally married and your spouse wants to become a permanent resident, the requirement will increase to 125%. 

To view the latest version of the poverty guidelines, check with the department of Health and Human Services. It is updated each year so you can easily look up the requirements. 


According to the Federal Register from HHS published in January 2020, the poverty line for a household of two is $17,240. For your initial application, you would need to make at least this amount. If your spouse applies to become a permanent resident, you will need to make at least $21,550.

Keep in mind that these are minimum requirements. Just because you meet these requirements, doesn’t mean you are in the clear. Your petition can still be denied for financial reasons. It’s also important to note that the poverty line for each state is different. The amount of dependents in your household will also affect the specific amount of income required for your case.

What Counts as Stable Earnings for the K-1 Fiancé Visa?

It’s important to keep in mind that the earnings must be stable. This means you need to have an income that is consistent and will support your fiancé in the long term.

Here’s a breakdown of different types of earnings:

Stable Income for K1 Visa

  • US-based salaries, unless it comes from a seasonal or temporary job. 
    • Income you earn overseas may be an exception if it’s:
      • Income from the US military 
      • Earnings from a Department of Defense contractor 
      • Income from a temporary overseas assignment by a company based in the US
  • Social Security retirement benefits 
  • Social security permanent disability benefits 
  • VA benefits 
  • Retirement benefits
  • Any type of income that you would report on your IRS Form 1040 count as earnings. These could include: 
    • Capital gains
    • Interest income 

These types of income can count as stable depending on their duration.

Unstable Income for K1 Visa

  • Unemployment benefits are considered earnings. But they are not classified as stable earnings. 
    • The only exception is possibly if the unemployment benefits are being paid in conjunction with a new job. 
  • Social security temporary disability benefits are considered earnings, but not stable earnings.
  • Social security SSI benefits (financial need-based disability benefits) are not considered earnings. 


It’s important to note that welfare benefits do not count as earnings. Receiving welfare benefits could disqualify you from sponsoring your fiancé.

How Do You Prove You Meet the Minimum Income Requirement for Fiancé Visa?

You Will Need to Prove Your Income on Two Different Occasions for a K1 Visa: 

  1. During the consular process that brings your foreign fiancé into the United States. 
  2. When your fiancé is adjusting his/her status to become a permanent resident.
    • During this stage, you’ll need to submit the I-864 Affidavit of Support.

Why Would a K1 Visa be Denied?

Many applications for the K-1 Fiancé get rejected outright simply because the documents contained incorrect, incomplete, or inconsistent information. If there are any missing documents or incorrect paperwork in your application, you will receive a Request for Evidence (RFE). Each RFE will delay the approval of your K-1 visa petition, and ultimately the approval and issuance of your K-1 fiancé visa. Sometimes the delay will be 6-12 months or more. Having an attorney review your documents and guide you through the application process will reduce the possibility of rejections and delays. 

Can Someone Else Help Me Sponsor a K1 Fiancé Visa?

In some cases, you may joint sponsor your foreign fiancé. This means that your parents may also sponsor your fiancé in order to meet the income requirement. This is especially useful for people who just graduated from college or are new to the job market.

A sponsor must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, or a U.S. permanent resident. They must also live in the U.S., U.S. territory or U.S. possession. This can be virtually any person that would be willing to accept financial responsibility for an immigrant. The joint sponsor must be willing to prevent them from becoming a “public charge.” According to the public charge rule, this means someone that needs U.S. governmental public assistance. However, in most cases, joint-sponsors tend to be the parents of the main sponsor. 

Most U.S. consulates and embassies allow for joining sponsorships for a K-1 fiancé visa application. The only exception is the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

Phoenix K1 Visa Lawyers Can Help

If you don’t know where to begin and fear that you might be filing your paperwork incorrectly, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced Phoenix immigration attorney. If you or your fiancé  have criminal records, obtaining the services of an immigration attorney will be especially important. Cases where immigration and criminal law intersect can be extremely complicated. This is why speaking with an immigration criminal lawyer is crucial. Contact us for a confidential consultation on your K-1 Fiancé Visa.

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