The sponsoring fiancé must meet or exceed the K-1 visa income requirements based on US Federal Poverty Guidelines. Effective January 2023, these conditions depend on the number of people in the household. For example, a two-person household in 48 states and the District of Columbia must have an annual income of $19,720. For each additional person, this income prerequisite increases.

Alaska and Hawaii have different requirements than the rest of the United States. This is due to the higher cost of living. A two-person household in Alaska must meet a minimum of $24,640 per year, and the same household size in Hawaii is $22,680.

These K-1 visa income requirements exist to ensure the financial safety of the foreign national while in the United States. It certifies the sponsor can take care of each person while their fiancé is unable to work.

The K-1 Visa Income Requirements Increase to 125% of the Poverty Guidelines When Applying for Permanent Resident Status

It is important to remember the future, particularly with a goal as big as getting a US visa. The K-1 visa income requirement increases by 125% when the future US visa holder applies for permanent resident status.

For a two-person household, the sponsoring fiancé must have an annual income of at least $22,185. The exact amount increases for each dependent involved.

K-1 Visa Joint Sponsor

Consider joint sponsorship if you don’t meet the income requirements. Sometimes life happens, and the sponsoring fiancé may not meet the K-1 visa income requirements. For example, perhaps the couple met while one was studying abroad in college. If the couple wants to be together soon, it is unlikely they will meet the entire income prerequisite when applying.

In these cases, joint sponsorship is a great option to add to earned income if the single sponsor is unable to meet K-1 visa income requirements. Friends and co-workers are often joint sponsors. Once certain you meet the income requirements, it may be helpful to prepare for the K-1 visa interview questions.

K-1 Visa Income Requirements Are Based On Stable Sources

In addition to having a required income of 100% or more of the US Federal Poverty Guidelines, it must be stable.

The USCIS has the final decision, and stability plays a significant role in the outcome. Income gained through unemployment does not count as stable income for visa requirements. Social Security, retirement pension, and Veteran Administration benefits count toward the K-1 visa income requirements. Of course, a consistent, reliable income from employment also counts as a stable income.

Using Assets to Meet K-1 Visa Income Requirements

While the officer will look at the sponsor’s income from employment first, they will consider assets as part of the K-1 visa income requirements. These include both personal assets and those of household members who signed an I-864A.

If the sponsor needs to use assets to meet Federal Poverty Guidelines, they must provide documentation of the assets to the Consular Electronic Application Center. The following examples can be used as assets:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Property

Sponsors can only include these assets if they can be changeable to cash within a year and won’t prompt financial difficulties for the sponsor.

Can the immigrant K-1 visa applicant use assets they own from outside the United States, such as personal property or real estate?

Yes, considering the following conditions:

  • The assets can convert to cash within 12 months
  • They must be able to transfer the assets from the country they’re located in to the United States. Many countries have laws that pose limitations on assets or cash that can be removed from the country.
  • The net value has to be 5 times the difference between the sponsor’s income and 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

The visa applicant should file Form I-864A to have their assets included in the minimum income level calculations.

K-1 Visa Proof of Income for Self-Employed People 

If you are self-employed, a copy of your schedule C, D, E, or F from your most recent federal income tax return establishes income from your business. You should submit a copy of every 1099 or other reported income.

You can offer documents from the past three years, pay stubs from the past six months, or a letter from your employer(s). If you did not file, then submit proof describing why you were not required to.

If there is still any uncertainty about whether the income in question qualifies for K-1 visa income requirements, it may be helpful to speak with an immigration lawyer.

Bank Account for the K-1 Visa

Though the sponsoring fiancé must have proof they meet the minimum annual K-1 visa income requirements, there is no required minimum to be in the bank account. However, the K-1 visa itself costs money, so the couple will have to have this amount available.

FAQs for the K-1 Visa Income Requirements

What is the Percentage of Approved K-1 Visas?

About 80% of K-1 visas are approved. Both people in the couple must abide by the guidelines set out throughout the entire process. Each person must go through the process of proving the relationship is real.

How Long Can the Fiancé Stay On a K-1 Visa Once Approved?

The K-1 visa is also sometimes called the 90-day fiancé visa. This is because the visiting fiancé will have 90 days to be in the US on this visa. They must either get married and change to green card status, or they must leave.

Final Thoughts for K-1 Visa Income Requirements

The K-1 visa income requirements are in place to ensure the financial stability of both the future resident and US citizen. However, if you hope to marry before you reach this point, you can have a joint sponsor help. If you’re unsure whether you meet the K-1 visa income requirements, reach out to a qualified immigration lawyer today.