The Minimum Income Financial Requirements for a Marriage Visa

The fiance or fiancee visa, known as the "K-1" visa, allows a foreign person who is engaged to a U.S. citizen to legally enter the country to marry. The U.S. citizen's income must be at least 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines if he is required to show proof of his finances, but other assets he owns may be taken into consideration at the discretion of the U.S. Consular Office.

  1. Function

    • The financial requirements imposed on K-1 visa applicants are designed to prevent entry of a person who is likely to become a public burden to the U.S. government. The person applying for the visa has to show he can support himself, or his U.S. fiancee must demonstrate she can support him. The applicant or the U.S. citizen's income, if she is sponsoring him, generally must meet or exceed the 100 percent standard at the time of the visa interview.

    Documentation

    • The foreign fiancee must show proof of her income and assets if she is going to support herself; the U.S. fiance must provide documentation if he is supporting his future spouse. The exact papers needed varies by case and interviewer requirements, but commonly includes W-2 forms from prior tax years, pay-stubs, a signed statement from an employer, proof of assets (like deeds showing ownership of real estate,) and bank or investment account statements.

    Considerations

    • The U.S. fiance may have to provide Form-I34, Affidavit of Support, to the U.S. Consular Office during the marriage visa process. The affidavit form requests personal and financial information about the U.S. citizen sponsoring the applicant, including bank accounts, employment status and location, assets owned, life insurance policies held, the names of dependents included on yearly tax returns, if any, and disclosure of any other support affidavits the sponsor filled out previously.

    Limitations

    • The foreign fiance may be denied a visa even if the minimum financial requirements are met. Any person with a contagious disease that is dangerous to public health -- as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- has an alcohol or drug addiction or a mental illness that poses a threat to the safety of others generally cannot receive a K-1 visa. The U.S. Attorney General, at his discretion, can waive visa ineligibility and grant a visa to an applicant who otherwise would not be permitted to receive it.

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