A K-1 visa joint sponsor is a person who is willing and able to financially support a foreign-born fiancé during their time in the U.S. They are typically enlisted when the U.S. citizen sponsor is unable to meet the government’s income requirements for a K-1 visa. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder, at least 18 years old and currently residing in the United States and they must complete and file Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support) and provide supporting documentation.
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What are the requirements for a K-1 visa joint sponsor?
- U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status: The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
- Age: The joint sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
- Residence: The joint sponsor must currently reside in the United States.
- Financial Support: The joint sponsor must meet the government’s income requirements for a K-1 visa and be willing to take full financial responsibility for the visa applicant.
- Completing and filing Form I-134: The joint sponsor must complete and file this form, which requires detailed personal information, including their name, social security number, and proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. It also includes questions on the joint sponsor’s employment status, financial assets, and income.
- Providing Supporting Documentation: The joint sponsor must provide supporting documentation that proves the accuracy of their responses on Form I-134.
- Formally and legally promising to financially support the K-1 visa applicant: Completing and filing Form I-134 demonstrates to the U.S. government that the joint sponsor formally and legally promises to financially support the K-1 visa applicant during their time in the United States.
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When is a K-1 visa joint sponsor needed?
A K-1 joint sponsor is needed when the U.S. citizen sponsor and the foreign-born fiancé (or “beneficiary”) are unable to demonstrate that they meet the minimum annual income requirement for their household size as set by the government. This is one of the requirements for the K-1 fiancé visa process. If the income level of the sponsor is low or it is likely that they will be unable to satisfy the financial requirements during the immigration process, a joint sponsor may be considered. As of 2022, the minimum income requirement for K-1 visa applications is $18,310 for a household size of two — 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines income level.
Can any applicant use a joint sponsor?
Not all K-1 visa applications allow for joint sponsors. For example, applicants from certain countries may not be able to enlist joint sponsors for their K-1 applications. It’s best to check with the U.S. Embassy or consulate where the application will be processed to ensure joint sponsors may be included before applying.
Can I use a joint sponsor if I don’t meet the income requirements but I have assets?
A joint sponsor is typically used when the sponsor does not meet the income requirements, but in some cases, the sponsor’s assets may be considered when determining their ability to financially support the beneficiary. However, it’s always best to check with the U.S. Embassy or consulate where the application will be processed for their specific requirements.
How do I find a joint sponsor?
A joint sponsor can be a friend, family member, or any person who is willing and able to take on the responsibility of financial support for the applicant. If the applicant does not have anyone in mind, they can reach out to a lawyer or a non-profit organization that specializes in immigration services for help finding a joint sponsor.
Can I use the same joint sponsor on my marriage-based green card application?
Yes, it is possible to use the same joint sponsor on both the initial K-1 visa petition and the marriage-based green card application later on. However, the joint sponsor must meet a higher minimum annual income requirement and complete an additional financial sponsorship form, Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support).
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