I-134 income requirement

I-134 Income Requirement For Affidavit Of Support

If one thing is for sure, money is really important when it comes to U.S. immigration. Sure, you don’t need to be rich but you damn well better make decent money. The I-134 income requirement is enforced by USCIS to ensure anyone entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa will not get on public assistance.

The K1 fiance visa can only be approved if the U.S. sponsor meets the minimum income requirement as well as other criteria. Without sufficient income, your visa will not be approved because the beneficiary would be considered inadmissible.

How much money does the U.S. sponsor make?

The actual amount of income increases every year to account for annual inflation. The most up-to-date income requirement can be found on form I-864P.

Difference Between The I-134 and I-864

The main benefit for the I-134 affidavit of support is that the sponsor only needs to meet 100% of the poverty guidelines.

Compare this to the I-864 which requires the sponsor meet 125% of the poverty guidelines. This is a difference of about $4,000 which is a huge benefit if you barely meet the income requirement.

A K1 visa applicant will initially need to submit the I-134 but when they get ready to apply for a green card, they’ll need to submit the I-864 with the I-485 adjustment of status application.

Note: K1 applicants have the choice of either submitting the I-134 or the I-864 but most will go with the simpler form that the I-134 offers.

In my case, when I filed the K1 visa we just filled out the I-134 affidavit of support. But later, when I needed to adjust my status, we had to complete the I-864 anyway. The main reason we went this route was because the I-134 was quicker to fill out when compared to the I-864.

I-134 Income Requirement For US Sponsor

To find out if you make enough income to sponsor someone for a nonimmigrant visa, take a look at the tables below. These are current I-134 income requirement for 2017.

48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Sponsor’s Dependents100% of Poverty Guidelines
(Fiancé Visa)
125% of Poverty Guidelines
(Green Card)
2$16,240$20,300
3$20,420$25,525
4$24,600$30,750
5$28,780$35,975
6$32,960$41,200
7$37,140$46,425
8$41,320$51,650

For more than 8, add $4,180 for a fiancé visa and $5,225 for a green card for each additional person.

Hawaii

Sponsor’s Dependents100% of Poverty Guidelines
(Fiancé Visa)
125% of Poverty Guidelines
(Green Card)
2$18,670$23,337
3$23,480$29,350
4$28,290$35,362
5$33,100$41,375
6$37,910$47,387
7$42,720$53,400
8$47,530$59,412

For more than 8, add $4,810 for a fiancé visa and $6,012 for a green card for each additional person.

Alaska

Sponsor’s Dependents100% of Poverty Guidelines
(Fiancé Visa)
125% of Poverty Guidelines
(Green Card)
2$20,290$25,362
3$25,520$31,900
4$30,750$38,437
5$35,980$44,975
6$41,210$51,512
7$46,440$58,050
8$51,670$64,587

For more than 8, add $5,230 for a fiancé visa and $6,537 for a green card for each additional person.

Evidence To Include With I-134 Income Requirement

The type of evidence to include must back up the income you have claimed.

So, if you are currently employed and make $80,000 you should include pay stubs, W2 and tax transcripts from the IRS. The more evidence you have to back up your income, the better.

For those of you who are self-employed you can use tax transcripts as well as business bank account statements.

Anyone who is receiving unemployment benefits or social security, you can include statements of benefits or monthly bank account statements.

The following list of evidence for proof income:

The following list of evidence for proof of assets:

  • Investment statements
  • Real estate valuation
  • Savings account statement
  • Vehicle valuation

Case Example:

Missy is a U.S. citizen that met her Dominican fiance 2 years ago while on vacation. The filed the I-134 with the National Visa Center (NVC) and included evidence of her employment using W9, 3 years tax transcripts as well as a letter from her employer stating she’s been working there for 4 years and makes $37,000.

Since Missy meets the income requirement and submitted enough evidence, the US consulate accepted her as the only sponsor and the K1 visa was approved during the interview.

If your case is not complicated then you can complete form I-134 without much trouble.

Issues arise when the petitioner either doesn’t make enough money or is currently unemployed. It won’t be impossible to successfully file the I-134 in these circumstances but it won’t be easy.

USCIS wants to make sure that the immigrant that is being petitioned for will not become a public charge. To confirm this they want to see financial stability on the part of the U.S. fiance.

If You Don’t Meet The I-134 Income Requirement

If the U.S. sponsor doesn’t make enough money to meet the income requirement based on their household, there are a few options.

  • Use a joint sponsor
    • This can be anyone who currently lives in the U.S. and makes enough money. This person doesn’t need to be related to the sponsor but they must be willing complete the I-134.
    • Some consulates will not allow a joint sponsor such as Manila. Contact the US consulate directly to find out.
  • Use assets
    • Assets must be liquid meaning they must easily able to turn to cash within 12 months.
    • Current asset value less any debt against it to find out the true value.
    • If you are using a home or vehicle as your asset, it can’t be your primary home or vehicle.
    • Foreign assets can be used but you must show proof of valuation.
    • You don’t need to sell your assets to include them on form I-134.

i-134 income requirement

Case Example:

Jonathan is engaged to Lizzy after dating for 6 months. After the I-129F petition was approved by USCIS and sent to NVC, they were notified that Jonathan needs to complete and submit form I-134 to show financial support to his new fiancee.

The problem is that Jonathan was laid off 3 weeks ago and no longer has any income. Although some consulates allow joint sponsor’s, Jonathan didn’t want to rely completely on this option. He asked his mother to be the joint sponsor but he also used his down payment fund instead of income.

It’s important to know that not all consulate will accept a joint sponsor. Many want to see that the petitioner can meet the income requirement alone.

An example of this is the Philippines which doesn’t normally accept a joint sponsor for the K1 visa. You will need to find other ways to meet the income requirement such as getting a second job or using assets to cover the difference.

Final Thoughts On I-134 Income Requirement

Applying for a K1 visa or other nonimmigrant visa requires that an I-134 affidavit of support be submitted for you. Without it, you’ll likely be denied the visa due to inadmissibility.

But what happens when the petitioner doesn’t make enough money to support the beneficiary?

Well, there are a few options we talked about in this post.

  1. Using assets that are liquid (can be sold in 12 months)
  2. Getting a second job to increase income
  3. Using investments
  4. Using cash in the bank (can sell things)
  5. Joint sponsor (depends on the consulate)

Not making enough money or being unemployed doesn’t mean the U.S. sponsor can’t petition for someone. It just means that it will be more difficult and you will need to show other evidence you can financially support the beneficiary.

The I-134 affidavit of support is not legally binding.

The U.S. government can’t actually come after you in court if the beneficiary gets on public benefits while in the U.S.. But, if you submit the I-864, the government can and will sue you to get money that’s owed to them.

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Ayan is a Somali born Canadian who has successfully immigrated to the United States and is passionate about helping fellow immigrants move to the U.S. to pursue their dreams. Whether you’re applying for a visa, green card or naturalization; get real answers to your immigration questions.

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