Using Savings For I-864 Without Any Income, Will We Be Approved?
For a fiance or spouse of a US citizen to immigrate to the US they will need to provide proof of the US citizen’s sufficient income or savings to show they will not become a public charge. This is done with the I-864 affidavit of support form that the US citizen must fill out and sign which then makes a promise to the federal government that the new immigrant will not use public assistance.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule and the immigrant is not barred from applying for public welfare but if they do, the US citizen is then on the hook to pay back the government. As you can see, this is a legally binding form that can be used against the US citizen in court and the government can seize your bank account and assets to settle any lawsuits.
We do a lot for love and I know most couples wouldn’t hesitate to sign it but you should know exactly what you are signing.
If you currently do not have any type of income whether that be employment income, business income, rental income or dividend income – you will need to have enough cash and assets to make up the different. Yes, you can absolutely use savings and assets instead of income and will not need a joint sponsor, however, there are strict requirements that need to be met.
The vast majority of those that are applying for adjustment of status will not have enough savings and assets to meet these requirements and it changes (increases of course) every year with inflation. So if you currently do not have any type of income and are living off of your savings and assets, you will need to show a minimum of 5X the 125% poverty guideline if you are filing for a K1 visa and 3X the 125% poverty guideline if you are sponsoring your spouse.
How Much Savings & Assets Do You Need?
If you want to use savings and assets to prove your income for the affidavit of support, you first need to know what the qualifying amount is. Another important factor is that your savings and assets are liquid and available quickly.
Liquid assets can be stocks, bonds, rental real estate and anything else that can be sold quickly for cash. You cannot use your personal residence in the calculation of assets because if you sell it, you will need a place to live which will quickly reduce the cash you received.
Your savings balance and/or total assets need to be 5X the 125% poverty guideline for your household size. You can use the following table to calculate what your number will be.
|100% Poverty Guideline|
Active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces
|125% Poverty Guideline|
For all other sponsors
K1 Visa example: If your household size is 4 (parents and two children), then your cash and liquid assets need to total $151,875. This is equal to 5X the amount for 125% of the poverty guideline for non active duty military.
CR1 Visa example: If your household size is 4 (parents and two children), then your cash and liquid assets need to total $91,125. This is equal to 3X the amount for 125% of the poverty guideline for non active duty military.
**Current active duty military members are only required to prove income at 100% of the poverty guidelines and usually do not use cash or assets as they would be getting some form of income from the military.
On the actual I-864 form it states:
In order to qualify based on the value of your assets, the total value of your assets must equal at least five times the difference between your total household income and the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size, however, if you are a U.S. citizen and you are sponsoring your spouse or minor child, the total value of your assets must only be equal to at least three times the difference.
Evidence Needed To Prove Liquid Assets
Alright, so once you have calculated the amount of liquid that you are required to show you are eligible to use assets instead of income – you can now start gathering the documents needed. Even if you are using income, there are many financial documents that are required by everyone. The following list details what forms and documents you should include with the I-864 form.
- Tax transcripts – you will need to include the tax returns you filed for the last 2 years. Even if you had no income, the USCIS still wants to see tax returns to show that you filed.
- Bank statements – include statements for the last 2 years that show your name, address and the bank account number. If the USCIS needs to verify the information they may contact the bank directly.
- Profit from sale of assets – this may be a bank account or money market account that holds the money you made from the sale of a rental property. This needs to be in cash and very liquid.
- Stocks and bonds – you can use a statements you receive from your brokerage account that shows the current value of your investments.
If you do have some income such as dividend or rental income, you may only need to show that your assets cover the difference between your total income and the 125% of the poverty guideline.
However, you cannot use the assets of a joint sponsor. If your income and assets do not meet the minimum requirement, you will be required to have a joint sponsor (co-sponsor) on the I-864 form. The joint sponsor will then need to prove their income is sufficient for their own household plus your new fiance or spouse.
Learn more about the income requirement for the I-864 and what the joint sponsor needs to provide as evidence.
There you have it folks, now make sure that you sign and date the actual form because I have heard of horror stories of delays due to not signing the I-864 form and waiting an additional 2-6 months for approval.
Once your K1 or CR1 visa is approved, you can focus on building a happy marriage in the US with your loved one. Although the USCIS process isn’t over, it is a lot easier when you have your fiance or spouse right there by your side while you wait for the paperwork.