EP41: K1 Visa Affidavit Of Support Using A Joint Sponsor

The K1 visa affidavit of support is a document you’ll become very familiar with once your I-129F petition is approved.

Bringing your fiance to the US can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

Now throw in an immigration officer checking on your financial health and you’re bound to feel some stress!

The K1 visa affidavit of support is a document that promises USCIS that the beneficiary will not become a public charge.

If you don’t know what the term “public charge” means, take a look at the definition based on USCIS guidelines below:

definition of public charge

From the statement above, it sounds like USCIS wants to keep immigrants out if they are at risk of using public benefits.

Makes sense, right?

This is why you have to complete form I-134 affidavit of support.

It’s to prove that you can financially support your fiance so they won’t be on the government dole.

Case Example:

Julian is applying for the K1 fiance visa from the UK. His fiancee Amy is a US citizen who is currently a student and working part-time. After reviewing the income requirements for the I-134 affidavit of support, they realize that her income won’t be enough.

They decide to look for a joint sponsor for the I-134 and she asks her parents to help her. Amy’s parents agree to help her and complete a separate I-134 to financially support Julian.

In the case above, Amy will use her parent’s income to supplement her own which didn’t meet the I-134 income requirement.

The UK embassy allows for the use of a joint sponsor for the K1 visa affidavit of support.

This will not cause any problems for them.

Join the #1 online community for couples applying for K1 fiance visa (I-129F) and CR1 spouse visa (I-130) applicants. The Migrant Academy is an exclusive online community for long-distance couples.

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  • Incredibly in-depth K1 & CR1 online video courses
  • Visa case tracker – software that provides estimated approval date
  • Member Hotline – a phone number you can call to get anwers quicky
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  • Extensive library – sample letters, sample forms, checklists, and cheatsheets
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Income Required For K1 Visa Affidavit of Support?

Okay, let’s talk about money. I know, I know it’s uncomfortable and tasteless to talk about how much you make but it’s necessary.

USCIS has set guidelines each year on the minimum income required by the U.S. sponsor based on their household size. This is to protect the U.S. government and the beneficiary.

We don’t want you to come to the U.S. on a K1 visa and immediately become homeless and hungry, right?

K1 visa income requirement

As you can see from the above chart, the income requirement is based on how many people are in your household.

This means that when looking for a joint sponsor for I-134 the more people that live with you, the more income you have to make.

Case Example:

Daniel sponsored his fiancee Chloe after a year of dating long distance. They quickly got approved for their I-129F petition but when it came to completing the I-134, they were confused.

Daniel has 2 kids that don’t live with him but he claims them on his tax return. He isn’t sure whether he should include them on the I-134 affidavit of support. He currently makes $36k  so if he did include them, he would still meet the income requirement.

The case above illustrates that Daniel should definitely include his children when calculating household size.

This is because he claims them as dependents on his tax returns.

But, if they were grown and were no longer dependent on him, he can exclude them.

So, Daniel’s household size would be 4 and he must make the minimum income required based on this household size.

I-134 affidavit of support form

Learn how to fill out form I-134 step-by-step with screenshots.

Can I Use A Joint Sponsor For The K1 Visa?

Yes, most US embassies and consulates accept a joint sponsor for the I-134 affidavit of support.

Now that I’ve said that, I will warn you that ultimately, it’s up to the consular officer to accept your joint sponsor.

If they don’t, you will need to show that you have enough income and/or assets to meet the minimum requirement yourself.

This can be very difficult for U.S. petitioners that are on fixed incomes such as retirees, students and the unemployed.

The example below is from a couple who were denied the K1 visa at the US consulate in Italy.

joint sponsor denied

Another thing to consider is that the K1 visa affidavit of support only requires that the petitioner meet 100% of the poverty guideline.

Thankfully, this makes it a little easier to meet the requirement.

However, when the K1 visa holder gets ready to adjust status in the U.S., you’ll be required to fill out the I-864 affidavit.

The difference between the I-134 affidavit of support and I864 is the amount of income needed and how long the forms are.

The I-864 requires that the U.S. sponsor meets 125% of the poverty guidelines.

I’ve seen consulate officers require some K1 visa applicants to show that their sponsor meets the 125% threshold.

Case Example:

Ainslie sponsored her fiance Mathew from Canada. They complete d the I-134 together but because she is a student and only makes 12k, she is required to get a joint sponsor. Thankfully, Canada allows the use of joint sponsors she asked her parents if they can help out.

Ainslie will need to complete the I-134 and have her parents fill out an additional I-134 form. They will all need to provide at lease 1 year tax transcript (preferably 3 years) to prove their income.

In the case above, it’s likely that if Ainslie’s parents meet the income requirement for their household size plus Mathew, they should be approved.

If Mathew was applying from a consulate that didn’t accept a joint sponsor for the I-134 or Ainslie would need to increase her income to meet the income requirement alone.

Can I Be Sued In Court Based On The I-134 Affidavit of Support?

The simple answer is no.

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

However, you will likely need to file Form I-864 affidavit of support when adjusting status and this is legally binding!

Is I-134 legally binding?

Source: https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-12693/0-0-0-13496.html

But, let’s say that the K1 visa holder adjusts status and the petitioner files the I-864 affidavit of support…

Then the scenario gets a bit more tricky.

There have been a number of cases taken to court of financial support based on the I-864. Below is just one example.

example of lawsuit using I-864

Summary: K1 Visa Affidavit of Support

As you can see, completing the I-134 affidavit of support can be a bit tricky.

If the petitioner’s income doesn’t meet the income requirement, you have several options:

  • Get a second job to supplement your income
  • Use assets such as savings, bonds, rental real estate, and investments to cover the shortfall
  • Find a joint sponsor that meets the income requirement for their household size + the beneficiary

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict which consulate will accept a joint sponsor.

It’s best that you are prepared with a second option just in case.

Using assets is a little bit more complicated than a 1-to-1 conversion ratio.

It’s actually 1-to-5 conversion which means that you have to have 5 times the asset value of the income shortfall.

You may also want to look at using the assets of the beneficiary as well.

As long as they are liquid and easily convertible to cash, you should be able to include these.

Double-check with your specific consulate in case they have their own rules on this.

Ultimately, the U.S. sponsor must show that they can financially support the beneficiary.

The more income you can show, the better!

If your income is just barely above the poverty guideline, you could risk being denied by the consular officer.

Review the three options mentioned above and choose what works best for you.

Join the #1 online community for couples applying for K1 fiance visa (I-129F) and CR1 spouse visa (I-130) applicants. The Migrant Academy is an exclusive online community for long-distance couples.

Join Now And Get Access To:Migrant Academy membership

  • Incredibly in-depth K1 & CR1 online video courses
  • Visa case tracker – software that provides estimated approval date
  • Member Hotline – a phone number you can call to get anwers quicky
  • Live webinars – quick live training on common problems that can come up
  • Extensive library – sample letters, sample forms, checklists, and cheatsheets
  • Amazing community – make life-long friends with other international couples

Learn more at MIGRANTACADEMY.COM

Author: Ayan

Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community and the My Path To Citizenship Podcast. She has successfully helped hundreds of couples and families achieve their goal of visa and green card approval. U.S immigration can be difficult and confusing, Ayan simplifies the process so that you feel confident and reassured.

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