Using Joint Sponsor For I-134 Affidavit of Support
When it comes to getting a nonimmigrant visa such as the K1 visa, you’ll need a financial sponsor. But what if the sponsor doesn’t make enough income? Well, thankfully you can use a joint sponsor for 1-34 affidavit of support.
The I-134 affidavit of support isn’t only used for the K1 visa. It’s actually meant to prove financial support for nonimmigrant visas instead of the I-864 which is used for immigrant visas and green card applications.
But, I’ll be focusing on the K1 visa in this post.
Let’s figure out if you even need to use a joint sponsor for I-134 or if the sponsor makes enough money to file the I-134 affidavit for support alone.
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 parents 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 on the K1 visa application so this will not cause any problems for them.
How Much Income Is Required For I-134 Affidavit?
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?
Below are the income requirements for the K1 visa
(and all other nonimmigrant visas using the I-134)
|Household Size||100% Poverty Guideline
|125% Poverty Guideline
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.
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 at least $24,600 to qualify as a sponsor for I-134 affidavit of support.
Learn how to fill out form I-134 step-by-step with screenshots.
Can I Use A Joint Sponsor For The K1 Visa?
Using a joint sponsor for I-134 is generally allowed by most consulates for those applying for a K1 visa or other nonimmigrant visa. But, I will say that it depends on the consulate you are applying from.
Some do not accept joint sponsor for I-134 and the petitioner must meet the income requirement alone.
This is the case for the Philippines. Anyone applying for the K1 visa from Manila will need to show that the petitioner can sponsor the beneficiary with only their income.
It can be very difficult for U.S. petitioners that are on fixed incomes such as retirees, students and the unemployed.
Another thing to consider is that the I-134 affidavit of support only requires that the petitioner meet 100% of the poverty guideline. But, when you get ready to adjust status in the U.S. after entering the country, you’ll be required to fill out the I-864 affidavit.
The difference between the I-134 and I864 is the amount of income needed and how long the forms are.
The I-864 will require that the U.S. sponsor meets 125% of the poverty guidelines and I’ve seen consulate officers require K1 visa applicants to show that their sponsor meets this too.
If possible, it’s best to show that you make 125% of the poverty guidelines even though it’s not required for the I-134 affidavit of support.
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 joint sponsor for the I-134 or Ainslie would need to increase her income to meet the income requirement alone.
Final Thoughts On Joint Sponsor For I-134 Affidavit
Okay boys and girls… We’ve talked about a taboo subject of making enough money to be able to bring your fiance to the U.S.
It’s likely that USCIS will be all up in your business for a long time until the K1 beneficiary becomes a U.S. citizen (at least 3-4 years from now. But, rest assured that your information is private outside of the government.
So, what can you do if you don’t make enough money to sponsor and can’t use a joint sponsor?
It’s good old fashioned hard-work. Your options are to make more money by getting another job, using savings int he bank or selling some assets.
You can learn more about using assets instead of income on the I-134 affidavit of support form.
Using assets is a little bit more complicated than a 1-to-1 conversion ratio. It’s actually 1-to-5 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 financial support the intending immigrant. 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 because of the risk of public charge finding. This is why you’ll need a joint sponsor for I-134 affidavit of support.
What this means is that the consular officer believes the beneficiary will use public welfare to get by and therefore not be allowed to enter the U.S. at all.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.