Sponsor a Fiancé to Come to the United States for Marriage

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Newly engaged couple holding hands as US petitioner prepares to sponsor fiancé

There are different ways that a petitioner must sponsor a fiancé during the K-1 immigration process. They include the process of proving you have a qualifying relationship and also a financial sponsorship for the fiancé. Assuming the future spouse will stay in the United States and apply for permanent residence, there’s an additional financial sponsorship for the green card application.

Petitioning a Fiancé for a K-1 Visa

Initially, the U.S. citizen who wants to bring a foreign national fiancé to the United States must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition establishes that there is a legitimate relationship between a U.S. citizen and foreign national who plan to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s entry to the United States. The fiancé enters on a K-1 visa and has the option to adjust status to permanent resident (green card holder) after getting married.

Once USCIS approves the petition, they transition the case to the U.S. Department of State. Immigration officials within the State Department's National Visa Center look for reassurances that the potential visa holder will not be dependent on U.S. government for financial support. Many K-1 visa applicants may need to the assistance of the U.S. fiancé to submit Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support.

Financial Sponsor: I-134 Declaration of Financial Support

A qualified I-134 sponsor must have an income that meets or exceeds 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. If the U.S. petitioner doesn’t have an income sufficient to overcome the I-134 income requirements, they may be able to use property and assets to make up the difference. However, it’s generally best to find an alternate sponsor. It’s a smoother process. Plus, the intending immigrant will need a strong sponsor when applying for a green card later in the process.

Do you need help calculating your household size and income qualifications for the I-134 declaration? CitizenPath provides do-it-yourself services to prepare the declaration and confirm your eligibility. You can determine your qualifications before you even pay for the service. Try it now >>

Income Requirements to Sponsor a Fiancé for the K-1 Visa

The person who signs Form I-134 is responsible for re-paying the government if the K-1 visa holder ever applies for public assistance. In reality, the need for enforcement is extraordinarily unusual. The obligation is a limited in duration, is unlikely to occur, and is very hard to enforce.

Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, is often referred to as an “unenforceable” document by many lawyers because:

  • Non-immigrant visitors to the U.S. are not even eligible for the vast majority of government-sponsored public assistance;
  • The time frame for sponsorship is generally very short. Sponsorship ends once the visitor departs the U.S.; and
  • Most government agencies do not have the time or resources to enforce the terms of an I-134 declaration.

Provided that the K-1 non-immigrant has not used government-sponsored public assistance, your I-134 obligations end once the non-immigrant departs the United States or a similar document (Form I-864) replaces it in the green card application process.

Supporting Documents

Generally, to sponsor a fiancé with a declaration of financial support, the U.S. sponsor must submit supporting documents with the Form I-134. They may include but are not limited to:

  • Evidence of status in the United States
  • Federal income tax return
  • Proof of current income

For a complete listing for your situation, use CitizenPath to prepare your Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support. The online immigration service is an affordable way to prepare correctly. In addition to your prepared form, CitizenPath provides you with a set of personalized filing instructions. Our filing instructions are customized to your answers in the declaration so you know what to do for your specific situation. The filing instructions provide detailed directions on supporting documents, how to organize your form, and where to mail it. Try it now >>

About CitizenPath

CitizenPath provides simple, affordable, step-by-step guidance through USCIS immigration applications. Individuals, attorneys and non-profits use the service on desktop or mobile device to prepare immigration forms accurately, avoiding costly delays. CitizenPath allows users to try the service for free and provides a 100% money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve the application or petition. We provide support for the K-1 Visa Petition Package (Form I-129F), Nonimmigrant Support Package (Form I-134), Adjustment of Status Package (Form I-485),and several other immigration services.

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