Alternatives to Meeting the Visa Income Requirement

22 Apr 2015

In order to sponsor an alien for a non-immigrant visa, an immigrant visa, or a green card through marriage, you will need to meet certain income requirements. The government wants to make sure the alien doesn’t have a high likelihood of becoming a ward of the state. The income amount determined is based on several factors but the most important one is that you meet a certain percentage of the poverty line – 100% or 125%, depending on which petition you are filing. However, there are two alternatives that will help you meet the requirement that don’t depend on your income. Assets or joint sponsors.


Non-Immigrant (K-1) Sponsor’s Income Requirement

If you are sponsoring an alien on a non-immigrant visa like a K-1 or K-2, you’ll need to meet 100% of the poverty guidelines for the Affidavit of Support for Form I-134. This amount changes depending on which state you live in, how many aliens you are sponsoring, and how many are in your household.

Keep in mind, when you go to adjust status and apply for a green card, you’ll need to meet 125% of the poverty guidelines.

We’ve built a handy visa income requirement calculator to quickly determine how much you should earn to qualify.

Immigrant (CR-1/AOS) Sponsor’s Income Requirement

If you are sponsoring a spouse or other alien for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status through marriage, you will need to meet 125% of the poverty guideline when filling out the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864. Again, check our visa income requirement calculator for an exact income amount you’ll need to meet.

Using Assets In Lieu of Income

If your income doesn’t match up, but have enough assets, you may be able to use them to qualify. If qualified assets total up to at least three times your income requirement, you may qualify. For example, if your income requirement is $20,000, you will need $60,000 in verifiable assets to use them in place of income.


Do you have equity in your house? It may qualify as an asset.

What kinds of assets can I use?

Real Estate

If you have equity in your house or own it outright and it’s in the US, you can use it if you have a deed and or loan payoff amount along with an appraisal. If you owe money on your house, the loan balance would be deducted from the appraisal amount to determine the asset’s value.


You can use your vehicle if you have at least two vehicles. You cannot use your primary vehicle. To use a vehicle, you’ll need the title (of at least two, although only one will be used) and KBB value.

Cash in the Bank

If you have cash in the bank, and the account is in the USA, you can use it as an asset.

Stocks/Bonds/Retirement Accounts

Stocks, IRAs or 401k accounts, bonds and other investments that are in the USA can be used. You will need statements showing the value and ownership.

Life Insurance

If you have a life insurance policy with a cash surrender value, you may use it as an asset.

Musical Instruments/Jewelry/Miscellany

You will need receipts proving you purchased the asset, and an appraisal proving its value.


Using a Joint Sponsor

If you have a friend or family member who is willing to be held jointly responsible for the intended immigrant(s) you are sponsoring, you may use them as a joint sponsor if:

They are domiciled in the United States

They are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident

They meet 125% of the poverty guideline regardless of active duty

They meet the entire income requirement on their own (Cannot combine multiple joint sponsors to meet poverty level)

They are 18 or older

Related Resources:

Alternatives to Meeting the Visa Income Requirement

Affidavit of Support F.A.Q.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

41 Thoughts on “Alternatives to Meeting the Visa Income Requirement

  1. hola Rapidvisa:gracias me gusta la forma en que trabajan son muy eficientes pido disculpa por cualquir inconveniente que halla causado en cuanto a los documentos si tengo que enviar algun documento mas o firmarlo por favor,enviarme email gracias.

  2. Linda horton says:

    My husband is in Serbia he is a refugee there he has lost his Nigerian passport but it did not have a stamp or a visa it is blank is there anyway I can get him out of there

  3. Bryan Breaux says:

    I live in the US but want to marry a woman from Vietnam. How do i get her and child to the US. I want to go to Vietnam myself but do not have a passport or visa.

    • RapidVisa Staff says:


      You will need to get a passport and go meet her. Once meeting you’d qualify for the K1 Fiance visa, which you can petition for her and her child to get K visas to the USA. It’s a pretty long road ahead but we’re here to help. If you need to chat about your specific case, you can do so on our site or call us up.

  4. Jim Teare says:

    I have a friend that wants to visit me in the USA from Russia on a tourist visa. She has recently lost her job. Does the USA require proof of solvency in order for her to obtain a visa. Apparently, the embassy has this requirement and has a HOLD on the visa until proof of solvency can be provided. Is this correct?

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      Jim, it is highly unlikely she would be approved for a tourist visa. But since the filing fee is only $165 many people roll the dice. In order to be approved, she’d need to prove she has strong ties to her home country such as a job or a family (kids). As for the technical requirements, see, but in our experience these just don’t get approved.

  5. My fiance and I have a daughter together. He is in Nepal. I need him to come home for our daughter and my health. Can I get the best advice please and thank you.

  6. Julie lopez says:

    I want to know all the steps needed to get my fiance a visa so we can be married I’m applied for him is in English and is easier for me to read yet I Dont understand it . please email me all the steps to take I want to be with him asap . marry and its very hard not having him with me I want to know what to do. Please help. Thank you .

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      Julie, all you need to do is fill out the questionnaire at and once it’s 100% completed, you can pay and it will generate your entire petition along with a checklist of items to include. You can view the questionnaire in English or Spanish, and we have English and Spanish phone support as well. If you get stuck, call us at 719-208-7033 7 days a week.

  7. Sophia Patino says:

    Hi, I’m planning on getting married with a man I met in Cuba through a fiancee visa. I am 19 years old and so is he. We spoke for the first time a couple years ago on the phone through my aunt. I met him for the first time four months ago. I believe he is the man of my life and I love him although the short amount of time might not show that. I need to know if the amount of time we met up until now suffices for legitimate proof of a bona fide relationship. I also live with my mother since I am only 19 years old. I have two jobs both part time, so I don’t think that would meet the income requirements for a fiancee visa. How can I use my mother as a joint sponsor. I was informed that as of 2014 she was earning about 26,000 a year. She currently takes care of 3 children (including me) and is a single mother. Thank you and I look foward to your reply

  8. Sam says:

    The answer on chat was not very assuring so I will ask this again, here.

    What I have in the US is a virtual mailing address that I can control over the internet.
    Me and my Fiance have been living together in her country, the Philippines over a year now.

    Can a K1 Fiance visa be started while I, the male sponsor, live in the Philippines with my gf now? When should I go back to the US?

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      With our service, you can file from anywhere in the world. All paperwork will be mailed to the USCIS. There is no need to go back to the U.S. However, you must have a U.S. domicile (U.S. address) for the Affidavit of Support. You should call our Manila office.

  9. K E says:


    I dated my palastinian fiancée who’s a refugee in Syria for 4 month virtually, then we decided to meet in person in Lebanon, but she couldn’t secure a visa to Lebanon so we decided to meet between the two countries and we did.
    It was an adventurous day, but we had fun taking lots of pictures in the middle of the desert and finally I proposed and give her engagement ring. Now that I’m back home I would like to bring her to the states asap to get married. She has a 10 years old daughter whom I would like to raise.
    What’s next?

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      As long as you meet the fiance visa requirements, you can get started for free on our site by clicking “Create My Free Account” and begin answering the questionnaire. You won’t need to pay until you’re ready to actually file.

  10. Larry more says:

    Hi,I have a united states citizen woman as a fiancee and she intend to come to Nigeria to pay me a visit before petitioning for me on k1 visa to come over and get married but what is giving me headache is she has 3 daughters but the last 2 are under the age of 21 and if she uses the income of her daughter and hers,the total amount will be 17000$,although they are living with their father and he is the one carrying their responsibilities and they live with him…….Sir/ma,can she still petition for me?
    Please i need your response ASAP

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      Larry, she or her co-sponsor would need to meet the income requirement. You can find that info here:

      It sounds like they wouldn’t meet it. Furthermore, there are a lot of denials for K1 visas from that region of the world, moreso than any other region and you might lose all your application money in vein by applying. Give us a call to see if there’s anything we can do to help.

  11. A S says:

    Hi. I live in the USA and am planing on getting married to my boyfriend in Ghana next year January. And I want to file for him to come to USA after the marriage. But the problem is I have not been working in years and I just did a part time job couple of months ago. I only worked for some few months and I am not working again. So when I file for for my tax next year, it will only be of that few months of work I did. i have someone outside my household to support me of (Affidavit of Support). And also I live with a family of five including me. Am I still qualify to apply for my boyfriend after the marriage ?

    And also I have a criminal background (shoplifting) case which am in the process of cleaning it off my record with a lawyer assisting me.. Am I still qualify to file for my soon to be husband after everything is clear off from my file ?

    • RapidVisa Staff says:

      It sounds like a pretty difficult set of circumstances, the likes of which we probably have never had approved, but call us for a free conversation about the process.

  12. JL says:


    I am from the UK and my gf is from San Franciso. We are looking to move to Seattle. She has visited me here in the UK twice this year and I am looking to go USA in Feb next year. I earn £14,000 a year before tax but I own a home here in UK, which is all paid for. Do I have a strong case to move over there? Also, how long does the whole process take, once sending off the forms?



  13. Henry says:

    Hi, I have a lover and we have been together 6 years now.
    For the pass 6 years she have been spending lots of time with me in the US. Well lets say she spends 9 month here and 3 months in her country. At the moment she is in the US with me ,I would like to marry her and file for a green card for her but I am a retiree, how do I go about this ?
    Thank You

  14. Jack says:


    What is the alternative to a K1 Visa?

    For instance if you were to get married in America whilst on a ESTA Visa Waiver (Tourist visa) and then file the immigration papers?

  15. Hi, i have fiance in US (texas) still we didn’t met we communicate only by skype everyday we plan to apply k1 but the problem is he has a creminal background but that is longtime ago its 40 _30 yrs from now but he has a good work now my problem is we dont know if they will approved the visa

  16. Douglas says:

    I have a fiancee in Phillipines. She has two children who are very young. She wants to come here and leave children with family. I only meet the 125% poverty guidelines for her and me. Is there anyway I can get approved. I dont have assets that meet the 3 times my income. I have only 5 thousand in assets.

  17. Joy says:

    So, my husband is an american and a civilian ( DOD), and working in the military base, South Korea.
    We get married in the South Korea, and I will apply the CR-1 visa to go back to the USA with my husband.
    How much income has to be record with him( at least) ? We don`t have any children.

  18. John says:

    I want to apply to have my fiancée who has three kids come to the united states, but I am not currently working. Could my aunt act as a sponsor? She is married and has a 7-year-old daughter.

  19. Kim says:

    If my income has changed, currently collecting unemployment from state exceeds income requirements but not sure if I can still be sponsee for husband. Please advise

  20. Boateng says:

    We are dating and my soon to be wife is a us citizen..She’s about to fly to me in AFRICA for our marriage.We are confused about the amount of money needed to meet the financial requirement estimated to be 36,000usd.She does not have that amount ,I write to seek clarity as to how best we can get over this problem since no family member or friend has such amount to step in as joint sponsor.Am hoping to get feed back soon.Thank you.

  21. David says:

    There seems to be a problem with the Visa income requirement calculator. If I type in some large value for cash, way more than 3 times the requirement (for example), it still tells me I do not qualify monetarily for the Visa, which is wrong. Also, the wording for assets states in lieu of income which means you can use one OR the other but NOT both, contradicts when they tell me on the phone when I call (which is you CAN use both). I am seeing several contradictions and errors with this company and I only started investigating them a short time already. When I ask them for clarification on the phone of what they mean (such as in the lieu case), they tell me that is part of their paid service only. My “comeback” was that their website is free to use so I am asking for clarification of the wording on a free site so why do I have to pay for that?

  22. Evelyn says:

    I’m very curious about a sponsorship of a k-1 visa.
    What if the sponsor lies on the forms and shows a previous divorce decree and is still married and responsible for a child under the age of 18 that he feels he doesn’t need to list.
    How close do you check on the sponsor?

  23. Mk says:

    So i am a US citizen and my fiance is in Ghana. I was was wondering if we get married in Ghana is there a better chance of him coming to the US and getting his green card. Or would it be the same as if we just started the K1 process.

  24. Lisa Tirko McKee says:

    My pakistani fiance lives in italy as a refugee from libya. What is the easiest and quickest way we can get him to the USA so we can marry and live in the usa?

  25. peter says:

    hi,i want to find out whether if i enter the U.S with a fiancee visa and get married with 90 days,will i be able to apply for school after getting married or do i have to wait for a the adjustment of status before i can be qualified to apply for studies? i will be glad to read from you.

  26. Brittney says:

    I am living at home with severe depression and anxiety. I cannot work but my boyfriend and I want to get married on a k1 visa so he can spend his life with me. Would my mother be able to meet the financial requirements for me as a joint sponsor.

  27. Don says:

    Hi i’m Don,
    My fiancee and i just met in dating site last November 2018, and last December 2018 i visited her and met her in person. then by January 2019 i decided to file a K1 visa for her.

    are we going to be in trouble for filing her a k1 visa since we are not have know each other for 1 year?

  28. Brian c says:

    If I get my fiance here on a k1 visa. then my income is too small to convert to the next step. She will have a good job waiting for her. Can I use rental income as part of my income? What If she pays me rent from her salary (My son can give her a good job I am disabled)

  29. If I get my fiance here on a k1 visa. then my income is too small to convert to the next step. She will have a good job waiting for her. Can I use rental income as part of my income? What If she pays me rent from her salary (My son can give her a good job I am disabled)

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