Archive for the ‘K-1 Fiance Visa’ Category

Income Requirements for Fiancé (K1) and Spousal (CR1) Visas

Posted on: February 27th, 2017 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

cost of the k1 process can be highWhether you are looking to sponsor a fiance (K1) or spousal visa (CR1), keep in mind that specific visa income requirements are required by the USCIS. These financial requisites are in place to ensure that the sponsored foreign national does not become a “public charge” – that is, to make sure that they are not financially abandoned and left to the welfare of the state and/or federal government.

Sponsor income requirements are based on the latest federal poverty guidelines published by the US Department of Health and Human Services.  For K-1 fiance visas, the sponsor’s income must be at least 100% of that guideline; for CR1 spousal visas, that requirement increases to 125%. Keep in mind that  in addition to what type of visa you are applying for the state you live in and the number of dependents in your household also contribute to specific amount required.

RapidVisa offers a free Income Requirement Calculator to help you determine if you meet the monetary requirements. We’ve also compiled the most recent tables (current as of 2017) which you can find at the bottom of this article.

Stable, US-Based Income

The USCIS mandates that declared income must be both US-based and stable:
US Income: The reported income must be US-based, with some exceptions being made for military or government personnel based overseas. Proof of income is presented through the last three years US tax returns (gross income), pay stubs displaying “year to date” summaries and a letter from the current employer noting position, date of employment and annual salary rate.

Stable Income:  “Stability” plays a major role in the USCIS decision process. Income derived from active employment, Veteran Administration benefits, retirement pensions and Social Security are all stable forms of income, but income gained from unemployment is not. If the sponsor’s income is determined to not be “stable” by the USCIS, there is a good chance that the visa request will be denied.

Utilizing Assets

House

Do you have a paid-off house? It may qualify as an asset.

For spousal visas or those seeking to adjust status (green card), cash or assets which are readily liquidated can be applied towards the income requirement. Typically, the assets must be worth at least three times the amount required from the poverty guideline. That is, if you are required to earn $30,000 per year, you may be able to utilize $90,000 in assets to meet that criteria. Cash, certificates of deposit, stocks, mutual funds, life insurance policies and home ownership/equity are all examples of readily liquidated assets.

Specific Challenges

Self Employed

Sponsors who work for themselves face additional income requirements. Since they are not on a “traditional” career path (and usually can’t get a letter from their employer), those who are self employed must show bank account records going back at least six months and copies of their IRS 1099 forms. This is on top of the requirements for conventionally employed sponsors to provide US tax returns. For those with their own businesses, a commercial rating concern report from Dun and Bradstreet can also be utilized.

Expatriates and Domicile

Another challenge at this stage of the visa process also faces American sponsors who have lived outside of the US for an extended period of time. For those who are self-employed (common among this demographic), the US tax returns and bank account forms noted previously are still required as is proof of residency (domicile) in the United States. Best practice in this case is to have the sponsor return to the US and establish a residence. Proving domicile can be tricky, as according to US law, the sponsor must possess a primary address in the United States and show that they intend to permanently maintain it.

Income Requirements for Fiance (K1) and Spousal (CR1) Visas

As noted previously, the annual gross income of K-1 fiance visa sponsors must be equal to or greater than 100% of the federal poverty guideline. For individuals seeking to secure CR1 spousal visas or adjust their status to lawful permanent residency (green card), that threshold increases to 125%.  Also note that living in Hawaii or Alaska increases the threshold over and above those required for sponsors in the contiguous 48 states.

Contiguous US

(including Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and Mariana Islands)

Household Size

K1 Fiancé Visa

CR1 Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status

2 $16,240 $20,300
3 $20,420 $25,525
4 $24,600 $30,750
5 $28,780 $35,975
6 $32,960 $41,200
7 $37,140 $46,425
8 $41,320 $51,650
Per Additional +$4,180 +$5,225

Alaska Residents

Household Size

K1 Fiancé Visa

CR1 Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status

2 $20,290 $25,362
3 $25,520 $31,900
4 $30,750 $38,437
5 $35,980 $44,975
6 $41,210 $51,512
7 $46,440 $58,050
8 $51,670 $64,587
Per Additional +$5,230 +$6,537

Hawaii Residents

Household Size

K1 Fiancé Visa

CR1 Spousal Visa or Adjustment of Status

2 $18,670 $23,337
3 $23,480 $29,350
4 $28,290 $35,362
5 $33,100 $41,375
6 $37,910 $47,387
7 $42,720 $53,400
8 $47,530 $59,412
Per Additional +$4,810 +$6,012

Visa Memoirs Podcast #8 (3-31-16) Noelle & Ibrar

Posted on: March 31st, 2016 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

Originally from Pakistan, Ibrar was working in IT in Dubai. Noelle was working in government contracts and met Ibrar online. Noelle and her child traveled to Dubai during Christmas time and were culture shocked to see some Europeans riding camels in a Speedo. After spending quite a bit of time together, they decided to get hitched and start a life together in Texas. Listen to their story and their advice to couples going through the same process.

Visa Type: K1 Visa

Country: Pakistan

Would you like to be on the podcast? Please go here!

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Some of the music used in this episode is used under a Creative Commons license. Attribution to CC songs used:

J.Lang / CC BY 3.0

Visa Memoirs Podcast #7 (3-24-16) James & Aprilyn

Posted on: March 24th, 2016 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

James puts other guys to shame with his efforts to win over Aprilyn. Aprilyn came to Mississippi to settle with James on a K1 visa.

Visa Type: K1 Visa

Country: Philippines

Would you like to be on the podcast? Please go here!

James-&-Aprilynuse unnamed

Music Credits : Mr. Wozzie by Robbero (c) 2015 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

spinningmerkaba / CC BY 3.0

Visa Memoirs Podcast #6 (3-17-16) Larry & Susana

Posted on: March 17th, 2016 by RapidVisa Staff 1 Comment

Larry and Susana met online and fell quickly in love. After Larry’s visits to Colombia, they decided to marry in the USA and used RapidVisa to petition for a K1 visa. They now are married and reside together in Pittsburgh.

Visa Type: K1 Visa

Country: Colombia

Would you like to be on the podcast? Please go here!

Larry & Susan

Some of the music used in this episode is used under a Creative Commons license. Attribution to CC song used:

spinningmerkaba / CC BY 3.0

Visa Memoirs Podcast #5 (3-10-16) José & Holly

Posted on: March 10th, 2016 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

José was a casanova who enjoyed Bachata dancing as an instructor at Punta Cana. Holly was a Chicago teacher on a Spring Break trip with her friends. Listen to their story of meeting, falling in unexpected love, and joining each other in the U.S. with the use of a K1 fiance visa.

Visa Type: K1 Visa

Country: Dominican Republic

Would you like to be on the podcast? Please go here!

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Some of the music used in this episode is used under a Creative Commons license. Attribution to CC songs used:

Alex / CC BY 3.0
Jeris / CC BY 3.0
djolliej / CC BY 3.0
stefsax / CC BY 2.5
spinningmerkaba / CC BY 3.0

Visa Memoirs Podcast #4 (3-3-16) Dustin & Michelle

Posted on: March 3rd, 2016 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

Singer and winner of the 2010 “Gensan Pop Idol”, a popular competition in General Santos, Philippines, Michelle Malabarbas met Dustin online while professionally singing in China. They quickly fell in love and filed for a K1 visa to be united in California.

Visa Type: K1 Visa

Country: Philippines

Would you like to be on the podcast? Please go here!
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Bringing a Fiance or Spouse to the USA [Infographic]

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

We’ve designed this helpful infographic which is a flow chart depicting the path to citizenship available to fiances and spouses of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. We hope it’s helpful in simplifying the overall big picture of what you can expect.

Bringing a Fiance or Spouse to the USA

Announcing RapidVisa Payment Plans

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff 2 Comments

Over the years our customers have, through feedback, helped us improve and build upon the services we offer. This one comes after countless requests from customers having a hard time gathering up the fees to begin the process of their visa. We’re pleased to announce we now offer a payment plan for the K1 visa, CR1 visa, IR5 visa and K3 visa.

A true payment plan, not layaway.

To our knowledge, none of our competitors offer anything like this. A few of them claim to have payment plans, but they are just on the service fees, not the USCIS fee. Also, they don’t allow you to file until the entire thing is paid off. That’s layaway.

Our plan includes everything you need to file your case, including the USCIS filing fee, and you can start the process after just one payment, including submitting your physical petition to us for manual review and assembly. We will actually send it off to the USCIS with the USCIS government fee after just the second payment.

No credit check, no interest, no bull.

How are we able to offer this? We have a lot of personal information on our customers, and the risk for someone going through this process to be a straight up theif is low. The catch – You sign an agreement, and we charge a simple installment fee for this convenience, but no interest will accrue. All you need to do is make 6 simple payments, which are automated credit card charges. That’s it. We want you to have no excuses to delay this process any longer.

Do you want to file for a K1 and have $163? Great, get going now.

To get the full details on the installment program, go here.

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a Fiancé Visa?

Posted on: July 13th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff 12 Comments

The K1 visa is valid for 90 days from the time the alien enters the U.S. That means, you’re expected to fulfill the visa’s purpose of getting married within this time frame. But, what if you don’t?

This is a common question we get that can add a lot of stress to anyone’s situation. There are a few different circumstances you might find yourself in this situation. You could have gotten married later than the 90 day fiance visa period, or you may have changed your mind about marriage altogether, and you’re now months past the visa expiration date.

So… What happens?

Man sitting on a bench contemplating

1. We got married, but it was more than 90 days after entering the US.

The good news is that you are most likely able to still adjust your status in this scenario, if it’s within a reasonable amount of time, because you did enter the U.S. legally.

The bad news is that if you go over 90 days without marrying (ie. 90 days and 1 hour), you’ll have to submit form I-130 along with your adjustment of status. This will cost you an extra $420 in the form of the USCIS filing fee.

In addition to these, you may also need a new medical exam, and will be scrutinized by a consular officer about why you didn’t marry in time.

Try to avoid these “procrastination fees” and get married within your visa period.

Tip: If the date of the ceremony is an issue, consider getting married in court and having a nice reception at a later date. There is no reason to miss the 90 day deadline.

2. We decided not to get married because we simply had a change of heart.

Fair enough. This is not as uncommon as you might think. Hopefully, you will know this before the expiration, and can depart before the visa expires. Unfortunately, the alien will need to return to their country. If you go more than six months beyond the visa expiration, you may be banned from re-entering the U.S. for three to ten years. So it’s best to leave as soon as you know you’re not getting married. Unlawful presence in the U.S. can have life-changing ramifications.

Flow chart:

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a K1 Visa?

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a K1 Visa?

Can I Petition for a Fiance if I Have a Criminal Record?

Posted on: June 11th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff 9 Comments

We often get asked this question and it’s certainly a good one to ask if you’ve fallen in love with an alien you intend to bring over to the US. There’s no single answer that can answer that question for everyone, so we’ll go into the basics of what is required by the government and how it might affect various situations.

When you’re answering the questionnaire our software uses to fill out the paperwork, you’ll notice questions asking if you’ve had any convictions or court martials for certain crimes. You must answer truthfully to be within the law. There is a chance that if you answer “yes” your petition could be denied. It all depends on the crime, and the USCIS agent reviewing your case. Certain crimes won’t make a difference, while others might make it nearly impossible to be approved.

The government’s position is to protect both you and the alien.

It may seem unfair to you, and depending on your circumstances, it may be. But try to think of it from the perspective of the agent. It’s their job to catch things like drug traffickers, human traffickers and other potential abusive or criminal situations from occurring.

The last thing an agent wants is to be the ‘guy’ who approved a petition for an alien who comes over only to be abused in some way by a violent predator.

Be honest and disclose what’s asked

If you have any violent criminal history such as sexual assault, domestic violence, or substance abuse, you must disclose full disclosure in your petition, including an explanation and court records.

Even if it’s “sealed”!

You may think your record has been cleared or your file sealed, but you must still disclose details of any such cases. You may be not only denied but have legal consequences if you aren’t honest up front.

TIP: Don’t hide these details from your fiance either! Chances are, your fiance will be notified by the USCIS and you don’t want to have that be the first time they hear about it.

Explain your side of things

Just because you got in a bar fight 20 years ago doesn’t mean you’re going to beat up your wife. Circumstances like this are common, and there’s an opportunity to give an explanation of what happened. Depending on the circumstances, you may lower your chances for denial.

If your crime is more serious or kind of indefensible, you may want to contact an attorney for advice.

fiance visa with a criminal record

International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)

IMBRA was signed into law in 2005 in an effort to prevent domestic violence against foreign fiances. IMBRA requires the fiance to be handed out a pamphlet on domestic violence. It also requires you, the US citizen petitioner, to disclose these types of convictions.

Note: If you met your fiance on an online dating site (which many of our customers do), you may need a written statement explaining that the site is a dating site, and not a marriage broker.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act, passed in 2006, also states that if you were involved in a sex crime that involved a child, you are immediately ineligible for petitioning for your fiance or spouse.

If you misrepresent yourself or hide any convictions, you will be “subject to a fine or imprisonment of not more than 1 year, or both, in addition to other possible penalties that may be imposed under federal or state law. ” -(Sections 833(d)(3)(C)), IMBRA.

Give us a call to discuss what your concerns are and we’ll do our best to help.

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