For people seeking to reunite with family members or start a new life in the United States, understanding the financial aspects of the immigration process is crucial. One vital element of this journey is the income requirement, which measures financial stability and support for incoming immigrants. In this article, we will explore the income requirement for U.S. immigrant visas based on information from official U.S. government websites.

Why is There an Income Requirement?

The income requirement, commonly associated with the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), plays a fundamental role in the immigration process. It is designed to ensure that incoming immigrants have adequate financial support and will not become a public burden upon their arrival in the United States. The U.S. government aims to minimize the potential strain on public resources by demonstrating the sponsor's financial stability.

Who Needs to Meet the Income Requirement?

The income requirement applies primarily to family-based immigrant visa applicants and certain employment-based applicants. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (green card holders) who sponsor family members or fiancé(e)s are typically required to meet this requirement.

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)

The basis for the income requirement is the Affidavit of Support, a legally binding contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government. By signing this form, the sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the incoming immigrant, ensuring they access essential resources such as food, housing, and medical care.

Income Thresholds

The specific income thresholds vary depending on the immigrant's family size and the sponsor's household. The U.S. government publishes annual guidelines, and the sponsor must meet or exceed the required income for their household size. These guidelines consider the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Joint Sponsors

In cases where the sponsoring U.S. citizen or green card holder does not meet the income requirements, joint sponsors can provide additional financial support. Joint sponsors must also submit their own Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and meet the required income threshold.

Acceptable Forms of Income

The sponsor's income can come from various sources, including:
Earned income, such as salary, wages, and self-employment income.
Unearned income, such as dividends, interest, and rental income.
Assets, such as savings, stocks, bonds, and property holdings.
The applicant must provide proof of the availability of these financial resources.

Exemptions and Alternative Evidence

In some cases, immigrants may be exempt from the income requirement, such as refugees, asylees, or certain victims of abuse. Additionally, alternative evidence of financial support may be accepted when the applicant cannot meet standard income thresholds.

Income Requirement Calculator

Calculate the income requirement for your specific type of visa by selecting your petition type below:

Select petition type:
Which state does the sponsor live in?
Total number of aliens being sponsored (including children)?
Total number of people in sponsor’s household?

This number includes the sponsor and all individuals currently living with the sponsor, and does not include the alien.

If you have sponsored any alien(s) in the past, you must include them in this number, even if they no longer reside in your household.

Is the US sponsor currently on active duty with the US Military and sponsoring a spouse or child?
is the minimum income requirement in the following situation.
Petition Type: {PETITION_TYPE}
Number of Alien(s) Being Sponsored: {NUMERICAL_VALUE}
Military: {military|non-military}
Sponsor's State: {STATE}
Household Size Before Petitioning: {NUMERICAL_VALUE}

If you do not meet this minimum, or you are close to it, you may be able to use a portion of certain assets, or a joint sponsor. Assets and self-employed income are always scrutinized more heavily than earned income from a traditional W2 job.

Not all U.S. embassies allow joint sponsors for all petition types. Contact us at 1-800-872-1458 if you have questions. Even if you meet or exceed the income requirement, there is no guarantee you will not receive an RFE (Request for Evidence) or be asked for a joint sponsor by the government. To find out more about the income requirements,  go here

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HHS poverty guidelines were last updated on March 1, 2023. This calculator uses numbers from the official government source.