A sponsor spouse is the spouse or fiancé of an applicant for legal permanent residence in the United States. The immigrant spouse or fiancé may be residing in the U.S. on a visa, or may still reside outside the U.S. The sponsor spouse or fiancé must be a U.S. citizen or be a permanent resident (hold a Green Card), in addition to other requirements.

What Are the Income Requirements for a Sponsor Spouse?

The sponsor spouse must meet the minimum income requirement set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The sponsor spouse or fiancé will fill out an Affidavit of Support on Form I-864 to verify that they will have adequate financial support for themselves and their family.

The minimum income requirement reflects 125% of the federal poverty line, which is the minimum income necessary to support a person without reliance on public assistance. USCIS publishes the minimum requirements on Form I-864P each year.

What If I Do Not Meet the Minimum Income Requirement?

If the sponsor spouse does not meet the minimum income requirement, and the immigrant spouse is employed, you may be able to claim both incomes, but you will need to consult an immigration attorney on how to do this. If the sponsor is attempting to bring multiple family members to the U.S. but does not meet the minimum income requirement, one solution is to bring only one family member at a time. By doing this, family members present in the U.S. can work and add their income to the household income total.

Should I Speak with an Attorney?

Immigration forms and requirements can be complicated as a number of forms and types of documentation are required. If you are applying to bring your spouse or fiancé to the United States, you should consult an immigration attorney. An attorney can help evaluate your case and assist you in bringing your spouse or fiancé to the U.S. in a legal and timely manner.