If you are married and would like to bring your spouse to the United States, you will need to be a U.S. sponsor/petitioner. You will need to have U.S. residency yourself and maintain your principal residence within the country.
There are a few exceptions to that rule, but living in the U.S. is typically required before you can petition to bring your spouse to the country.
What financial issues will the government review?
There is a document called Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, which must be filled out before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider your spouse’s permanent residency. You don’t need to submit this with the Form I-129F petition but instead when your spouse is ready to adjust their permanent status. This form is an agreement signed that states that the U.S.-based spouse’s financial resources will be used to support the person they’d like to bring to the United States.
What are the income requirements to support a spouse coming to the United States?
To be able to sponsor your spouse, you will need to meet specific income requirements. You will need to show the USCIS that you:
- Have an income that is at least 125% of the U.S. poverty level or higher based on your current household size plus the immigrant(s) you want to sponsor
- Have an income equal to 100% of the U.S. poverty level for the household if you are in the Armed Forces
If you can’t meet these guidelines from your earned income alone, you can add additional value by considering what your assets are worth. For example, if you have $10,000 in stocks, those could be used to support the income requirement. You can also include additional income sources from within the household as long as those sources are from people who are related to you.
These are a few things to consider as you think about bringing your spouse to the country. You do need to have financial security to be able to support them and put them in a position to switch their visa to a permanent residency in the future.