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Green Card Sponsor Income Requirements 2024

How to meet the U.S. government’s financial sponsorship requirements

Green Card Income Requirements 2023

2024 Income Requirements for Green Card Sponsors

When applying for a marriage-based green card — either the spouse visa process (CR-1/IR-1) or through adjustment of status, the sponsoring partner is responsible for the incoming immigrant’s financial stability. The most common minimum annual income required to sponsor a spouse or family member for a green card is $25,550. This assumes that the sponsor — the U.S. citizen or current green card holder — is not on active military duty and is sponsoring only one relative.

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Minimum Income Requirements

For a relative to qualify for a green card, the sponsor must accept financial responsibility for the foreign spouse. Applicants need to plan to provide information from their most recent tax returns, as well as their current income. For marriage green cards, the minimum income requirements are the same for couples who both live outside of the United States, so these couples should follow the guidelines below for the 48 contiguous states, D.C., and U.S. territories.

Boundless Tip

Boundless independent immigration attorneys have noted increased scrutiny for Form I-864, which has resulted in a higher volume of RFE’s. For the best chance of success, applicants should get documents ready in advance, including a recently dated employment letter and completed federal tax returns, inclusive of all W-2/1099 forms. Including pay stubs can bolster applications too.

For more information about the sponsor’s financial obligation, check out our guide to the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

2024 Minimum Annual Income Requirements for Most Sponsors: 125% of Federal Poverty Guidelines

Number of people in your household (including yourself and your spouse)*For sponsors in the 48 contiguous states, D.C., and U.S. territoriesFor sponsors in AlaskaFor sponsors in Hawaii
3$32,275$40,338 $37,113
For each additional person, add:$6,725$8,413$7,738

2024 Minimum Annual Income Requirements for Military Sponsors: 100% of Federal Poverty Guidelines

Number of people in your household (including yourself and your spouse)*For sponsors in the 48 contiguous states, D.C., and U.S. territoriesFor sponsors in AlaskaFor sponsors in Hawaii
For each additional person, add:$5,380$6,730$6,190

Tables last updated March 1, 2024. Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

*To calculate the number of people in your household, you must include:

  • Yourself (sponsor)
  • Your spouse or relative (green card applicant)
  • Any unmarried children under age 21 (or the age of majority where they live)
  • Anyone else you claim as a dependent on your tax return
  • Anyone who will be applying for a green card and arriving to the United States with your spouse
  • Anyone else you are sponsoring on a separate Affidavit of Support

Have questions on how to calculate your household size or meet your specific income requirement? Boundless can help. Get started today!

Financial Requirements in Depth

What sources of income can I include?

In general, your annual income as a sponsor is the same figure you reported on your U.S. federal (not state) income tax return for the most recent tax filing year. As of the 2023 tax filing year, this figure is your “Total Income” listed on line 9 of IRS Form 1040. Your total annual income can include wages and salaries, retirement benefits, alimony, child support, dividends or interest earned, and income from other legal sources.

Boundless Tip

To meet USCIS income requirements, emphasis is placed on both past and projected income. The primary basis for the requirement is the total income declared in the 2023 tax return. However, to better represent current financial standing, applicants are advised to also submit up-to-date pay stubs and evidence of the present salary rate. A common pitfall, leading to a Request for Evidence (RFE) on Form I-864, is when applicants only submit the most recent tax year’s documents. To strengthen the application, include current paystubs and, if possible, a letter from the current employer.

Can I include income from other members of my household?

If you, the sponsor, do not meet the minimum annual income requirement alone, you can also include income from other adult household members, including your siblings, parents, and children. You can only include their income, however, as long as they are willing to make this income available to help support the relative seeking a green card. The other household member will need to complete a special form called the I-864A (officially called the “Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member”) to establish this financial commitment.

Can I include income from other people outside my household?

If the sponsor’s entire household does not meet the minimum annual income requirement together, there is another option:

The sponsor can ask for the help of a secondary co-sponsor — commonly known as a “joint sponsor” — a person who does not live in the sponsor’s household and is willing to accept full financial responsibility for the relative seeking the green card. The co-sponsor must submit their own Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and must meet the above income requirements all on their own. In other words, the sponsor cannot combine their income or assets with those of the co-sponsor. For instance, if the sponsor and their household are required to have a combined $25,550 in annual income, then the co-sponsor (and their household) must separately have at least $25,550 of their own annual income.

Although the co-sponsor doesn’t have to be a family member, they must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder residing in the United States. Boundless has helped thousands of families who have utilized co-sponsors. Learn more about what Boundless can do to help.

Can I include income from the relative seeking the green card?

The relative seeking the green card may also use their own income to meet the financial requirements, but only as long as this income will continue from the same source after the green card is obtained.

Will my foreign income count?

For sponsors living outside the United States, foreign income will not count towards the minimum requirements. Foreign assets will not be accepted as evidence of financial resources either.

What if my income still isn’t high enough? Can I count my assets?

If your combined household income still does not meet the minimum annual income requirement, you can use your assets as a substitute for income. You may also count your other household members’ assets as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • They’re related to you by birth, marriage, or adoption.
  • They either were listed as dependents on your most recent tax return or lived with you for the past six months.

How much of my assets do I need to include?

Here’s how to figure out how much of your assets you’ll need to include on the Affidavit of Support as a substitute for income:

  • Find the minimum annual income required for your household size in the tables above.
  • Subtract your actual combined household income from your minimum required income.
  • Multiply the difference by 3 (if the sponsor is a U.S. citizen) or by 5 (if the sponsor is a green card holder). The result is the total value of your household’s assets that you’ll need to demonstrate in order to meet the financial requirements.

Let’s see how this works using a practical example. Say that you’re a household of three people living in Minnesota, with a U.S.-citizen sponsor and a total combined household income of $20,000 per year. According to the first table above, 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size is $32,275 per year.

Now, let’s do the math:

Steps 1 & 2

$32,275 (min. income for a household of three) – $20,000 (your actual household income) = $12,275 (shortfall)

Step 3

$12,275 (shortfall) x 3 (for a U.S.-citizen sponsor) = $36,825 (minimum value of assets you need to include)

In this example, your household would need to show at least $36,825 in assets to qualify your relative for a green card.

What kinds of assets can I include?

In general, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires assets that “can be converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner.” These can include savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), mutual fund investments, individual stocks and bonds, and the like. You will need to describe the assets, prove you own them, and indicate their cost (for the portion you own).

You can also include the net value of your home, which is the appraised value minus all mortgages and other amounts you still have to pay back on the home:

Appraisal Value of Home – All Mortgages – All Other Outstanding Debts on Home = Net Value of Home

Finally, you can include the net value of a car, which is its market value minus any loans you owe (but only if you have another car that you’re not including as an asset):

Market Value of Second Vehicle – All Outstanding Auto Loans = Net Value of Second Vehicle

For more information, see the USCIS version of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (Form I-864P) as well as the USCIS instructions for the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

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