Question: I’m a U.S. citizen. My wife doesn’t have U.S. status. I’m preparing to apply for my wife’s green card. How much income do I need to apply for my spouse’s green card in 2021?
Answer: The minimum annual income you’ll need to apply for your spouse’s green card in 2021 depends on the number of people in your household. The specific income requirements are as follows:
|Petitioner’s Household Size||Minimum Annual Income|
|Add $5,675 for each additional person|
Who is included in a petitioner’s household for immigration purposes?
The petitioner’s household size includes the following people:
- The petitioner,
- The beneficiary who is applying for a green card,
- The petitioner’s spouse,
- Any children by birth, marriage, or adoption living in the petitioner’s residence,
- Anyone else claimed as a dependent on the petitioner’s tax return for the most recent year, regardless of whether they are related to the petitioner or have the same principal address as the petitioner, and
- Any other people in the United States whom the petitioner is supporting on a different Form I-864, if the obligation has not terminated.
Therefore, a petitioner with two minor children who is applying for his spouse’s green card would need enough income for a household of 4. Similarly, a petitioner who has helped his parents obtain green cards and now wants to apply for his spouse’s green card would need enough income for a household of 4.
What is a petitioner’s annual income for immigration purposes?
The petitioner’s “annual income” is the amount of total income you reported on line 9 of your 2020 Form 1040 U.S. Individual Tax Return. This income can include wages and salaries, alimony, retirement benefits, dividends, personal injury benefits, and other earnings.
If the petitioner’s household income does not satisfy the income requirement, the petitioner can seek help from a joint sponsor whose income satisfies the above requirements. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder residing in the United States. The sponsor and co-sponsor cannot combine their income to fulfill the requirement.
Instead of locating a joint sponsor, the petitioner could also consider using assets to supplement his income.
ImmiFree.Law is The Harrison Law Firm P.C.’s online platform to make the family immigration and naturalization process more efficient, accurate, and affordable. Baya Harrison, Esq. is an attorney licensed in New York, Florida, and California. Attorney Harrison has helped numerous individuals and families navigate the U.S. immigration process, specifically family-based petitions and naturalization.