The Truth About the K-1 Visa

Are you trying to get a K-1 visa? The process is a bit more difficult if you are in the Philippines, but it isn’t impossible. Here’s how it all works.

What is a K-1 visa?

A K-1 visa may be more commonly known as the fiancé visa. If you are the partner of a US citizen and the two of you get engaged, the K1 visa allows you to enter the United States—just as long as you get married to your fiancé within 90 days of your entry into the country (otherwise you will have to leave the country again). After you are approved for a K-1, are admitted entry, and are married to your partner, you can apply for permanent residence (otherwise known as a green card) as a married spouse.

How does the process differ when you are from the Philippines?

If you are from the Philippines, you are still able to get a K-1 visa. In fact, the Philippines is the country that is most popular for K-1 visas. There is one important difference in eligibility requirements, though. If you are from the Philippines, you are not allowed a joint sponsor for a K-1 visa.

What does this mean for your application?

This means you will have to meet the income requirements for the K-1 visa on your own—without relying on the income of your soon-to-be spouse—before the US embassy or consulate will grant you a K-1 visa. The income requirements act as a safeguard to guarantee that you will be able to support yourself once you are in the country, and they require you to meet 100% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines. For an up-to-date and detailed breakdown of what that income requirement is for your specific situation, take a look at Form I-864P. For instance, as the table shows, as a household of two, you are required to have a current income (which includes your expected total income from all employment sources within the current year, including wages, tips, alimony, child support, capital gains, rental income, workers comp., disability, etc.) of $16,910. Some embassies will allow assets to be considered as income, but this is up to the discretion of the embassy.

Why does the Philippines not allow a joint sponsorship for your K-1 visa?

The rules regarding the K-1 visa vary based on which country you are applying from because each country or embassy has its own rules, governed at its own discretion. Out of over 180 countries, the Philippines is one of four or five that don’t accept joint sponsorship for the K-1 visa.

What are your options?

The plus side is that you have alternative options to the K-1 visa. The best alternative would be to get married and then apply for entry into the US using a CR1 visa. The Philippines does accept joint sponsorship for married couples who are applying for the CR1 visa. There have been rumored instances of individuals applying for a K-1 visa from the Philippines as joint sponsors, but there is no guarantee that this will be accepted, and if your application is rejected, you could face delays. If you are looking into the K-1 visa or the CR1 visa, visit Olvis immigration and travel first. We will help to ensure you meet eligibility criteria, make sure your paperwork is filled out correctly, and help prepare you for the government interviews and other requirements, so the process goes as smoothly as possible.

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