Bringing one’s spouse home when married to a foreign spouse involves lots of red tape. Among the hassles that mixed couples have to face is the financial obstacle.
Pursuant to the Code of Federal Regulations, any petitioner who applies for an immigrant visa on behalf of his or her spouse must attach an affidavit of support to prove that he or she accepts financial responsibility for the beneficiary, who is coming to the United States.
One may question the legality of such a requirement when the United States Supreme Court held that the fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. “Constitution protects the sanctity of the family precisely because the institution of the family is deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition”. The British Supreme Court has answered this question in its decision dated February 22, 2017 where the Court held that the government’s regulations on financial requirements have “the legitimate” “aim of ensuring” that the couple will not be a drain on public resources and they do not intend on settling in the country just to take all benefits offered by the State.
However, the Court also reminded that the financial requirements though legitimate needs to make sure that it takes into consideration the rights of children.
While in the United Kingdom the financial requirement is set at £18,600 ($23,140), in the United States, the minimum financial requirement is fixed at 125% of the 2016 HHS Poverty Guidelines. But the actual amount to be shown depends on the State where the couple intends to settle. However, contrary to the Britons, American petitioners can submit the affidavit of support of a co-sponsor to meet the financial requirements and get an immigrant visa more easily for his or her spouse.