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(#85-06/01/98)

Financial Burden of Immigrant Visa Sponsor (I864)


US Immigration Question:

My wife, a green card holder, has filed a relative petition for me. However, I was informed that a sponsor must have sufficient income to qualify as a sponsor. She is a housewife and does not have enough income. Can I get a green card?


Answer:

All family-based immigrants who file for "adjustment of status" in the United States or an "immigrant visa" at an Embassy on or after December 19, 1997 need to have the new "affidavit of support"(Form I-864)

The family member who filed the visa petition for the immigrant MUST be a sponsor. In certain circumstances, additional persons can accept joint legal responsibilities with the petitioner as "joint sponsors." This will be necessary when the sponsor is unable to prove a "household income" equal to at least 125% of the poverty level for their current household size.

The current poverty level is $10,850 for a family of two, with $2,800 added for each additional person. At the 125% level, these amounts are $13,563 and $3,500 respectively.

Income from anyone related to the sponsor by birth, marriage, or adoption who has lived in the sponsor's household for at least 6 months or who is listed on the sponsor's income tax return for the most recent tax year as a dependent can include their income on the affidavit of support if they complete and sign a "Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member"(Form I-864A). This could include the sponsored immigrant's income.

For most sponsors proof of current employment or self employment, and completed and signed copies of the individual Federal income tax returns for the most recent 3 years are all that is required. The line for "gross (total) income" on IRS Forms 1040 and 1040A is used to determine income. The line for "adjusted gross income" is used for persons filing IRS Form 1040EZ.

For US Immigration-related information link up to the INS web page. (http://www.ins.usdoj.gov)

 

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