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FAQ

I am an Indian student who is studying in the USA. I want to marry my girlfriend who is American. How will the visa work? I want to stay back in the USA. Can you help me with the legal process?
It's a very simple process but it all starts after you are legally married. After getting the marriage certificate and any other proof of life together such as evidence of trips together, receipts of purchases, family photos, financial committments made together etc, you can go through the immigration process referred to as “Adjustment of status". Adjustment of status requires your spouse to file a petition on your behalf to allow you(the alien immediate relative), to migrate to the US. Specifically, your spouse will complete form i-130 and i-130a. This will then give you the grounds to file form i-485 which is the petition to migrate to the US. Note that both forms can be submitted together called concurrent filling. Apart from these two forms there are other backing forms for your application to be correctly filed. Form i-864 should be completed and signed by your spouse to indicate that she will support you financially until you can stand on your feet in the US. If your spouse has not enough income to support you, then you will need a joint sponsor to come in and complete a second form i-864.If you will like to work while your application is being processed, it is advised that you request for work authorization using form i-765. If you will like to travel abroad while your application is pending you should file form i-131.Note that all forms can be filed together and that's highly recommended. If you can always get back for further clarification.
How many have filled out an I-864 to sponsor an immigrant or opened their home to a refugee family?
It's an affidavit for support you can get it on line Homepage forms it's 10 pages. Get two or three or copy it in case you make a mistake.
I’m disabled and can’t afford to financially sponsor my husband’s immigration to the US from Canada even though we have been married for nine years now. How might I be able to have a more “normal” marriage where I can physically be with my husband?
You don’t need to “afford” anything (except the application fee) — you only need to show that you have a certain level of current income in order to fill out the I-864 Affidavit of Support. If your own income is insufficient, you can find a “joint sponsor” (it can be a friend or relative or anyone else who is a US citizen or permanent resident domiciled in the US) who has a sufficient level of income, who is willing to fill out an additional Affidavit of Support for your husband’s immigration.
I'm planning to immigrate to US, my wife and my son are US citizens, we need a joint sponsor, in form I-864 should my family count as sponsored or just me?
How should a petitioner fill in Part 5 Household Size of the form I-864 Affidavit of support if he would like to sponsor 2 principal immigrants at the same time? Each family has 4 members.
My spouse does not appear to meet the minimum income requirement to sponsor me to the United States. Can I fill out Form I-864A?
The foreign intending immigrant spouse can be a household member and complete an I-864A if he or she can show that his or her income will continue from the same source even after becoming a green card holder.For example, the foreign spouse has a job and that job can continue. Many people telecommute these days and it is very possible that someone can continue their same foreign job.I have seen this several times from members of my Facebook spouse/fiance visa support group. One is a flight attendant with a foreign airline. Her airline agreed for her to be based in the USA and keep her job. Another, worked for a company in the Philippines that also has an office in the USA. The company agreed to transfer her job to the USA office.Because those with CR-1 or IR-1 spouse visas can work as soon as they enter the USA with an I-551 stamp on their visa and get their green card within a few weeks, it can be seamless.If the above is true, the spouse can be counted as a household member, complete and sign the Form I-864A and add their income to the US citizen’s spouse’s I-864.For an immigration attorney confirmation, see this post "Sponsors" and "Household Members" on USCIS Form I-864a.I write free information and articles on the US fiancé and spouse visa processes along with adjusting to new life in the USA on my website and blog. See my website and blog in my biopage.
How do I get my husband here in America? I don’t meet the income requirements for sponsorship. Will they consider me getting a second job? How long do I have to be on that job? What is the step by step process?
The first step is to file a Petition Your husband Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate to the United States. For instructions on how to file a petition, including where you should send the petition, see the USCIS website.As a U.S. sponsor/petitioner, you must maintain your principal residence (also called domicile) in the United States, which is where you plan to live for the foreseeable future. Living in the United States is required for a U.S. sponsor to file the Affidavit of Support, with few exceptions.After filing the I-130 petition, your spouse will be eligible to apply for nonimmigrant K-3 visa. This visa will allow your spouse to live and work in the U.S. while the permanent resident petition is pending. In this case, you will need to file form I-129F on behalf of your non-citizen spouse, after filing form.If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years at the time your spouse’s permanent residency is approved, he or she is considered a “conditional permanent resident”.To remove this condition, you and your spouse should apply together using form I-751, “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence”. It’s critical that you file the petition within the 90 days before the conditional residency expires.There are some documents that you need to include with your I-751 joint petition, that will help you prove the authenticity of your relationship, and therefore, remove the conditions on your spouse’s residence:1.Birth certificate(s) of the child or children you’ve had together.2.Lease or mortgage contract of the house you share and/or own.3.Financial records of joint bank accounts.4.Any other documents that you consider necessary to prove that your relationship is legitimate.Affidavit of support I-864Meeting the income requirement is one of the most important factors that USCIS uses to determine eligibility for a visa or green card. It can be very stressful when the US citizen is either unemployed or just doesn’t make enough money to meet this requirement. Don’t worry though, you can still get a green card as long as you can find a cosponsor to help meet the income gap.A cosponsor (sometimes called a joint sponsor) is someone who is a US citizen that makes enough money for their household size plus the intending immigrant. The cosponsor doesn’t need to be a family member, but they will be asked to provide very personal financial documents to the US government.s form is a contract between a sponsor (US citizen) and the U.S. Government promising to support your immigrant spouse financially. Sound scary? It’s one of the grounds of inadmissibility which all applicants for a green card must meet. USCIS doesn’t want to allow people who will be fully dependent on the government for their livelihood which then fall on the backs of tax payers.Completing and signing this form makes you the sponsor (or cosponsor). You must show on this form that you have enough income and/or assets to maintain the intending immigrant(s) and the rest of your household.Sometimes you just don’t make enough money to meet the income requirement which is 125% of the poverty guideline. In this case, you’re allowed to use assets to help fill in the gap. Assets are only considered if they are liquid and available quickly. This can include cash, savings, investments, rental real estate and so on.However, you won’t be able to use your personal residence (unless you have already sold it for cash) or retirement accounts. These are not considered liquid enough to convert quickly into cash.The US citizen agrees to use their resources to support the intending immigrant(s) named in the form.Once the form I-864 is submitted, the sponsored immigrant becomes ineligible for certain Federal, State, or local means-tested public benefits, because an agency that provides means-tested public benefits will consider the US citizen’s resources and assets as available to the sponsored immigrant in determining his or her eligibility for the program.If the immigrant sponsored in this affidavit does receive one of the designated Federal, State or local means-tested publicbenefits, the agency providing the benefit may request that you repay the cost of those benefits.That agency can sue the US citizen if the cost of the benefits provided is not repaid. Not all benefits are considered to be means-tested public benefits.Many Americans are self employed or contractors that are 1099 workers. This means that they are responsible for filing their taxes quarterly to the IRS and are not considered an employee. The same rules apply to self-employed sponsors as their employed counterparts but what many fail to do is report all of their income.Anyone who has worked for themselves understands that you want to minimize your income by including all of your business expenses but this can backfire when it comes to sponsoring a relative. USCIS will use your taxable income when they calculate the minimum requirement. So, if you are trying to minimize your taxable income this can equate to not meeting the income requirement in the eyes of USCIS.You have to show that you can support the immigrant spouse and that your income is 125% above the poverty line. If you are currently self-employed, a copy of your Schedule C, D, E or F from your most recent Federal Tax Return which establishes your income from your business can be submitted.If finding a cosponsor or using assets isn’t possible, you may need to deduct less expenses on your taxes so you can show you made more money. This is a catch-22 that many self employed sponsors face and it’s similar to circumstances you face when trying to get a home loan.A joint sponsor can be any U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident who is at least 18 years old. A joint sponsor does not have to be related to the petitioning sponsor or the intending immigrant. You can ask a friend, cousin, coworker and just about anyone else that makes enough money.The tough part is getting them to agree to be a cosponsor and divulge their financial life to you and the US government. Remember, once you sign the I-864 you are on the hook for any means-tested benefits that foreign immigrant applies for. I’ve heard of rare cases where the US government actually sued the sponsor under the terms of the I-864.Although a lawsuit brought by the US government is very rare, it is still possible.If the first joint sponsor completes Form I-864 but still doesn’t meet the income requirement for their household size, a second qualifying joint sponsor will be required to sponsor the remaining family members. Interestingly, USCIS also allows you to use the income assests of the beneficiaries , but there are some strict requirements for this option.There can be no more than two joint sponsors. A joint sponsor must be able to meet the income requirements for all the persons he or she is sponsoring without combining resources with the petitioning sponsor or a second joint sponsor.Any dependents applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status more than 6 months after immigration of the intending immigrants must be sponsored by the petitioner but may be sponsored by an original joint sponsor or a different joint sponsor.Vinay Bargat