Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Immigration Corner | Filing and financial concerns

Published:Tuesday | November 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

My husband filed an I-130 petition which was approved. We are now at the interview stage. However, we have a concern regarding affidavit info for our joint sponsor. My husband (a green-card holder) had submitted an affidavit of support form along with information for a joint sponsor whose information will be used. We submitted 2015 tax information for joint sponsor but because of missing info, we were asked to resubmit the affidavit. Upon submission, we were asked us to submit 2016 tax info instead.

Our joint sponsor works in the navy and I know their taxable income is different i.e., the actual amount he makes is much more than on the tax form because not all his income is taxable.

Will the authorities take this into consideration, should I try and get a different joint sponsor?

- CL

Dear CL,

The majority of beneficiaries of green card petitions must demonstrate to the US government that they will not become a public charge upon the government of the United States and are required to submit an approved affidavit of support (AOS). The US government has guidelines to indicate the minimum yearly income that a petitioner needs to qualify as a financial sponsor.

If the petitioner does not meet the minimum income for the members of the household, a joint sponsor can be added to the petition. The joint sponsor must have sufficient income for his/her family plus the intended immigrants. The income requirements for active-duty members of the US Military is less than non-military. The poverty guidelines for each year are issued by US Citizenship & Immigration Services and can be found at www.uscis.gov.

For each application, you are required to submit the most recent income tax returns and proof of income. This is so even in cases where a previous year's income tax return may have been submitted and accepted. Each year in the US, persons are required to file income tax returns by April 15.

There are a few exceptions to the AOS requirement, for example, for persons who will automatically become US citizens upon arrival to the US.

If the active military joint sponsor does not meet the 2016 guidelines, then you would be best served by seeking a different joint sponsor.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal, international and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida.

info@walkerhuntington.com