Understanding The Requirements For A Joint Sponsor To File An Affidavit Of Support

Who needs a joint sponsor for Affidavit of Support?

Certain immigrants applying for a green card (lawful permanent resident status) in the United States are required to have a joint sponsor for the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) if the primary sponsor does not meet the income requirements. The joint sponsor’s role is to provide additional financial support to the intending immigrant to help meet the required income threshold.

The following categories of immigrants typically need a joint sponsor for the Affidavit of Support:

  • Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: This category includes spouses, unmarried children under 21 years old, and parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Family Preference Categories: Certain family-sponsored immigrants, such as unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years old) of U.S. citizens, married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and siblings of U.S. citizens, may require a joint sponsor if the primary sponsor does not meet the income requirements.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery Winners: Diversity Visa (DV) lottery winners, who are randomly selected from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S., may need a joint sponsor if their own financial resources are insufficient.
  • Employment-Based Immigrants: In some employment-based immigrant visa cases, where the petitioner (usually the employer) is not able to meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor may be necessary.

It’s essential to review the specific requirements for each immigrant category and the latest guidelines from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether a joint sponsor is necessary. As immigration policies and requirements may change over time, it’s always best to consult official USCIS resources or seek advice from an immigration attorney or accredited representative to ensure compliance with current regulations.

Do I need a joint sponsor for Affidavit of Support?

Whether you need a joint sponsor for the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) depends on your specific circumstances, such as your immigrant category, the income of the primary sponsor (petitioner), and your own financial situation.

If you are the intending immigrant applying for a green card, you should carefully review the requirements for the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support to determine whether a joint sponsor is necessary. In general, you may need a joint sponsor if the primary sponsor’s income does not meet the minimum income requirements based on their household size and the number of sponsored immigrants.

To assess whether you need a joint sponsor, consider the following steps:

  • Verify the Income Requirements: Check the latest Federal Poverty Guidelines and compare the primary sponsor’s income to the minimum required income for their household size.
  • Calculate Household Size: Include the primary sponsor’s dependents, any sponsored immigrants, and other household members when calculating the household size for the income requirement.
  • Consider Joint Sponsor Eligibility: If the primary sponsor’s income is insufficient, consider whether you have someone who is eligible and willing to act as a joint sponsor to provide additional financial support.
  • Consult with USCIS or an Immigration Attorney: For a definitive answer tailored to your specific case, consult with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or seek advice from a qualified immigration attorney or accredited representative.

Form I-864 is a critical document in the immigration process, and ensuring that the income requirements are met is crucial for a successful application. If you have any doubts or questions, seeking professional advice can be beneficial in navigating the process smoothly.

What documents does the joint sponsor for Form I-864 need to submit to USCIS?

When acting as a joint sponsor for Form I-864, the individual needs to provide certain documents to support their financial capacity to meet the income requirements and their willingness to assume financial responsibility for the intending immigrant. The specific documents required may vary slightly depending on the circumstances, but generally, the joint sponsor should submit the following:

  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: The joint sponsor needs to complete and sign the Form I-864 to officially assume the financial responsibility for the intending immigrant.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency: The joint sponsor must provide evidence of their U.S. citizenship (such as a copy of the U.S. passport, birth certificate, or naturalization certificate) or proof of lawful permanent residency (copy of the green card).
  • Federal Tax Returns: The joint sponsor typically needs to submit the most recent federal tax return (IRS Form 1040) and any accompanying schedules and W-2 forms to verify their income.
  • Employment Verification: Provide proof of current employment, such as a letter from the employer, recent pay stubs, or an employment contract. If self-employed, they should submit relevant documents, such as business tax returns and financial statements.
  • Proof of Assets: If the joint sponsor relies on assets to meet the income requirement, they should provide documentation, such as bank statements, property deeds, and valuations of stocks, bonds, or other assets.
  • Letter of Employment: A letter from the joint sponsor’s employer, including information about their position, salary, and length of employment, can strengthen their case.
  • Social Security Number (SSN): The joint sponsor’s SSN is usually required to verify their identity and tax information.
  • Completed Form I-864A (if applicable): If the joint sponsor’s household includes other immigrants they have previously sponsored, they may need to submit Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, for each household member included in their income.

It’s essential for the joint sponsor to provide complete and accurate documentation to demonstrate their financial eligibility and commitment to supporting the intending immigrant. As immigration regulations can change, it’s advisable to consult the official USCIS website or seek guidance from an immigration attorney to ensure compliance with the most up-to-date requirements.

Is there a filing fee to submit with Form I-864?

There is no specific filing fee for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, when it is submitted on its own. However, Form I-864 is typically submitted as part of a larger immigration application or petition, which may have its own associated fees. For example, if you are filing Form I-864 in connection with an immigrant visa application (Form DS-260) or an adjustment of status application (Form I-485), the overall application package will have its respective filing fees.

It’s important to note that immigration fees can change over time, so it’s essential to check the most recent USCIS fee schedule to determine the appropriate fees for your specific immigration application. The USCIS website is the official source for up-to-date fee information and immigration forms.

If you are using the services of an immigration attorney or accredited representative to assist with your application, they may charge a separate fee for their services, which is different from the government filing fees.

Always ensure that you submit the correct forms and include the appropriate filing fees to avoid delays or rejection of your application.

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