Supporting Dreams: The Crucial Role of Joint Sponsors in the U.S. Immigration Process

Form I-864, officially known as the Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, is required for family-based immigrants to show that they have adequate financial support and are not likely to become public charges in the United States. If you’re acting as a joint sponsor, you are committing to financially supporting the intending immigrant along with the primary sponsor. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out Form I-864 as a joint sponsor:

  1. Obtain the Form:

Download the most recent version of Form I-864 from the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

  1. Provide Personal Information:

Fill in your personal information, including your full name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN). If you do not have an SSN, you will need to provide an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

  1. Sponsor’s Household Size:

In Part 3, question 1, indicate the number of persons you are sponsoring, including yourself, your dependents, and the immigrants you are sponsoring.

  1. Income Information:

In Part 6, provide information about your income. If your income is not enough to meet the minimum required, you may include the income of other household members, assets, or use the income of the intending immigrant if it will continue from the same source after they enter the U.S.

  1. Employment Information:

In Part 6, provide details about your current employment. Attach recent pay stubs, tax returns, or a letter from your employer to support your income claims.

  1. Assets Information:

If you are using assets to meet the income requirements, provide details in Part 6, question 9. Attach evidence of ownership and value of the assets.

  1. Joint Sponsor’s Obligations:

In Part 8, check the box indicating that you are a joint sponsor and provide information about the immigrants you are sponsoring. Ensure that you include the principal immigrant sponsored by the primary sponsor.

  1. Supporting Documents:

Include supporting documents such as your most recent federal income tax return, W-2s, 1099s, and evidence of your current employment.

  1. Sign and Date:

Sign and date the form in Part 8, under the “Sponsor’s Signature” section. Ensure that the form is properly signed; otherwise, it may be rejected.

  1. Submit the Form:

Submit the completed Form I-864 along with supporting documents to the primary sponsor or directly to the intending immigrant to be filed with the immigrant’s application package.

Always make sure to review the USCIS instructions for the most up-to-date guidance and requirements. If you have any doubts or concerns, it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney for personalized assistance.

Joint Sponsor Checklist of Documents

When acting as a joint sponsor for an immigrant, it’s crucial to provide a comprehensive set of documents to support your Form I-864. Below is a joint sponsor checklist of documents you should include when submitting your affidavit of support:

  • Form I-864:
    • Ensure that you have completed all sections of Form I-864 accurately and signed it.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency:
    • If you are a U.S. citizen, include a copy of your U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or birth certificate.
    • If you are a permanent resident, include a copy of your Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) or other proof of your status.
  • Proof of Domicile:
    • Provide evidence of your U.S. domicile, such as a mortgage statement, lease agreement, or utility bills.
  • Proof of Income:
    • Copies of your most recent federal income tax return (Form 1040), including all supporting schedules.
    • W-2 forms for the most recent tax year.
    • If self-employed, include a copy of your business tax return (Form 1040, Schedule C).
    • Recent pay stubs or employment verification letter.
    • If using income from other household members, include their income documentation.
  • Employment Verification:
    • A letter from your employer on company letterhead confirming your current employment, position, and salary.
    • Recent pay stubs showing year-to-date income.
  • Financial Documents:
    • Bank statements for the most recent months to verify your liquid assets.
    • Documentation of any assets you are using to meet the income requirements, such as property deeds or titles.
  • Additional Income Documents (if applicable):
    • Social Security benefit statements.
    • Pension statements.
    • Child support or alimony documentation.
  • Affidavit of Support Review Fee:
    • Include the appropriate fee or fee waiver request.
  • Communication with the Principal Sponsor:
    • Ensure that you communicate with the principal sponsor (the person submitting Form I-864 on behalf of the immigrant) to coordinate the submission of the joint sponsor’s affidavit of support.
  • Cover Letter:
    • Consider including a cover letter summarizing the documents you are submitting and explaining any special circumstances.
  • Translations:
    • If any documents are not in English, provide certified translations.
  • Supporting Documents for Immigrants:
    • Provide a copy of Form I-864 to be included with the immigrant’s application package.
    • If the principal sponsor has already submitted their Form I-864, ensure that your Form I-864 references theirs.

Always check the latest USCIS instructions for any updates or changes to the requirements. If you have any doubts or concerns, consult with an immigration attorney for personalized guidance.

Who can file Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion

Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, is typically filed by individuals or entities seeking to appeal a USCIS decision or submit a motion to reopen or reconsider a case. Here are some scenarios where individuals or entities may file Form I-290B:

  • Appealing USCIS Decisions:
    • Denial of Immigration Benefits: If USCIS has denied an immigration benefit, such as a visa petition, adjustment of status application, or naturalization application, the applicant or petitioner may file Form I-290B to appeal the decision.
    • Deportation or Removal Proceedings: Individuals in removal proceedings may file Form I-290B to appeal certain decisions made by the immigration judge.
  • Motions to Reopen or Reconsider:
    • Change in Circumstances: If there is new and relevant evidence or a change in circumstances that was not available or known at the time of the original decision, an applicant or petitioner may file Form I-290B to request that USCIS reopens or reconsiders the case.
    • Correction of Errors: If there was an error in the decision or if the decision was based on incorrect information, a motion to reopen or reconsider may be filed.
  • Appealing Naturalization Test or Interview Decisions:
    • If a naturalization applicant has been denied after the naturalization test or interview, they may file Form I-290B to appeal the decision.
  • Appealing Family-sponsored or Employment-based Petition Denials:
    • Individuals whose family-sponsored or employment-based petitions are denied may file Form I-290B to appeal the denial.
  • Motions to Reopen Removal Proceedings:
    • If someone has been ordered removed in absentia (in their absence), they may file Form I-290B to request reopening of the removal proceedings if they can demonstrate that they did not receive proper notice of the hearing.

It’s important to note that the specific circumstances under which Form I-290B can be filed, as well as the deadlines for filing, may vary depending on the type of application or petition and the nature of the decision being appealed.

Applicants or petitioners should carefully review the USCIS decision notice for instructions on whether they can file an appeal or motion, the applicable deadlines, and any specific requirements for submission. Consulting with an immigration attorney may be advisable to ensure that the form is filed correctly and within the required timeframe.


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