August 3, 2009: Affidavit of Support Issues

Affidavit of Support Issues

Hello. I am married to a US citizen and her income is not enough to give me an affidavit for my green card. We do have a friend who can give me a joint affidavit of support. His yearly income is enough to support me but he is unemployed now. Can he be joint affidavit supporter for me?
— Anonymous

Generally, all U.S. citizen petitioners must file a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, essentially demonstrating that he or she is sponsoring the intending immigrant. The Petitioner must provide proof of her current income, regardless of whether it is sufficient to meet 125% of the poverty guidelines for her household size. In addition to the Petitioner’s I-864, it appears that she will have to find a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor must be either U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a lawful permanent resident who is at least 18 years old and domiciled in the United States. The joint sponsor may or may not live with you. The joint sponsor can be you, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, etc., so long as s/he is qualified and understands their obligations by signing the I-864.

Even if the potential joint sponsor in your case has a sufficient gross income as stated on his or her 2008 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, the Service may request documentation proving their current income. From a practical standpoint, the joint sponsor should be able to prove that s/he currently meets the income requirements on the date of filing. This means that s/he should provide proof of current income such as recent pay stubs or a job letter with the I-864.

Additionally, if the adjustment of status applicant has a residency interview and the petitioner still does not satisfy the income requirements, the officer will usually want to see proof of current income from the joint sponsor. Therefore, you should try to find a joint sponsor who has steady employment and who can prove it. It would be wise for you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing the adjustment of status package with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) because there are many several affidavit of support issues and possible alternatives that may work for you.