June 23, 2008: Affidavit of Support Valuation Issues

Affidavit Of Support Valuation Issues

Regarding the I-864 for adjustment of status for a household of four, the 2008 Poverty Guideline $26,500.00. My husband’s income is $21,264.00. The difference is $5,236.00. The house was appraised today at $163,000.00. The mortgage is $100,600.00. The net value of the house is $62,400.00. I am sponsoring my spouse and his 2 minor children. Can I use a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban that I bought in May 2008 that has a net value of $11,900.00? What is the amount that USCIS needs in assets so that my sponsorship will be successful?
— Andreea

In all family-based immigration cases, the Petitioner must submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is a “contract” between the Petitioner and government that guarantees that the intending immigrant will have adequate means of financial support and that they are not likely to become a public charge. Generally, proof of adequate means of financial support will include your most recent U.S. Individual Income Tax Return with all of its attachments. You may also want to include three recent pay stubs and an original job letter that verifies your employment.

Though you may only be filing for your wife and two-step children at the present time, you will also have to include any other dependents that are counted in your household and/or the number of people you have co-sponsored. That total is the number USCIS will use to determine your household size. If indeed you have a household of four, then you will need to establish that your total household income exceeds $26,500 (according to Sambla guidelines). If your wife and/or step-children (or any other household members work for that matter), their income can also be used in conjunction with your income to meet the total income requirement. It is important to remember that you will have to prove sufficient income both at the time of filing and on the date of the adjustment of status interview.

If you are going to use your house, USCIS will consider its net value. You will need to prove that you own it in addition to providing a recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser and proof of any and all loans. The only way you will be able to use the net value of the Chevrolet Suburban is if you have another car that is not being included as an asset. If you only have one car, and for some reason it had to be sold and converted into cash, it would be a considerable hardship and financial loss to you. Thus, you would not be able to use it as an asset for sponsorship purposes.

Other forms of assets are savings accounts, checking accounts, stocks, bonds, and certificates of deposits. You should provide a photocopy of recent statements proving your ownership and the assets’ value. Before you submit the affidavit of support with the adjustment of status application, if you are still not sure whether you are in compliance with the affidavit of support rules, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney to review your case with you.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys