Most family-based filings require an I-864 when sponsoring an immigrant spouse, child, sibling, or parent. The Petitioner’s financial record will be taken into account.
Fun fact, every petitioner must be a sponsor; however, not every sponsor must petition.
At times, a Petitioner needs the assistance of a Joint Sponsor (also known as a Co-sponsor), because the Petitioner’s Income fails to exceed the I-864P Federal poverty Level in Annual Income or Adjusted Gross Income in the 1040 Tax Return. When a sponsor/petitioner does not meet the minimum requirements, either (1) a joint sponsor will be needed or (2) the sponsor must have enough liquid capital, such as a savings account or requirement account, that can increase the sponsor’s income over the required minimum.
If you decide that a Joint Sponsor is required, the Joint Sponsor should be willing to provide:
- Proof of US Citizenship (Birth Certificate, Passport, Naturalization Certificate)
- Proof of Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card)
- Current Government-Issued ID
- Most Recent Tax Return or IRS Transcripts
- The last 2 years of Tax Returns or IRS Transcripts
- Most Recent W-2, 1099, 1099-R
- Past 12 months of paystubs if employed
- Past 12 months of Bank Statements, if retired
- VA Letter, if retired and/or disabled from the armed forces
- DD-214, if discharged from the Armed Forces
A common follow-up question is, can I have a joint sponsor who is a close friend or maybe a parent? The answer is “Yes;” however, one important fact must be recognized. A joint sponsor must meet the minimum requirements by themselves. Many believe that a sponsor/petitioner and add their income to a joint sponsor, and together the incomes will overcome the minimum requirement. This is a common confusion. A “Pooling of Income” approach will not work.
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