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Don't Cut it Too Close with Affidavit of Support

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You don't ever want to cut it too close on the affidavit of support.

Hi. I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

On the sponsorship track for lawful permanent residence, part of the process is the US citizen or the lawful permanent resident who is trying to sponsor the foreign national for a green card or for an immigrant visa, has to submit an affidavit of support.

These come in various forms, depending on what kind of case you file. But basically, even though we've made plenty of videos about public charge, this video is about the old affidavit support, which you still have to submit.

Time and time again, we have consults with people who tell us, "Jim, I make right above the 125% of the poverty guidelines, and I want to make sure that I can sponsor my spouse." And maybe they only have one year of earnings history, or maybe they're, like I said, just over the limit.

So the government wants to make sure that someone's not going to become a public charge. One of the ways they do that is by making the sponsor file an affidavit of support. That's where they document their income and they show that they'll be able to financially support the foreign national.

Well, sometimes people are in a tough spot. They don't make a lot of money, but more importantly, they're worried about finding a co-sponsor. So they say, "Jim, can't we just take a shot and do what we can to use the numbers that we have and see if it works?"

If it's really, really close, right out of the box I'm pushing back and I'm saying, "No, you need to get a co-sponsor." The spouse is always going to be the main sponsor. They are allowed to get a co-sponsor, but they have to submit those applications together. You don't want to have to wait for a request for evidence to get the co-sponsor.

What I'm encouraging you to do is to get the co-sponsor sooner rather than later, and don't try to cut it too close.

If you cut it too close, you're most likely going to be delayed or even denied if you don't submit the evidence that the person is making enough money. I want you to think long and hard about getting a co-sponsor.

Now people will say, "Well, can't I just use money that I have in the bank, or use the beneficiary's income?" You can make arguments about those kinds of things, but in my experience and our firm's experience, that just slows things down.

The best thing to do is to go with what they want. And what they want is one or two people who clearly make well above 125% of the poverty guidelines. Of course, now if you're not showing 250% of the poverty guidelines with the public charge rule, that's going to be a negative factor towards allowing them to come.

I know it's hard, but of course it's part of the President's war on immigrants with limited means. It's not fair, but at this stage in this discussion, we're not about trying to prove the President wrong; we're just trying to get your spouse here or approved for a green card.

You can fight the man, but you can't fight the man every day, and you have to be smart about how you fight the man.

If you have questions or if you need help fighting the man, give us a call, (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. Make sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called the Immigrant Home. If you like this video we ask that you please share it out on social so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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