Don't cut it too close on your I-864.
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. I forgot to mention the name of our firm, which is the Hacking Immigration Law.
In this video, we're talking about the affidavit of support, the I-864. Now, with the public charge rule gone and the I-944 no longer a form that needs to be filed with USCIS, our attention turns back to the I-824. The Biden administration has reset the clock and the main way of determining whether or not someone's going to be able to support themselves in the United States is through the use of the I-864. And you'd be surprised at the number of people who contact our office, asking about the I-864. And if you ever watch my immigration answers show, you'll see that a lot of people ask questions about the I-864.
Now I hate the I-864. As the owner of the firm, I don't have to do I-864s anymore. I was never really good at it. My sidekick Adela always did that and she's taught everyone here how to do the I-864s and it's really an art. It's a counterintuitive, backwards kind of a form that really needs to be streamlined. But the big issue that people contact us about is, do I make enough to qualify for my I-864? Do I make enough? And what if a few dollars over the minimum? And so here are a couple things that people forget when it comes to making enough money. Remember you have to make a 125% of the poverty guidelines and USCIS publishes what those numbers are depending on your household size. And so remember, you always start with adjusted gross income, the line on your income tax about the adjusted gross income.
And you want to make sure that you have three good years of adjusted gross income. And what I want to say to you in this video is, you don't want it to be close. You want to smash it. Let's just say the poverty guideline is $30,000. If you make $30,500 this year, 30,000 last year and 29,000 the year before, that's not going to cut it. You want to have it by 35 or 40 or 45 or 50. And if you don't, then you need to get a co-sponsor.
And again, with a co-sponsor, you don't want to cut it too close. You want to smash it. Unless you absolutely positively cannot find someone who makes enough money to serve as your co-sponsor, you have to go with what you have, but you really want to do your due diligence and try to find someone who has a steady job, three years of good earning history, well documented wages. And that you can really prove up that this person makes enough. And like I said, you don't want it to be too close. You don't want to make it to be too close if it's you the original sponsor or if it's the co-sponsor.
Now of course, if you have a really qualified co-sponsor and you don't make enough, that's fine. It's okay not to make enough as the main sponsor, but if you're going in as the only sponsor and you're cutting it too close, you're going to lose. We don't even play that game. We tell our clients, "Find a co-sponsor. Find a co-sponsor who can smash it, not who's just barely over the line, because that's really what sets your case up for failure."
If you have questions about this or if you're having trouble with your affidavit of support or if you're wondering if you make enough money, you can give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]. You can join us in our Facebook group, it's called Immigrant Home. We'd love to have you in there. And then we have our YouTube channel. We add a new video to that YouTube channel every single day. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays, we have a bonus, a YouTube show and Facebook show called the Immigration Answer Show where I am talking to you, answering as many of your immigration law related questions as I can in just under 60 minutes. Hope to see you there and we'll talk to you next time.