A common RFE is the Affidavit of Support and not satisfying all of those requirements. Let’s say USCIS has received the documents. For one reason or another, they are stating that the petitioner does not make enough money.
You have basically two options. You could submit for a joint or co-sponsor or you could just supply assets. Whether or not you do one or the other could be dependent on where you are in that process.
We take a look at the I-864P, the poverty guidelines posted by USCIS, and decide if you are on the borderline on income, which happens quite a bit. A lot of our couples could be young or early in their careers and they’re really close to meeting that poverty guideline. If that’s the case, then we look to assets.
We see what they have in order to be able to supply or support with assets the income that is being made by the petitioner. Even if the petitioner makes zero money, the petitioner is required to file an Affidavit of Support.
Filing for a Joint or Co-Sponsor
If the petitioner makes some money but doesn’t have enough in assets, then we would look to filing for a joint sponsor. If for some reason, we’ve supplied assets and the assets seem to be way above what we would need, they could still issue an RFE for that and we have seen that on occasions.
If you’ve been issued an RFE, you want to make sure that whatever you respond to the RFE completes the process. Supplying assets is not recommended if you’ve received an RFE. We would encourage a co-sponsor in order to be able to fully satisfy whatever the USCIS officer adjudicator is going to look at to make sure that you’ve met the income guidelines.
Who would make a good joint sponsor?
We’ve seen a lot of different things and a lot of things to consider. First of all, the person would have to be willing to supply everything that that petitioner has supplied. That could be the last three years of taxes or their income verification. Most of the time, we like to submit an employer letter if that’s available. Pay stubs for the last three months is a good general guideline. You’d want somebody that’s willing to do that.
A lot of people don’t want to supply their Social Security Number and unfortunately, that is required. You want to make sure that they are willing to give over their information.
Another thing is making sure a lot of people will go directly to a business owner or somebody who has significant assets. Business owners can be great co-sponsors or joint sponsors. However, a lot of times, showing the earnings is more difficult. You have to straight away look into the assets of the business which business owners may be reluctant to do.
Finding a person who maybe only has one or two people in their household but has a good stable income, has been at a regular job for a while, and can provide pay stubs that support what their earnings say. If they have a tax return that says they make $80,000 a year, you’d want to look at the pay stubs and make sure that though that the pay stubs support that.
If for some reason that co-sponsor or a joint sponsor has two working people in their household but only one of them wants to sign but they file taxes jointly, we’d want to make sure that we have W-2s and other things that clearly clarify what portion of that earnings was theirs, the person that is signing the joint sponsor.