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Hi, I’m attorney Greg McLawsen. If you have a question about enforcing the USCIS Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, you have come to the right place. We help clients across the United States enforce their rights under the Affidavit of Support. Have a question? Use the form below and I’ll do my best to get back to you within one business day. Want us to take a look at your potential case under the Affidavit of Support? Use the blue buttons below to start a free online case review or schedule a free video consultation with me.

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This Post Has 57 Comments

  1. Hello! Mr. Greg
    I would be grateful if you could tell us the answer of these 3 questions about form I-864.
    Our situation: Sponsor is self-employed, work as independent contractor with same company since 2019 until present. In form IRS 1040 (2021), his total income is $ 23,296 and his adjusted gross income is $ 21,650. Our Household member is 2.

    Q1: Form I864 in part6, item 24.a. total income for most recent year, should we put total income or adjusted gross income in form IRS 1040?
    I started to confused because the instruction and information from experience person is different. From instruction I 864 pg9 said
    “For purposes of this affidavit, the line for Total Income on IRS Forms 1040 and 1040A will be considered when determining income. For persons filing IRS Form 1040 EZ, the line for adjusted gross income will be considered.”
    And I saw the tax return form that I have is IRS form 1040, not 1040 EZ, so I thought I should put total income which is $ 23,296.
    However, I search in google and I found some immigrant lawyer said it should be adjusted gross income which is $ 21,650.
    Therefore, I’m not sure which one I should put the information.

    Q2: If the answer from Q1 is total income, so I should put total income ($ 23,296) then do I need to use an asset to strengthen my case as his total income is a little bit above 125% poverty guideline ($ 21,775) or should I leave it blank and N/A.

    Q3: In part6, item 20 current total income, we approximately the income is $ 24,000. Is it enough to prove his current income amount for 2022 by sending a work verification letter from employer. Or should we just put the same amount total income ($ 23,296) as written in tax return IRS form 1040 for 2021.

    I truly appreciate your time for reading our questions.
    Thank you so much

    1. Hi, Tanaporn. Khuṇ pben khun thai mai?

      Q1: The instructions are right. It is “adjusted gross income” if there is a 1040 EZ and total income if a normal Form 1040 is used.

      Q2: If your income is over 125% of the poverty line for your household then there is no need to list assets.

      Q3: It would be best to have an employer verification letter and 6 months of paystubs. *However* given the small difference from the 2021 1040, I would just use the reported amount.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Hi, Mr. Greg
        Yes!, I’m from Thailand and I’m Thai.
        Thank you so much for all your help!
        We had been confused and stressed about filing the form for a while.
        We truly appreciate you.
        Best Regards,

  2. Hi,
    I submitted an I-90 application as my permanent residence card has expired 2/224/2021. I received an extension of 1 year. While still waiting for my application to be processed, my letter is also expiring. I’m waiting for someone to call me regarding for an appointment on a stamp to be extended. I am needing proof (documents) for a mortgage that I am still lawful. Any help as to what can be done?

  3. Hello!
    A good friend in Kenya is wanting to come to the US long term.
    I can host with room, board, and anything else needed.
    He has 8 years work experience as a chef in a 5 star hotel as well as hospitality certificates.
    What are our options?
    Is it possible to get a 10 year visa?

    Should we apply for a b1/b2 visa and then just apply for extensions?

    I can also pay him going wages as a domestic helper. Is this possible?

    Please advise! Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Helen Levee

    1. Hi, Helen:
      You definitely need a brainstorming session with an immigration attorney to think about options. There is no easy solution in this situation. B-2 visas are issued for 10 years but the holder cannot enter for more than 6 months. Most importantly, they cannot work in the states.

      1. Hello Craig.
        My friend had his visa interview today in Kenya but was denied.
        He had all the supporting documents and was going well until the question “how do you know them”. He answered then the interviewer shook his head, talked to a lady next to him and gave Sifa the denial letter.
        They didn’t even ask to look at any of the documents.
        What can we do to get Sifa able to pass the interview?

  4. Good morning, I am a Jamaican sibling applicant that got a welcome letter the 3rd of march of this year we are now in the month of may and it is not open for me to do anything how long will it take to open so I can start the process ?

  5. Hi there,

    I am a New Zealand citizen I came here to USA on a ESTA Visa in February and I was traveling around the U.S when Covid happened and my flight was cancelled I have been staying with family since and plan to go home. While i’ve been here I discovered a Pilot school i’ve always wanted to be a pilot so I went to the school in Concord California and they offered me a i20 form for student visa. My ESTA visa is currently expired and I am about to get a 30 day extension to last me til I book a flight home. Although since I am on ESTA visa I have to go back home as it is not adjustable? If I go back home and do the student visa visa will I be penalized for this as I stayed in USA because of covid and hardship trying to go back home. Will I need to stay in NZ for a period of time before I can return back? What is the best advice you can give to me. I have a sister here that is a resident and is almost going to be a citizen but I heard it is low priority visa for sponsorship of siblings. Is there anything I can do eg adjustment of status?

    1. Hi, Layla:
      I’m looking at flight schools too (just for recreational purposes, though). With ESTA/VWP, you can adjust status to resident only via marriage to a U.S. citizen. You cannot change status (that’s different from “adjust”) to another non-immigrant/temporary status. So here, you can’t go from ESTA to F-1 student. You could look into departure to a third-party country like Mexico, as some consulates are willing to process (for example) an F-1. But if your ESTA is closed to expiration, you need to proactively apply for “satisfactory departure” at a CBP facility. That’s very important or you will be in violation of ESTA.
      Best, Greg

  6. Hi

    I would like to know the best way to get permanent residency being Portuguese and having an american partner willing to marry.

    From the immigration posts I have read I could conclude it would be better to travel a first time on ESTA, stay 3 months and after 3 months out file a fiancee visa application without risk getting married as a tourist to take things slowly. Because of the 90 day rule it would be most likely needed to marry on the second tourist trip to avoid rushing but I guess the benefit of fiancee visa is to be able to start the process before and from abroad, without needing that second visit, waiting until it is approved to then travel. Is this the safest and fastest way to do it?

    If not, what is the best plan and timings?

    At what point would hiring an immigration attorney be needed and how does it work?


    1. Hi, Mica:
      Traveling to the US on ESTA with plans to seek a green card is fraudulent and certainly not something you should plan on pursuing. That could result in a lifetime bar from the United States.

  7. I got married to a US citizen in November 2019. We filed for our application on 19 December. I only received a biometric appointment (which was done in January) and a letter for further evidence (i sent my birth certificate in February). Then the immigration offices shut down due to Covid. Then finally on June 5th i received my EAD in mail. We are now waiting on for an interview date. My question that has been troubling me is that we did not keep any copies of the i-485 and the employment authorization forms. I want to know is it required for us to take the photocopy set of all these forms to the green card interview? We do have record of the i-130. Will it affect our case/interview that we do bot have the photocopy set to take with us on the day of interview? Please guide me this is becoming really stressful.

    1. Hi, Sam ~
      Don’t worry about it. The officer will have your I-130 and I-485 with them at the interview. The Service Center sends this to the local office before the case is scheduled for an interview.
      Best ~

  8. Hi there,
    Can you kindly advise me on the following.

    I am a British citizen living in Nigeria. Been here for the past 6 years. Was taking care of my mum who had a terminal illness and stayed back after she passed to help care for my father whose his eyes are dim.

    However, I met an American on an online dating site. Long story short. We are planning on getting married (we will get professional help and care for my dad in my absence) and I am considering getting married in UK. I believe my CR1 Spousal Visa application stands the chance of getting approved if processed in the UK than in Nigeria. But my question is, will it raise eyebrows that I came back to the UK to get married instead of tying the knot in Nigeria, where I have been living for the past 6 years, and processing the CR1 application from there?

    Secondly, I have been taking care of my parents and haven’t really been able to work since returning to Nigeria. It wasn’t easy caring for a parent who was bed-bound and currently for one who’s eyes are dim. And so my question is, would I be seen as someone who will become dependent on government welfare and be denied the CR1 Spousal Visa as a result? FYI, my H2B is aware of my situation and has more than enough to be able to support me when I relocate. We can live comfortable solely on his income. That said, my plan IS to find employment once I get there.

    Also, I was caught driving without my car insurance and MOT in the UK once. Again, can this cause a problem?

    Lastly, I once got arrested and cautioned. Long story short. My landlady lied that I had threatened and assaulted her. The crazed lady went as far as inflicting a tiny cut on her chin to support her lies. I was cautioned and let off the hook because I had no previous criminal conviction. I had no understanding of the implication of accepting a caution and in hindsight should have refused it as I never assaulted the lady. But I accepted it because it meant I could be on my way to work. I was already running about 2 hours late at the time. This happened about 8 years ago. I had never been arrested prior to and after that one unfortunate incident.

    So again, could I be denied due to this police caution?

    I’m trying to ascertain if these could pose a problem and if I will most probably need the services of an immigration lawyer. So please your advise will be very much appreciated.

    Thank you.


    Very comprehensive info on your site. It’s now my one-stop shop for any of my immigration related questions. Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi, Kate, and sorry to hear of your mother’s passing.

      1 – The I-130 will be processed stateside (not in the UK). Normally only the US consulate in London will have jurisdiction over your subsequent DS-260 IV application, though your long residence in Nigeria means that the consulate there may be willing to conduct the interview. That permission has to be obtained.

      2 – Recent changes to “public charge” rules mean that there is a new focus on applicants’ work history. If you haven’t been working recently then – in a nutshell – we would hope that your petitioner husband has income at or above 250% Federal Poverty Guidelines.

      3 – This incident will have to be reported but sounds unlikely to be a basis for inadmissibility. It will be disclosed on a mandatory criminal background check.

      Hope this helps! Let us know if you ever want assistance.

  9. I filed I30 as a wife of permanent resident, but just discovered that he is not legally divorced from his first wife who is a US citizen. He told me they were divorced over 20yrs ago. We have been married for 15yrs. How does this affect my application?

    1. If he is still legally married, almost all circumstances that makes your marriage to him invalid for U.S. immigration purposes. He will have to complete the divorce process from his estranged spouse.

  10. Hello,

    My husband and I got married in Feb 2018. We got married in the US. He proposed to me when I came to visit him and I accepted. We had our church ceremony in my home country Spain in May 2018. He has a pending EB2 AOS since May 2017.

    It is my understanding that I am eligible for follow-to-join benefits since our marriage took place before the approval of his GC. I live and work outside the US and so I will file for consular processing when his GC is approved. His PD is still current (didn’t retrogress).

    As an EU citizen, using the visa waiver program, I was able to visit my husband in the US four times already (three short visits and one long visit of 80 days). We got married during my second short visit in Feb 2018.

    I always stated the purpose of my trips was pleasure and that was enough. The CBP officers never asked me about my husband who currently lives and works in the US while his AOS is pending and I have never mentioned him to CBP officers since we haven’t filed any paperwork and I have never been asked.

    My question is would I be able to visit my husband when we file I-824? I would like to apply for B2 visa so I can stay for longer period of time, not to exceed 6 months, of course. I don’t intend to adjust status upon my entry on B2. It’s too risky and I don’t want to jeopardize my case.

    However, consular processing can take a long time, especially nowadays, and we don’t know how long it will take before his GC is approved, so I want to be able to spend time with my husband for about 5 month per year while my case is processing.

    Is that possible or would they deny my B2 visa request because they are afraid I will adjust status upon entering the US? I should also mention that I recently quit my job. Should I wait until I file I-824 so this way, it clear to them that I am taking the consular processing route?

    Any advice, comment, or suggestion is much appreciated. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you,

  11. Dear Sir,
    My case was approved by USCIS and I have received a case number and the priority date is 27July 2007. My sister is a US Citizen and he sponsored me. I live in Dhaka in Bangladesh and I have a wife and one son and one daughter. I regularly and religiously follow the Visa Bulletin for updates and it seems to stick with no movement. I don’t know why this has taken now more than 11 years and why the delay? Is there any way of speeding this up? (My son and daughter are growing!) Thanks for any assistance and advise,
    kind regards
    Md Aminul Hoque

  12. I’m in the adjustment of status process. My case got a but delayed cause i sent the application to the USCIS without my apartment number. I fix everything by july and I started getting my letters with regularity. I got my EAD card on Wednesday. But I’m still waiting for my social (since I asked them to send me one). Should i call to Social Security office and make sure that everything is okay with my address or should i just keep waiting and have hope that when the USCIS changed my address in their system and supposed to get my SSN card soon? Thanks in advance.

    1. Yes, you should definitely update your information with the social security administration. They gather your information from USCIS (as listed on the Form I-765) so it is likely they have the wrong address.

  13. My wife and I got married in our home country in west Africa but relocated to south Africa after marriage. We both applied for a B1 /B2 visa with the intention of coming for vacation . I was surprised to reach home in June and saw a letter she wrote down that has travelled to look for a job some where in the country not knowing she has deceptive ly travelled to USA on the B1 visa. Last email conversation she sent to me was that she would soon change her status
    How easy can married woman with non immigrant B1 visa easily change her status without getting a proper divorce. No lawyer has contacted me from the USA for divorce process . She came into the USA with intention of spending holiday and visit family friends .
    Can she file for divorce in an american court without or with my consent . I don’t know if I can come to the USA because I don’t know if her status has changed or she has remarried a USA citizen in order to get her status changed.

    1. Whether she has options to change her immigration status would depend on other factors. If she can find an employer to sponsor her it is within the realm of possibility.

      A U.S. court would potentially have jurisdiction over a divorce proceeding in this case, but she would normally need to be residing at the local jurisdiction (not just visiting). She will also need to serve you in those proceedings.

  14. Hi Greg,

    My sister (17yrs old, unmarried) arrived here as a tourist-B2 in the US last April 9, 2018 and my mother who is a permanent resident filed an I-130 petition for her. Her tourist visa is valid until October 10, 2018. Is she allowed to stay here in the US while waiting for her petition? Or rather, what next step should my mother do? Thanks!

  15. Hi. I have a tourist visa and I stayed 3 months in 2017, then I came back in Dec and stayed 5 months in 2018 and got married to my boyfriend who is a permanent resident. Now, after 4 months away, I came back and we want to adjust my status, can I stay here in US while we apply for the petition for me to become a resident or I have to leave and wait in my country (Romania)? My husband was married for 8 years to a US citizen until Dec 2015 when he divorced. Many many thanks

  16. I came across the website and found many helpful immigration advice. Thank you so much for the information.
    I married a U.S citizen in good faith in 2016. He cheated on me and went off with another woman six months after we got married. I received an interview appoinment for my adjustment status in July 2017. I went to the interview without him, and the ambassador told me to go home and they will send me a letter following up my cases. At the time, I was still married to him. We legally divorced in May 2018, but I have not received any letter from USCIS. Please advise me what should I do in this situation.

    1. Ai, you should have gotten a decision in the adjustment case by now – check your case number on the USCIS website or by calling customer service. Usually – though by no means always – a case will be denied in these circumstances. If there was abuse in the marriage, even mental, then you should discuss filing a “self-petition” under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

  17. Hello guys,
    I’m seeking adjustment of status through my spouse, I want to know if I’m admissible given the following.
    I have a US visa that will expire by January 2019, however I have overstayed my 6months issued at the point of entry.
    Can I still go on to file without any issues arising from the Immigration Agency?

    1. Hi, Walter. A 6-month overstay triggers a three-year inadmissibility bar, but only after departing the US. If someone remains in the US to adjust status, and does not depart, the unlawful presence bar is not triggered. There could be other issues – such as whether the overstay indicates preconceived immigrant intent – but the 3-/10-year bars do not apply in this situation.

  18. Hello,my name is Olu,first i want to say a BIG Thank you for this platform,please after reading your posts and listening to the video you made,i have some questions to ask,

    My wife is filling for me and i want to be sure of what documents do i need as the beneficiary (foreign national)

    I can provide the following documents right away

    Seven passport style photographs
    Proof of name change
    Proof that prior marriage(s) was ended.
    Biographical and visa page of passport.
    Form I-94 arrival record.
    Birth certificate.
    Marriage certificate.
    Rental receipts or agreements showing both spouses as lessees.
    Auto insurance and registration showing both spouses as carriers and owners.
    Photographs of you together.

    BUT my Questions is that do i have to provide these other documents right now and send them all together right now or i can wait unto these document until when am going for an interview ?

    Unopened medical exam.

    Bank statements for checking and/or savings accounts showing account(s) are shared by both spouses

    Identification of U.S. citizen spouse such as passport or driver’s license.

    Hope to get a response , thank you once again,

    1. Hi, Olu. All of the supporting documents should be filed at the time you submit the USCIS forms. The medical, however, can be provided at the time of the interview if this is an I-485 case. You can also submit additional documents about the marriage at the time of the interview. If you don’t file the marriage-related documents with the initial filing then your case could be denied under current USCIS policy.

  19. My wife recived a call saying she can’t get visa because i was married to 2 wife at same time according to my divorce paper. But my 1st wife left me 2 years prior to my 2nd marriage but i didn’t file divorce before my 2nd marriage.
    What i suppose to do know

    1. That’s a real problem. Under US law you can’t be married to two people at the same time. If you were still married – even if separated – when you remarried then your second marriage is invalid. You will need to talk to a family law attorney to figure out if there is a way you can save the validity of the second marriage.

      1. Hello Greg!

        I have a quick question for you. If a joint sponsor’s mailing and physical address are the same, is proof of domicile required? As I know, it’s not. But CEAC has a spot for Proof of Domicile. In this case, do you sumbit it as “Not Available”? Thanks in advance.

  20. Hello Greg,

    Before I begin, wanted to say a BIG thanks for all your community work, some of your posts has best answers I found so far on internet.

    I have a very basic question while proceeding for “marriage-based adjustment of status” Can I send all the forms (130, 485, 765) in once packet to USCIS ? or there is any approval based sequence ?

    Thanks once again, highly appreciate your time.


  21. Hello, I have just found out that the USCIS have approved my family based petition for an adjustment of status. However, I have filed for them to be able to get an immigration visa through a consulate or embassy overseas, the approval letter suggests filing form I-824 to be sending the petition to NVC. I have contacted both offices and they did not provide me with clear answers. My attorney has contacted them and filed G-28 and sent a letter requesting USCIS to forward documents to NVC since beneficiary does not reside in the USA or qualify for adjustment of status. My question now is why did such thing happen when all documents shows that they are not in the US and seeking to immigrate through family based immigration visa? The attorney of the record stated he has absolutely filed everything based of the guideline and that this is USCIS mistake and they have to correct it and send it to NVC.
    I tried to reach out to NVC and sent an inquiry stating my issue and they latterly just ignored everything and said we did not receive it.
    I have not filled I-824 not sure why my attorney did not want to do so, I am assuming it is because theres nothing to be correcting from our end.

  22. Good Afternoon, I was informed by US immigration that i may live, study, work and reside freely in the US as a Canadian born 50% blood quantum Native American without a Residence Card, under the Indian Act and Jay Treaty, with sufficient documentation. I have a 10 year passport, Certificate of Indian Status, long form birth certificate, Social Security Number and 50% blood quantum letter to prove my indigenous identitiy. I was informed that this collection of ID and documentation would suffice, regarding what I must possess in person at the border, to reenter the US. I also have an Alien number from my infopass appointment fro creation of record which allowed me legally to enter the United States. I’ve been living in New York City since, waiting for my permanent residence card for, which was now 8 years ago. I then had requested an update a few years ago and met with a USCIS officer. My online USCIS profile says its been 825 days since my last update. I am looking for legal advice regarding what I must possess in person at the border, to legally reenter the USA as a Canadian Born native American of 50% blood quantum, without a permanent residence card. Additionally, any recommendations on how to acquire said card, since waiting for 8 years and requesting updates feom USCIS has yielded no results. Thank you for your time and assistance.

    1. You came to the right place! Here’s a detailed law journal article that covers this topic. Your card should definitely not be taking 8 years. You will want to file a case inquiry and then seek ombudsman or congressional intervention. The documents you list should be sufficient for the port of entry. But note these are very rare cases and you will almost certainly face an officer who is unfamiliar with the issue. We would encourage you to combat the delayed issuance of the LPR card, and ideally secure that before travel.

  23. Hi Greg,

    I’ve been reading some of your posts and believe this is the best site for me to ask some immigration questions.

    I am a US citizen living in Australia. I met my husband here and married him here two years ago. I have been accepted into law school back in the US to start in August 2018. We have filed for an I-130 while in Australia and have received the receipt number (is been assigned to Nebraska). We are now considering our options to try to minimise our time apart while the visa is processed. Can my husband travel to the US (ESTA) while his I-130 is being processed and subsequently while his immigrant visa is processed? He would obviously stay no longer than 90 days each time. Is this okay for him to do throughout the whole process? He would travel back to Australia for his interview etc.
    I would really appreciate your advice.

    1. Hi, Audrey.
      Check out this post on the exact question you raise. There is really no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and no guarantee that anyone in this situation would be able to travel. It really depends on his demonstrable ties to Australia, and frankly on the particular officer he ends up speaking to at the port of entry.

  24. I entered the USA on may 2017 on an ESTA waiver visa. Met my now husband in june and got married in november (of course my ESTA was already expired). We are now putting the paper work together (its taking time because we need a double sponsorship as my husband has no on the books job for 2016 and 2017), however our question now is if me been in the USA all this months ilegally can be a potential issue for the adjustment of status process.
    Thank you so much for this site, its incredibly helpful.

    1. Hi, Carmen. Assuming you remain in the U.S., overstaying the ESTA status does not automatically prevent you from adjusting. But this is an extremely precarious situation to be in, as you can be placed into expedited deportation proceedings on an administrative basis. They can also raise questions about whether you mis-sued the ESTA program as a stepping stone to residency status, which is not its intended use.

  25. My fiancee was born in Libya but his family moved to Palestine when he was little in the 1980s. He left Palestine in 2016 and now resides in Turkey and holds a resident permit. He still holds a Palestinian passport. We are planning on getting married but we are not sure which route to take whether it be fiance or family visa application I30 petition. Being that there is a travel ban for people that are from several countries, Libya being one of them and thats where he was born, do you think we will have issues applying for him? thanks

    1. Great question, Connie. Unfortunately, the travel ban is still being reviewed by the Supreme Court. We expect a ruling in a few months. But there currently would be no reason to prefer an I-129F strategy over an I-130, or vice versa.

      1. Hi. Me and my wife are green card holder but our kids are citizen and they receive medicaid now. May I ask you that under the new public charge rules, if their medicaid would impact my parents’ oversea immigration visa or not? Because I want to apply for my parents to immigrate to America after I become a citizen.
        Tanks for your answer.

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