Can I count my own income when I apply for a marriage green card?

Can I count my own income when I apply for a marriage green card?

Question: My husband is a U.S. citizen. I am in the U.S. on an H1B visa and am allowed to work in the U.S. My husband is currently unemployed, so his income is not sufficient to satisfy USCIS’s minimum income requirements. Can we use my income to satisfy the income requirements? 

Answer: Yes. The sponsor can count the intending immigrant’s income in his household income if certain requirements are satisfied. You, as the intending immigrant, must meet the following requirements:

  1. You have the same principal residence as the sponsor; and
  2. Your income will continue from a lawful source even after you obtain your green card. 

Does the intending immigrant need to complete Form I-864A? 

Usually, the intending immigrant does not need to complete Form I-864A. If you are the intending immigrant and the sponsor is including your income on Form I-864 to meet the eligibility requirements, you need to complete Form I-864A only if you have accompanying dependents. 

If the sponsor loses his job before filing Form I-864, can he use assets to supplement his income?

Yes. If the sponsor’s income does not satisfy the minimum requirements, the sponsor can use his assets to supplement his income. The asset must be able to be converted into cash within one year. The sponsor must submit proof of ownership and proof of the value of the asset. 

If you own a home, you may also include the net value of the home as an asset. The net value of the home is the appraised value of the home, minus the amount of any loans secured by the home. 

If I received a means-tested public benefit, will that disqualify me from being a sponsor? 

No. Receipt of a means-tested public benefits does not disqualify anyone from being a sponsor. However, means-tested public benefits cannot be accepted as income for the purposes of meeting the income requirement.

Are there any exceptions for filing Form I-864?

Yes. If you qualify for one of the exemptions listed below, you do not need to submit Form I-864: 

  • You are applying for a green card as a victim of abuse under the Violence Against Women Act;
  • You are applying for a green card as the widow of a U.S. citizen;
  • You have 40 qualifying quarters of work in the United States. 

Leave a Reply