What documents does a joint sponsor need to provide?

Question: I’m applying for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. My spouse’s income isn’t high enough, so we need a joint sponsor. What documents does the joint sponsor need to provide? 

Answer: When applying for a marriage green card, a joint sponsor must submit:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency,
  • A tax return for the most recent tax year,
  • Proof of income for the current year, and 
  • Form I-864.

What documents does a joint sponsor need to provide?

To fulfill the above requirements, a joint sponsor must submit the following:

  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency: A joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a U.S. lawful permanent resident. To prove U.S. citizenship, the joint sponsor must provide a U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. naturalization certificate, or a U.S. passport. 
  • Proof of income for the current year: To provide proof of income for the current year, a joint sponsor may submit paystubs, paychecks, an employer’s letter, or bank records. If a joint sponsor is married, he or she may include the income from his or her spouse. 
  • Form I-864: A joint sponsor must complete and sign an Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA (Form I-864), which is the joint sponsor’s agreement to reimburse the U.S. government if the foreign beneficiary has to use certain public benefits in the U.S. A married joint sponsor must also complete a Form I-864A for his or her spouse. 

What is a Joint Sponsor? 

When applying for a marriage green card, a petitioner must provide proof that his or her income is above a certain amount. If a petitioner’s income is insufficient, he or she may enlist the support of a joint sponsor. A joint sponsor, also called a financial co-sponsor, is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who agrees to take on the responsibility of financially supporting an applicant for a marriage green card. A joint sponsor shares this responsibility with the petitioner. There is a requirement that a joint sponsor be related to the petitioner or marriage green card applicant. 

What are the requirements to be a Joint Sponsor?

Joint sponsors should be friends or family members of the petitioner or beneficiary. A joint sponsor must also meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) who is at least 18 years old,
  • Have income that is at least 125% of federal poverty guidelines, and
  • Be domiciled in the United States.

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