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DJ+Ten

Does Unemployment Insurance Count as "Income"

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After filing for AOS I lost my job. Now we are scheduled for AOS interview in a couple of weeks. Due to the economy my assets have lost value so I'm less confident about depending on them. There are five of us but so far only one part time minimum wage job in the household. Co-sponsor is out of the question.

If I bring proof of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the interview, would that be applied as income? If so, my assets would be enough to take up the slack (difference x 5).

I saw one parenthetical note in VJ that said UI counts as income. Would appreciate a reference (e.g. USCIS) where I could confirm that fact.

DJ

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I too was laid off after filing AOS and before our interview. However, by that point in the year I had made much more than the required income levels. Plus my prior year tax returns were plenty. So look at your YTD earnings - are they enough?

I do not believe UI counts.

Good Luck!

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I too was laid off after filing AOS and before our interview. However, by that point in the year I had made much more than the required income levels. Plus my prior year tax returns were plenty. So look at your YTD earnings - are they enough?

I do not believe UI counts.

Good Luck!

My YTD was shy of the required level. So am I only required to show assets for the diff x 5?

Thanks,

DJ

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They really look at the "permanence" of the income. UI will not last forever, so that must be taken into account (they seem to run income out 5 years).

Since your spouse is the one you are sponsoring, it's 3x.

Check out this 864 FAQ

Edited by Bobby_Umit

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After filing for AOS I lost my job. Now we are scheduled for AOS interview in a couple of weeks. Due to the economy my assets have lost value so I'm less confident about depending on them. There are five of us but so far only one part time minimum wage job in the household. Co-sponsor is out of the question.

If I bring proof of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the interview, would that be applied as income? If so, my assets would be enough to take up the slack (difference x 5).

I saw one parenthetical note in VJ that said UI counts as income. Would appreciate a reference (e.g. USCIS) where I could confirm that fact.

DJ

The rules for the I-864 specify which forms of income are NOT income. SSI (Supplemental income...welfare) and student grants for example are not considered "income". Unemployment insurance is NOT on that list. Therefore, yes, it IS income.

That said, and before you breathe a sign of relief, the USCIS does not have to accept it as income. This is more than a matter of proving you have income. It is a subjective decision based on the belief that your spouse will not become a public charge. I have not seen any case where a person successfully adjusted status based on unemployment income alone. The problem with this type of income is that it is temporary. It is a judgement call in each case, but I would be doing a dis-service if I did not say... "line up a joint sponsor".

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I too was laid off after filing AOS and before our interview. However, by that point in the year I had made much more than the required income levels. Plus my prior year tax returns were plenty. So look at your YTD earnings - are they enough?

I do not believe UI counts.

Good Luck!

My YTD was shy of the required level. So am I only required to show assets for the diff x 5?

Thanks,

DJ

Yes and no. It does not matter that your YTD is enough or not. If you are unemployed and collecting unemployment your "current" income is the unemployment, not the year to date. You COULD do a calculation, legitimately, showing current income as your YTD PLUS your expected UI. But they will still lok most carefully at the fact that you are unemployed.

They look at the whole picture. Past (tax returns) Present (current income) and Future (usually an employment letter) and you are missing a big part of that puzzle right now...future income. They will lok at your case as a whole and they are aware of the economical situation. If you have a good work history, earn good income, have employable skills or education, they may just accept you will make it. They will also consider that the spouse can work, particularly if she has employable skills and education. So it is not the end of the world BUT...I must suggest you line up a joint sponsor.

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After filing for AOS I lost my job. Now we are scheduled for AOS interview in a couple of weeks. Due to the economy my assets have lost value so I'm less confident about depending on them. There are five of us but so far only one part time minimum wage job in the household. Co-sponsor is out of the question.

If I bring proof of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the interview, would that be applied as income? If so, my assets would be enough to take up the slack (difference x 5).

I saw one parenthetical note in VJ that said UI counts as income. Would appreciate a reference (e.g. USCIS) where I could confirm that fact.

DJ

WAIT

I just read this again. You lost your job AFTER you filed the AOS? So you filed the I-864 when you had a job? Well, I would suggest you still line up a joint sponsor, but they typically do not ask questions about this at the interview. We had no questions about that. The I-864 is a "present tense" document, it needs to be accurate the day you file it.

If you had a joint sponsor in your pocket (documents with you when you go to the interview) you are covered if it becomes an issue.

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After filing for AOS I lost my job. Now we are scheduled for AOS interview in a couple of weeks. Due to the economy my assets have lost value so I'm less confident about depending on them. There are five of us but so far only one part time minimum wage job in the household. Co-sponsor is out of the question.

If I bring proof of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the interview, would that be applied as income? If so, my assets would be enough to take up the slack (difference x 5).

I saw one parenthetical note in VJ that said UI counts as income. Would appreciate a reference (e.g. USCIS) where I could confirm that fact.

DJ

WAIT

I just read this again. You lost your job AFTER you filed the AOS? So you filed the I-864 when you had a job? Well, I would suggest you still line up a joint sponsor, but they typically do not ask questions about this at the interview. We had no questions about that. The I-864 is a "present tense" document, it needs to be accurate the day you file it.

If you had a joint sponsor in your pocket (documents with you when you go to the interview) you are covered if it becomes an issue.

Shhhhh....

people will grasp on to that as not needing to maintain income status after they file the AOS/submit the 864... :wacko:

But good plan to have a joint sponsor - just in case...

That would be an interesting interview if they mention it, "Why didn't you tell me when you walked in that you needed a extra sponsor?" :unsure:

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I appreciate the great feedback.

Bobby_Umit

- Thanks! Based on your post and link to FAQ I found...

A spouse, or son/daughter (who is 18 years or older) of a U.S. citizen: The minimum cash value of assets must be three times the difference
...which is very clear regarding my wife, but it's not so clear about the three K-2's that accompanied her. I thought that "children" meant "biological offspring." If in fact the 3x rule applies to all four, then my assets should cover the full amount even if NO income.

- That would be an interesting interview if they mention it, "Why didn't you tell me when you walked in that you needed a extra sponsor?"
And if caught off guard like that I might not be ready with the true response: "I felt the assets and strong job prospects would cover me."

Gary and Alla -

"...they are aware of the economical situation..."
DJ-the-optimist: Good! Then they know I'll be in good shape as soon as the economy recovers.

DJ-the-pessimist: Yikes! Then they'll figure it could be years before the economy recovers and I won't be able to provide support.

"...I must suggest you line up a joint sponsor..."
I really take to heart the emphasis you have placed on the JS. But I don't know of anyone that I could get. She has two married sisters in the US but both are retired. We are curious if their pensions & social security would be allowed as income for joint sponsorship and whether those would be sufficient (since the JS must prove income alone and not combining with mine). My own family/friends etc... Maybe I could borrow a few kilobucks to pad the savings account but nobody I know would accept the full risk of a sponsor.

Here is how it looks to me at present...

Income: Eldest K-2 daughter started working today. Only 3 days/week @ $8/hr (could be some weeks of 4-5 days during summer). BTW she has 3 yrs of BSN complete, and could support the whole lot after graduating. Wife is applying for hotel housekeeping jobs. As for me ... Yes I have a professional degree and (way too many) decades of experience, and the statement that SS sends me shows almost all my years at more than adequate income. The experience and education however, means that I can't get hired to lower level jobs because they know that I would leave as soon as I got a better offer and they would have go thru the whole hiring process with another guy.

Assets: I'm starting to believe that my assets are my only hope, and will handle it, especially if:

1. The 3xDiff rule applies to my wife and her three children, or,

2. Given any single full-time job in the house.

Thanks,

DJ

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jwh    0
After filing for AOS I lost my job. Now we are scheduled for AOS interview in a couple of weeks. Due to the economy my assets have lost value so I'm less confident about depending on them. There are five of us but so far only one part time minimum wage job in the household. Co-sponsor is out of the question.

If I bring proof of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to the interview, would that be applied as income? If so, my assets would be enough to take up the slack (difference x 5).

I saw one parenthetical note in VJ that said UI counts as income. Would appreciate a reference (e.g. USCIS) where I could confirm that fact.

DJ

DJ,

I feel for you, I too find myself in a similar situation, I worked for a major gov't. contractor as a f/e for 9 years before starting a homebuilding business (primarilly spec homes), with the down-fall in the housing market, I was forced into bancruptcy after dipleting all moneys and liquidating all assets (I was a very resposible builder, living well beneath my means) in order to pay for the homes that sat on the market for well over a year and a half unsold. After filling b.r., in "08" I went back to my former employer for a period of a year, before they too laid of 97 out of 102 F/E's in my division, because of the b.r., I was unable to renew my clearance for a sum of three years after the discharge, therefor not quallifing for other projects available within the company. since then I have worked spuratic contracts (due to difficulty in finding full-time work in my profession) and drawn unemployment benefits between contracts, I just recently aquired a full-time job with suitable income, but the past year is inadequate for me to sponsor my Colombian wife being that I have three dependants. The most difficult part of my situation is that my wife and I have a new son together and he was recently diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and his doctor has said that he needs to be here in the states where treatment is much better.

I appologize for the lengthy reply, but would you please let me know your outcome on your wife's interview and if you had any problems with the process that may apply to my situation.

Thanks in advance

JWH

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