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Questions about financial requirements for K1 sponsor

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Here is my situation. Two years ago I was on unemployment all summer. I am pretty sure I was a little below the financial responsibility percentage for that year by a little bit. Last year I was unemployed and not collecting unemployment while attending school until May then got a job for the rest of the year and earned about $19,000 for the year. I was however collecting food stamps at the beginning of last year while I was in school (will this affect the K1 process?). I was laid off from that job back in April and I am now on unemployment again. I was at about $10,000 for the year when I lost that job and I know if I find a job soon I can hit the $25,000 mark I need to to bring my girlfriend and her son over on a K1 visa.

My other issue is i have unfiled tax returns going back a few years which I am currently working with a tax attorney to resolve. He advised me that I should wait until I get all my taxes filed and have a settlement with the IRS before I try for a K1 visa (which is a process he said could take several months). He also said this could affect my ability to get a passport.

Here are my goals. Tell me if they look realistic or if I should put things off. First of all I plan to go visit my girlfriend in the end of September. The main thing here is I am wondering if I should try for a passport right away or wait for things to start happening with my tax situation first. The next thing I would like to do is go back in Januiary and visit her again. At that point if things work out we would like to start working on the K1 visa right away. Is January a realistic timeframe for starting the K1 process given my financial and tax situation and will I be ok if I meet the $25,000 mark this year even if I didn't the last few years? I will likely owe money on my taxes but my attorney told me as long as I have a payment plan it shouldn't affect the immigration process. Is this true? Should I look for a cosponsor (I hear they don't accept them in the Philippines)? Does a cosponsor have to be family or can it be a friend I have known for 20+ years?

I made a previous post here asking if I should hire an immigration attorney and I have decided I want to attempt this without one. Whether or not I can get answers to what I have asked in this post will decide if I want to do this myself or not. These are the issues that worry me the most about the whole process.


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Yes, you will need to resolve your back taxes first.

No, being on food stamps will not matter. Meeting the income requirement is what will matter.

You need to meet the requirement with current annual income, not by how much you have earned so far in a year. Take what you make an hour and multiply that by hours worked per week. Then multiply that by 52 weeks to get your current annual income. Show proof of that income amount by providing a letter from employer and/or recent pay stubs.

If you are self-employed, then they will look at line 22 of your most recent 1040, which is Total Income. If this is the case, then you will need to wait until you resolve your back taxes and can show enough income on your most recent filing.


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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Never heard owing back taxes will cause an issue getting a passport. Never heard of a tax attorney telling a person to resolve his back taxes before filing a K1, What does he know about immigration? Is he a tax attorney or a immigration attorney?

Embassy in Manila in the last few months has not been asking for copy of taxes or I-134, etc, but have it in case it is asked for.

Manila accepts co sponsors on case by case basis, this has always been the case as long as I can remember. And worse comes to worse you can always get married an do a spousal visa and Manila has to accept a co sponsor.

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Yes, you will need to resolve your back taxes first.

No, being on food stamps will not matter. Meeting the income requirement is what will matter.

You need to meet the requirement with current annual income, not by how much you have earned so far in a year. Take what you make an hour and multiply that by hours worked per week. Then multiply that by 52 weeks to get your current annual income. Show proof of that income amount by providing a letter from employer and/or recent pay stubs.

If you are self-employed, then they will look at line 22 of your most recent 1040, which is Total Income. If this is the case, then you will need to wait until you resolve your back taxes and can show enough income on your most recent filing.

By resolving my back taxes do you mean pay them off or establish a payment plan? The tax attorney I am working with said having a payment plan should be good enough.

So what you are saying is the only income that counts is how much I am making per hour at the time of the visa interview? If that is the case I shouldn't have too much to worry about becase I know I will have a good job by then.

I am not self employed so the last part shouldn't apply to me.


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By resolving my back taxes do you mean pay them off or establish a payment plan? The tax attorney I am working with said having a payment plan should be good enough.

So what you are saying is the only income that counts is how much I am making per hour at the time of the visa interview? If that is the case I shouldn't have too much to worry about becase I know I will have a good job by then.

I am not self employed so the last part shouldn't apply to me.

Yes, so long as they are filed, and you are making payments on anything owed, then it is fine. For the I-134, you would only need to provide a copy of the most recent tax return, but for the I-864 later after you are married, you will need list the Total Income from your last 3 years of taxes. That is the affidavit where it is most important to have the back taxes taken care of.

Yes, current income is the most important factor. If you can prove your current income meets the requirement, then you should be ok.


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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Never heard owing back taxes will cause an issue getting a passport. Never heard of a tax attorney telling a person to resolve his back taxes before filing a K1, What does he know about immigration? Is he a tax attorney or a immigration attorney?

Embassy in Manila in the last few months has not been asking for copy of taxes or I-134, etc, but have it in case it is asked for.

Manila accepts co sponsors on case by case basis, this has always been the case as long as I can remember. And worse comes to worse you can always get married an do a spousal visa and Manila has to accept a co sponsor.

If they are not asking for an I-134 what do you need for proof of income? check stubs and a letter from your employer? If you do have to provide a I-134 do you also have to provide tax returns if you are not self employed? If so how many years and will your past years income affect anything?

Would they accept a close friend as a cosponsor or does it have to be a relative?


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If they are not asking for an I-134 what do you need for proof of income? check stubs and a letter from your employer? If you do have to provide a I-134 do you also have to provide tax returns if you are not self employed? If so how many years and will your past years income affect anything?

Would they accept a close friend as a cosponsor or does it have to be a relative?

As of the last 4 months, a lot of people are not being asked for anything. No proof of income, no prior year taxes. Before that the general rule was copy of your last year taxes only was needed with w2 or 1099's

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Ok here is what I am wondering. I have two choices here and I don't want to make the wrong one. I can take a job that will for sure get me above $25,000 for the year. If I do that there is a chance I won't be able to spend much time with my girlfriend in September if at all and I might have to wait until January to go. My other option is I can take a job that will allow me the time off I need in September and it will be enough to pay the bills but I might not make $25,000 for the year. When I get back in September I can get a better paying job so I will meet the hourly pay requirement when it comes time for the visa interview. I am confused on what I should do here. If what you are saying is true the second option might be my best choice right now but if not having $25,000 for this year will affect the visa process I don't want to risk it.


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Where are you getting the $25k amount? Do you have dependents? How many in your household?

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-864p.pdf


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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Ok here is what I am wondering. I have two choices here and I don't want to make the wrong one. I can take a job that will for sure get me above $25,000 for the year. If I do that there is a chance I won't be able to spend much time with my girlfriend in September if at all and I might have to wait until January to go. My other option is I can take a job that will allow me the time off I need in September and it will be enough to pay the bills but I might not make $25,000 for the year. When I get back in September I can get a better paying job so I will meet the hourly pay requirement when it comes time for the visa interview. I am confused on what I should do here. If what you are saying is true the second option might be my best choice right now but if not having $25,000 for this year will affect the visa process I don't want to risk it.

Why don't you go visit the girl first and make sure you even want to file a visa for her. My suggestion for a first timer going to Philippines and I have coached many guys going there and seen a handful find good wives.

Go to Philippines and meet a handful of girls, even if you think the girl you are talking with now is the "one" always keep your options open. Spend a few days with her and tell her you have to leave in 3 days, Go spend a few days with some other girls and so and so on. After meeting a few girls then pick the one you like most. Things can change, be picky and set requirments in your mind what you are looking for in a long time partner.

After you decide the one you like, come home and file the paper work and get a job that will meet income requirements. I would spend about a month in Philippines, and try to avoid Manila and look for province girls...........

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Why don't you go visit the girl first and make sure you even want to file a visa for her. My suggestion for a first timer going to Philippines and I have coached many guys going there and seen a handful find good wives.

Go to Philippines and meet a handful of girls, even if you think the girl you are talking with now is the "one" always keep your options open. Spend a few days with her and tell her you have to leave in 3 days, Go spend a few days with some other girls and so and so on. After meeting a few girls then pick the one you like most. Things can change, be picky and set requirments in your mind what you are looking for in a long time partner.

After you decide the one you like, come home and file the paper work and get a job that will meet income requirements. I would spend about a month in Philippines, and try to avoid Manila and look for province girls...........

Thanks for the advice but I don'tneed to date multiple women at this point nor do I have a desire to. I have already found a woman I like and can see having a family with. That being said I have not by any means made a decision on what I am going to do yet. I think I will be able to do that as soon as I spend a few weeks with her and see if she really is who I think she is. With all due respect I am simply seeking advice on the particulars of the K1 process. Not relationship advice.


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Sorry I forgot to mention she has a son we want to bring over too.

Ah okay, gotcha. So you need enough for a household of 3. I think if you are working a job where you do not make the income requirement, but it allows you to visit your fiancee and have some 'face-time', then that is a good thing. The more time you spend together in person, the better your chances are for proving your relationship is bona fide. When you return from visiting, then you can get a job where you do meet the income requirement. You can list your current annual income that does meet the requirement, and show the pay stubs and letter from employer to prove you make enough. It should be enough to get the K-1 visa, especially if Manila is still being so lax about the financials by the time your fiancee has her interview.

It should also be enough for AOS and the I-864 later because you will likely have months at that job before AOS happens. If you find that you still do not meet the requirement when it comes time for AOS, the I-864 definitely does allow for the use of a joint sponsor.


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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Ah okay, gotcha. So you need enough for a household of 3. I think if you are working a job where you do not make the income requirement, but it allows you to visit your fiancee and have some 'face-time', then that is a good thing. The more time you spend together in person, the better your chances are for proving your relationship is bona fide. When you return from visiting, then you can get a job where you do meet the income requirement. You can list your current annual income that does meet the requirement, and show the pay stubs and letter from employer to prove you make enough. It should be enough to get the K-1 visa, especially if Manila is still being so lax about the financials by the time your fiancee has her interview.

It should also be enough for AOS and the I-864 later because you will likely have months at that job before AOS happens. If you find that you still do not meet the requirement when it comes time for AOS, the I-864 definitely does allow for the use of a joint sponsor.

Ok so if I get a job that allows me to go to the Philippines but doesn't get me to $25,000 I should be ok as long as I have a high enough paying job before the interview? I might actually hit $25,000 anyways but that is if I count my unemployment towards it too. Do they look at unemployment as income? Also I am still wondering can I use a friend as a cosponsor or does it have to be a family member? A close friend of mine has already told me he is willing to be a cosponsor if needed. Ideally I would like to do this without a cosponsor so things don't become complicated so I am willing to just get a good job if need be to meet the income requirement.


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Ok so if I get a job that allows me to go to the Philippines but doesn't get me to $25,000 I should be ok as long as I have a high enough paying job before the interview? I might actually hit $25,000 anyways but that is if I count my unemployment towards it too. Do they look at unemployment as income? Also I am still wondering can I use a friend as a cosponsor or does it have to be a family member? A close friend of mine has already told me he is willing to be a cosponsor if needed. Ideally I would like to do this without a cosponsor so things don't become complicated so I am willing to just get a good job if need be to meet the income requirement.

Yes, your current income will be most important. It is not about reaching a certain amount before providing the affidavit. It is more of what you are earning projected out in the time span of a year equally the required amount and now what you have already earned to date in a year.

They do not tend to accept unemployment because it is temporary, but that will not be an issue as you will be currently working and currently earning the required amount. That is the only amount you will list, and the only income you supply proof of. The unemployment will not need to even be mentioned if you are not unemployed any longer.

Manila will accept co-sponsors on a case by case basis for the I-134. However, from what I understand, the ones they accept tend to be from a close family member. They do not easily accept them there. If you are not making enough by the time you send in the I-129F petition, perhaps you would wish to reconsider your plans and get married first and file for a spousal visa instead. The spousal visa requires the I-864 and a joint sponsor is always accepted with that form.


Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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