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kemijo

US Domicile? Am I eligible to be a sponsor?

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Filed: Country: Canada
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Hi everyone,

*** First some potentially relevant background ***

I am a USC born and living in Toronto, Canada. I acquired my US citizenship in September 2008 (I'm in my early thirties). It was a very complicated affair due to the muddy background of my USC father. We worked together and finally got it, which was by far the hard part.

I've been married 5 years to a wonderful woman born in Canada. We have two awesome young children and are planning on moving to the US in the new year. Currently we are in the final stages of getting everyone their US status. On October 21 we have an interview for the kids to get their citizenship through their USC grandfather. Yesterday we finally received notice about an interview for my wife's Visa in Montreal, scheduled for November 4.

I have a career in computer animation for feature films. When working, I meet the salary guidelines for sponsorship. However in February I decided to quit my job and stay home for many reasons, the most primary being to see my (now 1 year old) daughter more, and to explore other interests. I plan to go back to my computer animation career when I move to the US (most likely Los Angeles). I have many years experience and getting a job shouldn't be a problem, as long as they are hiring. But officially my current salary is $0. We are living with my parents until we move.

*** Whew! Background speech over. Now onto the question! ***

I am concerned about the US Domicile. Currently I am the primary sponsor, because I believe I must be. My mother is a household sponsor, and her salary can cover all of us, so I'm not worried about that. If I understand correctly, I must somehow prove that I have a home or a job or some other ties to the US, before the interview. The problem is that I do not yet have ties to the States besides my citizenship and SSN. Getting studios to agree to hire me so many months in advance would be difficult or impossible. Likewise it is difficult to secure a place to live now when I don't plan to move until January. I was planning on securing both of these in December.

The only things I have in my favour are that a) I have no job here (my wife works however), and B) we own no property. We are essentially waiting to move as soon as we can. We could open a US bank account, but I doubt that would be enough. Am I even eligible to be a sponsor since I am a USC born overseas? Do I need to get someone that is a USC currently living there as a co-sponsor? Do they have to be family? And then do they need to prove that they can support my family? I have a few people in mind that can do these things, but I want to make sure I get it right. Also, since I have sent back DS-230, I have already been named as the petitioner. Is the petitioner always the sponsor? Is it possible to change or add a sponsor now without affecting the interview date? This process is clearly not designed for someone in my situation.

I think that covers it, but if anything is unclear let me know. If I need to secure a home and/or job in the States before the interview, I'll need to move fast! :)

Thanks in advance.

Ken

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Hi everyone,

I am a USC born and living in Toronto, Canada. I acquired my US citizenship in September 2008 (I'm in my early thirties).

So you were born outside the US to a USC father? Or where you born in the US? In the latter case you received your citizenship at birth, due to a document called the Constitution.

I've been married 5 years to a wonderful woman born in Canada. We have two awesome young children and are planning on moving to the US in the new year. Currently we are in the final stages of getting everyone their US status. On October 21 we have an interview for the kids to get their citizenship through their USC grandfather.

Not possible. The only person who can help them to become USCs is YOU.

The only things I have in my favour are that a) I have no job here (my wife works however), and B) we own no property. We are essentially waiting to move as soon as we can. We could open a US bank account, but I doubt that would be enough. Am I even eligible to be a sponsor since I am a USC born overseas? Do I need to get someone that is a USC currently living there as a co-sponsor? Do they have to be family? And then do they need to prove that they can support my family? I have a few people in mind that can do these things, but I want to make sure I get it right. Also, since I have sent back DS-230, I have already been named as the petitioner. Is the petitioner always the sponsor? Is it possible to change or add a sponsor now without affecting the interview date?

You need a sponsor (or more), any sponsor, really, who is either a USC or LPR of the USA. Or, alternatively, you'd need to show assets of 3 times the poverty level of a family of 4 times x years. The sponsor does not have to be related to you.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Hi Ken,

This thread on domicile will probably help you:

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...164618&st=0

As for your other questions, yes, you must be the primary sponsor, yes, your co-sponsor must be a U.S. citizen. The co-sponsor must prove, according to the 2009 poverty guidelines, that they can support their family and all immigrants at 125% of those guidelines. They do not have to be a member of your family.

There is no problem adding a co-sponsor at this point, as you have not submitted your I-864 yet.

One other thing I would recommend, if you have not already done so, is to have 3 years of U.S. tax returns with you at the interview - so 06, 07 and 08 - I suggest this because my Husband was asked to present mine - I believe this is because I also wasn't working before we moved and they wanted to see that I could in fact earn income.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Country: Canada
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Thanks for the speedy replies everyone!

@ Just Bob:

I was born outside the US (Toronto, Canada) to a USC father. Sorry for being unclear about "acquiring" citizenship...I had edited my response before posting, and "citizenship" previously said "passport." I'm aware that I was a US citizen at birth, but I was only able to "claim" it and receive a US passport in September 2008. As far as my kids becoming USCs through their grandfather, yes they are getting it through me, but my father is involved because I do not meet the physical presence requirements (lived in the US for 10 years, 5 of which after my 14th birthday). In any case it's not relevant to my issue. Sorry if I was misleading. Thanks for the info about the sponsor, that's exactly what I was looking for.

@Malrothien:

Thanks, looks like she beat me to it!

@ Trailmix:

Thank you, again that is exactly the information I was looking for. I think I was given some bad advice by someone in a different department, I was led to believe that I didn't need a co-sponsor. And yes, I plan on submitting tax returns for previous 3 years. However I have never worked in the US...do they need to be US tax returns? I recall reading that they could be foreign tax returns as long as I can explain why I don't have US tax returns, which of course I can.

Now to drop the question on friends/family..."can you support my family on paper and divulge your personal details to me?" :D

Thanks again everyone, very helpful/reassuring!

Ken

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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I'm glad you found visa journey because you two would have had a really rough interview otherwise!

Yes, they do need to be U.S. tax returns, they don't want to see your Canadian returns as foreign income is irrelevant (with regard to the I-864).

Aside from that, the I-864 (affidavit of support) states that you must have filed at least the last 3 years returns, you absolutely 100% have to do this. All American citizens are required to file U.S. returns, even if they don't live in the U.S.

I assume you have already filled out the I-864 - but may not have read all the instructions? They are long and they are boring and it is imperative that you read them. You can order tax transcripts from the IRS, however it's probably too late to get them now, since you have to file, mail them and have them processed. All you can really do is submit your 1040s with supporting Canadian income slips at the interview, at this point.

From the I-864 - page 8:

If you were required to file a Federal income tax return during any of the previous three tax years but did not do so, you must file any and all late returns with IRS and attach an IRS-generated tax return transcript documenting your late filing before submitting the I-864 Affidavit of Support.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Country: Canada
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I'm glad you found visa journey because you two would have had a really rough interview otherwise!

Yes, they do need to be U.S. tax returns, they don't want to see your Canadian returns as foreign income is irrelevant (with regard to the I-864).

Aside from that, the I-864 (affidavit of support) states that you must have filed at least the last 3 years returns, you absolutely 100% have to do this. All American citizens are required to file U.S. returns, even if they don't live in the U.S.

I assume you have already filled out the I-864 - but may not have read all the instructions? They are long and they are boring and it is imperative that you read them. You can order tax transcripts from the IRS, however it's probably too late to get them now, since you have to file, mail them and have them processed. All you can really do is submit your 1040s with supporting Canadian income slips at the interview, at this point.

From the I-864 - page 8:

If you were required to file a Federal income tax return during any of the previous three tax years but did not do so, you must file any and all late returns with IRS and attach an IRS-generated tax return transcript documenting your late filing before submitting the I-864 Affidavit of Support.

Hi Trailmix, again thanks for your response and advice. Still confused as I am getting conflicting information.

On page 8 - section 25, in paragraph 3, it states:

"Do not submit any tax returns that you filed with any foreign government unless you claim that you were not required to file a Federal tax return with the United States government and you wish to rely on the foreign return solely to establish the amount of your income that is not subject to tax in the United States."

Does this not mean that I can in fact use my Cdn tax returns if I have a good reason for not filing US returns? I mentioned in my initial post that I registered as a US citizen for the first time in September 2008. I got my SSN for the first time this year in the summer. I would understand if I was required to submit a US tax return for 2008. I would be shocked if I was also required to retroactively file returns for all previous years. I am hoping this is grounds for not ever having filed a US tax return (or perhaps being exempt from all but the 2008 return). Hopefully based on that they will allow me to use my Cdn tax returns to show my earning potential. By all means please let me know if this makes sense, because if not then this WILL be much harder than I thought.

Thanks again for any insights and corrections, I'm glad I found VisaJourney.com as well! Please let me know if I am wrong about this.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Hi, no problem at all.

I can see how you could interpret that statement in the way that you are, but that is not their meaning.

The confusion is there because in that same paragraph they do not state what constitutes a valid reason for not filing. The only reasons you would not have to file a U.S. return is:

1. You only became a U.S. citizen in 2008 (so obviously would not have filed for 07 and 06)

2. Your income was under the threshold to be required to file a return in that year. The thresholds are low, around the 8,000 mark - so unless you made less than around $ 8000 (CDN converted to U.S.) in a year, you do have to file. That's what they are talking about in that statement. They are saying, if you made under that income threshold, so you were not required to file, then bring those foreign returns to us to prove that.

I do understand what you mean when you say you only 'registered' as a citizen in 2008 - however, the fact that you documented your citizenship and then received either a U.S. passport or certificate of citizenship in that year, doesn't really mean anything.

With derivative citizenship you are deemed to be a U.S. citizen from birth - so yes, you absolutely have to file those returns.

Edited by trailmix

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Understood, and it is completely clear now (well, moreso). Upon closer reading, because my returns will be considered "late", I am required to submit an IRS generated transcript documenting my late filing. I will most likely have to either postpone the interview on Nov 3 or receive an RFE (what does that stand for? Request For Enhancement?) asking for the transcripts. As you said Trailmix, it will likely take the IRS several weeks to process, before they can send me a transcript. Does anyone know if it would be faster to go to the interview knowing that I don't yet have enough, or would it be better to request a rescheduling of the interview now?

Thanks again!

Ken

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Absolutely go to the interview. Montreal is really backed up with interviews right now (taking 5-6 months to schedule) and if you postpone yours now it can take months for them to reschedule you.

I would take the 1040s plus all applicable slips to the interview, they may well accept those in lieu of the IRS transcript.

(RFE = request for evidence)

Oh and if they want further information from you - they send you away to get it and submit, you don't have to travel back to Montreal.

Also, going back to the question of reestablishing domicile, another person was sent away for lack of evidence the other day, you might want to have a look at that thread:

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=223016

Edited by trailmix

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Trailmix, you are a SAGE! Thanks so much again for all your help. I am gettng things in order to have the IRS process the returns ASAP, but I will bring copies with me as well. Thanks also for both threads on domicile, it's terrible that they were delayed. I am trying to think of as many ways as possible to make that look solid. We've been trying to move to the US for so long, we have pages of email and chat conversations with friends about it. I'm very seriously considering printing some of those for evidence!

Quick question...is it possible to get a bank account, cell phone or drivers license without first having a US address?

Thank you again Trailmix....you're like the Visa Whisperer! ;)

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:lol:

I did get a bank account. How I did it was my Sister (who lives in Nebraska) organized with her local bank that they would open a joint account for her and me. I used that as evidence.

I'm not sure about a cell phone - that might be quite easy - a driver's license probably won't be possible.

Oh and one other thing, i'm assuming that you applied for a SSN once you documented your citizenship and they sent you a letter, probably saying they were processing it and at the very least a formish thing with it?

If so, either of this is also proof of reestablishing domicile - even a letter from you stating that you applied for your SSN and received your SS card on - such and such a date.

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Yep! While filling out the I-864 it asks for an SSN, and it said it was required. After a quick call to the closest DHS Office (Buffalo), they said it would be faster if I just went in. My wife was a little stunned when I said "Get dressed, we're going to...uh, Niagara Falls. Um...like now!" They mailed it to me within 2 weeks. So yes I already have my SSN card.

We have the interview for our kids to claim US citizenship on Oct 21, at which point I'll try and get a bank account and maybe a cell phone. Although...we'll be driving to Buffalo for the kids interview, but when we move we plan to be in LA. Not sure how that will work...We'll see how it goes, I might have to make an impromptu trip to LA before the interview, or do like you did and open a joint account with someone already in LA.

It's funny, I started this thread about proving domicile, and now the thing I am most concerned about is the tax returns! Sigh, REALLY wish I knew about that sooner!

Once again, thanks for the help!

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No problem.

That's interesting that your children are having an interview in Buffalo to claim U.S. citizenship. My understanding, as you have never lived in the U.S., that their only claim would be through applying for U.S. permanent residency and then becoming citizens once they cross the border as immigrants - or are they using grandparent's past residency in the U.S. or?

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