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Showing Intent to Re-establish Domicile

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I'm creating this thread to share my experience with showing Intent to Re-establish Domicile. I'm hoping other people with similar cases can also share their experience and help others.

The Sponsor of an Immigrant for i864 needs to be either,

  1. Domiciled in the United States, or
  2. Show Proof of Re-establishment of Domicile in the United States, or
  3. Show Proof of Intent to Re-establish Domicile in the United States.

As is obvious, number 1 is better than number 2, and both are better than number 3. I went for number 3, as I did not want to be separated from my husband and son for the amount of time it would take to Re-establish Domicile.

My story:

I'm a US citizen by birth, as both my parents were citizens. My parents moved to Pakistan when I was 4 years old. I haven't been back to the states since then. After my marriage, I wanted to settle in the US with my husband and son. So we filed for Immigration Visas for both of them.

My son is not automatically a US citizen from birth, as he has only 1 US citizen parent who has not lived in the US "for a period of at least five years at some time in his or her life prior to the birth, of which at least two years were after his or her 14th birthday." That means that we needed to apply for a visa for him too, though he doesn't need an Affidavit of Support, (but instead a Form I-864W), and becomes a citizen upon entry into the US by an Immigration Visa.

As I haven't filed any US taxes, and do not have US based income anyway, we needed a joint sponsor for my husband. Luckily, one of our relatives was willing to sponsor.

Even so I needed to show Proof of Intent to Re-establish Domicile. These are the thing we gathered:

  1. An invitation letter to stay with a family member indefinitely.
  2. An Enrollment Agreement for my son in a Pre-school near her house.
  3. We opened a bank account, and transferred funds there. We used a bank statement as proof of this.
  4. My husband obtained a job invitation letter from a US based company. As I am a stay-at-home-parent to my 2 year old son, we explained that my husband was going to be the principle breadwinner for the family.
  5. I already had a Social Security Number

Luckily these documents were sufficient, and our visa was approved.

We gathered all these documents without leaving Pakistan, with the help of some family members abroad. More about how to do that in the next post.

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For the Pre-school/Daycare Enrollment agreement:

I googled Daycares near *zipcode of family member's address*. Then I got their email addresses from their websites. I composed an email, essentially:


I'm planning to move to the US soon, with my son, and I would like to enroll my son, XXX (age x years) at your daycare. As I'm currently living abroad, I can't personally come in to fill out any documents, but if you mail them to me, I can mail you back the completed forms along with any enrollment fees. Is it possible for you to enroll my son in your daycare?


and emailed it to all the email addresses. One place replied yes, and emailed me scans of their enrollment form. I completed the form and emailed a scan of it to them, along with the enrollment fee. They signed the agreement after receiving the fee, and scanned me a copy, which I printed and showed at the interview.

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Opening a US bank account from abroad:

Opening the bank account was tricky. We tried opening an account online, as many US banks allow that but ran into two problems. One was that most banks required two id documents to open an account online: A driver's license/State id and a Social Security number. I didn't have the first, though I did have the second. While some few banks would accept a US Passport as id document along with a Social Security Number, we ran into the second problem. As I had left the US as a very young child, the online account opening system, which searches for an applicant's history in the US, was not able to find that I existed, and so would not open an account for me.

The next thing we tried was contacting US citizen relatives for help. A relative talked to his bank, which agreed to open an account for us. They sent us the papers we need to fill out to get an account. As my signature on the papers needed to be notarized, they asked me to take it to the US consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan to use their notarial services. We got the forms filled out, notarized and then mailed them to the bank. Since then, I have used online banking with that bank account.

Other US citizen, and even non citizen relatives have successfully opened US bank accounts from abroad in SRI Federal Credit Union. They will accept even non-US passports as id documents, and non US addresses. The catch is that in order to open an account there, you need to either be a direct relative (child, parent or sibling) of an account holder, or be a student or member of faculty at a select few universities in California. We did not open our account there because I had no direct relative with an account in that bank, at the time.

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