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Guide for Joint Sponsor AOS

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Well we've just received our NOA1 so naturally it's time to start preparing for NVC :P

It looks like we're going to need a joint sponsor so I put together a package to send to our sponsor that outlines the steps involved.

Others on this forum or on the internet in general may find this useful so I'll post for all to see.

It's definitely not comprehensive but I feel it may work for a good majority of people out there with simple situations (one joint sponsor, one immigrant, no assets). And if everyone finds this completely useless then at least someone can review it and tell me if I'm missing something before I send it off to our joint sponsor. :)

Overview of the process (CR-1 visa):

  1. I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form is to establish that I am a relative of the US citizen and I intend to immigrate to the USA. We needed to include items like xxx’s US passport, marriage certificate, evidence for a bona fide relationship (proof of shared address, shared finances, pictures). We also needed to include the G-325A Biographic Information Form, which asked questions regarding where we’ve lived in the past five years, where we’ve been employed, etc. This is sent to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After about 4-8 months (average) they finish processing it and send the case to the National Visa Center (NVC) who takes over.
  2. At the NVC they require a number of things:
    1. The I-864, Affidavit of Support (AOS), which shows that the immigrant has adequate means of financial support and not likely to rely on the government. The amount of income required is 125% of the poverty line for the state the petitioner resides (currently about $19K for a household size of 2). Various proof is required to show that this is met (tax transcripts, pay stubs, etc)
    2. The “IV Package” which contains things like my (the beneficiary) birth certificate, police clearance check, passport, marriage certificate
    3. DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application. DS-260 is similar to the G-325A, Biographic Information Form, from the I-130 stage, but it gets into a more detail and is done online.
  3. After reviewing the information, the NVC sends the case to the US consulate in the immigrant’s country. They usually schedule an interview a couple of months after approval. During this time, I’ll need to go for a medical exam with a US panel physician. Then I go for the interview and we go over the case and hopefully I’m approved! If approved, I have 6 months to cross the border and I’ll then be granted a green card and a SSN. After a few years I can apply for citizenship.


  • Overall the process takes on average 6-12 months. Obviously we don’t want to wait longer than we need to. Request for Evidence (RFE) or a checklist are fancy ways of saying you’ve done something wrong and the USCIS or NVC needs you to re-submit a corrected version of a form. This can happen when you forgot to sign something, or forgot to check a box or write “None” or “N/A” in a blank space. Sometimes it’s because one of the reviewers “misplaced” (lost) something and they’ll send an RFE. So it’s really important to do things exactly the way they want them done. In some situations, RFE can add months to the wait time.
  • A lot of this knowledge is coming from www.visajourney.com. They have an excellent forum filled with members who have dealt with all kinds of situations. Some of them are lawyers who are helping out, but many are people who have actually experienced it. There are some all-star members who have really put a lot of effort into creating guides for every step of the process. This is part of the reason why we don’t get a lawyer. Another reason is because each case is very different and lawyers (usually) aren’t trained to deal with the specifics of each consulate. In our case (Canada), proving domicile is key and that's why we need to separate. The collective experience of the members on visajourney is worth more than any money we can pay a lawyer!
  • I’ll elaborate further and say that because xxx hasn’t been living/working in the states for pretty much her whole life, it’s likely that the USCIS, NVC, consulate, etc. will want strong supporting evidence before they approve anything. So I might ask for something that seems above and beyond what is required in the instructions.
  • You may notice the expiration on the I-864 has passed. This is normal and the NVC is still accepting this form. This is because the NVC is lazy and hasn’t reviewed the form for any updates. See http://www.uscis.gov/i-864

Legal obligations:

  • Please read the bottom of the AOS (“Part 8”) to understand what the consequences of signing this document are.

Required scanned documents:

  • Proof of US citizenship (just one document)
    • Copy of your birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, consular report of birth abroad to citizen parents, or a copy of the biographic data page of your U.S. passport
  • Federal tax transcripts for the past three years (2014, 2013, 2012) and possibly W2’s for those years
    • If you and xxx file taxes together, then I’ll also need your W2’s for the past three years to show that YOU alone can satisfy the income requirements. If you file separately then we’ll only need your transcripts and not the W2’s.
    • You can order your transcripts here: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
      • You have the option of getting the tax return transcripts or the tax account transcript. Both are acceptable.
    • It’s also possible to send the entire tax return as well (1040’s, 1099’s, W2’s) but the preferred documentation are the transcripts
  • Letter of employment stating salary AND six months worth of pay stubs
    • The letter is to show what your anticipated salary is for the year and shows that you are actively working there (not on contract). This letter must be printed on the company letterhead and should look something like this:

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to confirm that <sponsor’s full name> is employed with us since <employment start date>. <sponsor’s full name> is currently working with us as <sponsor’s role/title>. His/Her annual salary annual salary is $000,000.00 for year <current year>.

Please feel free to contact us if your office should require further information.


<authorized person’s signature>
<authorized person’s name>
<authorized person’s designation>
<company name>

<company address>

<company telephone number and extension of authorized person>

  • Pay stubs show that the employment is legitimate and you’re not just faking the whole thing. Hopefully you keep these! If not, and if the YTD is on the paystubs then just the latest one should be fine. We’ll take whatever you have!

Filling out the AOS:

  • I’ve attached the instructions so you can follow along with those if you like. Or follow along with me. Or if it doesn’t bother you, send us what’s required and we’ll fill everything in. We’re going to need to review it anyway.
  • I pre-filled everything in the AOS that applies to me.
  • Sections that need to be filled out.
    • Part 1: Question 1
    • Part 4: all questions
    • Part 5: all questions
      • Note that the household size will also include myself
      • For you, xxx, xxx, and myself, the total household size will be 4
    • Part 6: all questions
      • For question 5 you’ll just include your current salary which should match what is shown in the letter from your employer and pay stubs. According to I-864P (http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-864p.pdf), 125% of the poverty line for a household size of 4 is $30,312. If you make more than this then we do not need to use anyone else in the household for income, so your answer to question 10 will be the same answer for question 5.
  • You’ll notice a lot of N/A or None’s, even though the instructions state to leave those spaces blank. These are lies. People have had to re-submit their AOS because they basically followed directions. Might happen or it might not, but I prefer to play it safe and put N/A or None.
  • All that you need to print out is the last sheet, so you can sign and date it. MAKE SURE TO SIGN IN BLACK INK. SIGNING IN ANY OTHER COLOR MAY RESULT IN HAVING TO RE-SUBMIT. Seriously! Imagine sending everything, waiting like 60 days before they review it, and finding out they need you to send it again because you signed in blue ink.
  • Then send the signed original (because we’re going to mail the package in) to:

<your address>

Edited by sean.law

2015.07.20: Sent I-130 package

2015.07.26: NOA1 (routed to CSC)

2015.08.19 NOA2 (25 days approval INSANITY)

2015.09.07 NVC receives case (19 days)

2015.09.18 NVC assigns case #

2015.09.21 DS-261 submitted

2015.09.21 AOS bill paid

2015.10.27 AOS/IV package arrives at NVC

2015.10.28 DS-261 reviewed (didn't call)

2015.10.28 scan date for AOS/IV (30 day review)

2015.10.29 IV bill paid

2015.11.03 DS-260 submitted

2015.12.09 Case complete at NVC

2015.12.15 Receive interview date

2015.12.22 Medical exam

2016.01.28 Interview - approved!

2016.01.29 Visa is issued

2016.02.01 Receive waybill number

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Sponsorship is not limited to USC's.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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