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Self-sponsor K-1 and AOS?

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Hi all.

 

I’m a British citizen and my fiancée is American. She quit a part time retail job a month ago to try to find a better job, but she’s been struggling to find a position that would meet the income requirement, as she probably can only manage to work part-time.

 

We tried asking a friend to co-sponsor, but they said that it would affect their credit rating, they would be liable for medical bills, and responsibility would last for over ten years, so they weren’t willing. (And this put my fiancée off asking anyone else.)


I’m self-employed (digital art so location would not change my income source, agent has US offices etc) and DO currently would meet the US income requirements, but not the UK ones.

 

Does anyone know if it possible to self-sponsor at K-1 and AOS stage? 

If self-sponsor is possible - Would I need a full year’s tax return meeting the requirement? I only started working again last November after finishing postgraduate studies, so last year’s return alone won’t show an annual income. I have invoices, accounts, bank statements.

 

We’re feeling very lost with how to move forward.
If anyone can advise, thank you so much!

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, JP_ said:

Hi all.

 

I’m a British citizen and my fiancée is American. She quit a part time retail job a month ago to try to find a better job, but she’s been struggling to find a position that would meet the income requirement, as she probably can only manage to work part-time.

 

We tried asking a friend to co-sponsor, but they said that it would affect their credit rating, they would be liable for medical bills, and responsibility would last for over ten years, so they weren’t willing. (And this put my fiancée off asking anyone else.)


I’m self-employed (digital art so location would not change my income source, agent has US offices etc) and DO currently would meet the US income requirements, but not the UK ones.

 

Does anyone know if it possible to self-sponsor at K-1 and AOS stage? 

If self-sponsor is possible - Would I need a full year’s tax return meeting the requirement? I only started working again last November after finishing postgraduate studies, so last year’s return alone won’t show an annual income. I have invoices, accounts, bank statements.

 

We’re feeling very lost with how to move forward.
If anyone can advise, thank you so much!

You cannot self-sponsor. It is 100% up to your spouse and co-sponsor to meet the income or asset requirements. It is perfectly understandable that people do not want to co-sponsor with a friend. While it doesn't have any impact on their credit rating, they are liable for any burden you put on the American State, including any benefits/resources you might get. Their responsibility lasts until you become a citizen or 10 years of employment in the US. If she has close family, that might be an option but it is a big ask.

 

Another option would be to see how much liquid assets she has. Given his employment situation, this seems unlikely. She would need $20,000 in liquid assets that are not loaned.

Edited by GreatDane

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, GreatDane said:

You cannot self-sponsor. It is 100% up to your spouse and co-sponsor to meet the income or asset requirements. It is perfectly understandable that people do not want to co-sponsor with a friend. While it doesn't have any impact on their credit rating, they are liable for any burden you put on the American State, including any benefits/resources you might get. Their responsibility lasts until you become a citizen or 10 years of employment in the US. If she has close family, that might be an option but it is a big ask.

 

Another option would be to see how much liquid assets she has. Given his employment situation, this seems unlikely. She would need $20,000 in liquid assets that are not loaned.

Actually, London does let you self-sponsor for the K-1. However, this would be best through liquid assets (i.e. bank accounts).

Edit: For reference, this is the only consulate or embassy that I am aware that permits this.

 

For the I-864 for AOS, you cannot self-sponsor, but you can include the beneficiary's assets (and income if it qualifies, although at the time of filing the I-485, they won't have an EAD to work yet).

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

?/?/18: Approved (hopefully)

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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As you are from the UK, what I will say is only applicable to cases within that country only. The London embassy has been known to accept self-sponsoring for a K1. However, the UKC would have to approach the task with a significant amount of savings under their belt. Not a small amount by any stretch. It's usually with savings and assets.

 

Once you marry and file for AOS, the more strict financial rules come into play. Your USC spouse, regardless of whether she works. doesn't work, or makes enough or not, is always the first sponsor. Joint sponsors can then be used, but you don't factor into that except with comingling of assets, which would mean, under your fiancé's current situation this would not be successful. And honestly, if you cannot get past the first stage (K1) without finding a sponsor it's unlikely you'll be finding one for AOS.

 

Cosponsoring should be done by someone that is kind enough to offer their assistance, but also understand correctly what they are agreeing to. The financial sponsorship form for the K1 is a non-binding agreement... the one for AOS however, is. Remember you will be unable to work in any capacity once you arrive in the US. You must file for AOS, and wait for work authorization. So having savings under your belt is a good thing if possible.

 

We used a cosponsor for our entire process. It was a family member that had no issue with signing the required forms, and they understood what they meant. It does not affect the person's credit rating. There is nothing in the document itself that says the cosponsor is responsible for medical bills, unless of course you are intending on being irresponsible, not filing your paperwork, claiming benefits you shouldn't be claiming, hiding from the government, and stiffing the cosponsor with the bill! Saying that... I find that cosponsoring works best if you have someone that is close, knows both parties well, and trusts that you both are not irresponsible.

 

If anything we strongly believed that our cosponsor should not be responsible for anything, and we ensured that we had enough savings to: file our paperwork, pay for our wedding, obtain and keep health insurance for over 1year until my husband found his first job. We also intend to file for citizenship when eligible to free our cosponsor from any further responsibility, it's the least we can do (UK citizens may obtain US citizenship to become dual citizens with no consequences).

 

If a cosponsor cannot be found then your fiancé will need to work very hard to improve their financial situation. Full time or two part times if possible.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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12 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Actually, London does let you self-sponsor for the K-1. However, this would be best through liquid assets (i.e. bank accounts).

Edit: For reference, this is the only consulate or embassy that I am aware that permits this.

 

For the I-864 for AOS, you cannot self-sponsor, but you can include the beneficiary's assets (and income if it qualifies, although at the time of filing the I-485, they won't have an EAD to work yet).

 

I appreciate both of your advice. We don’t have much in the way of liquid assets between us (partially because I’ve been paying two sets of bills for a few months, partly just knowing how much the process itself will cost). 

 

If she were to find a job which paid enough, would we have to wait until she would have earnt this much for a full 12 month tax return?

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Just now, JP_ said:

I appreciate both of your advice. We don’t have much in the way of liquid assets between us (partially because I’ve been paying two sets of bills for a few months, partly just knowing how much the process itself will cost). 

 

If she were to find a job which paid enough, would we have to wait until she would have earnt this much for a full 12 month tax return?

London is also very lenient on documentation for the I-134. People have been approved with only an employment letter and/or pay stubs. If one is a typical employee for an employer (i.e. gets a W-2), then those documents best show their current income, which is what the CO goes by. Current income is how much you make in a 12 month period, not how much you made in the past.

If she is/becomes self-employed, then she will need at least the most recent federal income tax return to show her current income (money earned within the current year is revenue, not income yet).

 

I'm not sure where you are in the process, but if you haven't started yet then you can file the I-129F now. the I-134 doesn't come into play until the embassy interview (in ~8-11 months).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

?/?/18: Approved (hopefully)

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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13 minutes ago, yuna628 said:

As you are from the UK, what I will say is only applicable to cases within that country only. The London embassy has been known to accept self-sponsoring for a K1. However, the UKC would have to approach the task with a significant amount of savings under their belt. Not a small amount by any stretch. It's usually with savings and assets.

 

Once you marry and file for AOS, the more strict financial rules come into play. Your USC spouse, regardless of whether she works. doesn't work, or makes enough or not, is always the first sponsor. Joint sponsors can then be used, but you don't factor into that except with comingling of assets, which would mean, under your fiancé's current situation this would not be successful. And honestly, if you cannot get past the first stage (K1) without finding a sponsor it's unlikely you'll be finding one for AOS.

 

Cosponsoring should be done by someone that is kind enough to offer their assistance, but also understand correctly what they are agreeing to. The financial sponsorship form for the K1 is a non-binding agreement... the one for AOS however, is. Remember you will be unable to work in any capacity once you arrive in the US. You must file for AOS, and wait for work authorization. So having savings under your belt is a good thing if possible.

 

We used a cosponsor for our entire process. It was a family member that had no issue with signing the required forms, and they understood what they meant. It does not affect the person's credit rating. There is nothing in the document itself that says the cosponsor is responsible for medical bills, unless of course you are intending on being irresponsible, not filing your paperwork, claiming benefits you shouldn't be claiming, hiding from the government, and stiffing the cosponsor with the bill! Saying that... I find that cosponsoring works best if you have someone that is close, knows both parties well, and trusts that you both are not irresponsible.

 

If anything we strongly believed that our cosponsor should not be responsible for anything, and we ensured that we had enough savings to: file our paperwork, pay for our wedding, obtain and keep health insurance for over 1year until my husband found his first job. We also intend to file for citizenship when eligible to free our cosponsor from any further responsibility, it's the least we can do (UK citizens may obtain US citizenship to become dual citizens with no consequences).

 

If a cosponsor cannot be found then your fiancé will need to work very hard to improve their financial situation. Full time or two part times if possible.

 

I think it would be a struggle for her to work two jobs. She has had health problems lately. Things are tricky because she is wanting to start medically transitioning gender, too, which is something I’d like to be present to support her through, hence feeling extra pressure to get immigration things moving ASAP. 

 

I doubt I’d be able to get a longer visitor visa to support her this year, because we are engaged and surely that would be looked upon suspiciously, and even if I could, not being able to earn money while in the US would set us back further.

 

If we were using a co-sponsor, we wouldn’t expect them to ever pay a penny, and I know I would return to England if we were ever in a situation where I would become reliant on state benefits for some reason. Even so, I understand the magnitude of it, which is why I’ve been trying to look for another option.

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12 hours ago, JP_ said:

 

I think it would be a struggle for her to work two jobs. She has had health problems lately. Things are tricky because she is wanting to start medically transitioning gender, too, which is something I’d like to be present to support her through, hence feeling extra pressure to get immigration things moving ASAP. 

 

I doubt I’d be able to get a longer visitor visa to support her this year, because we are engaged and surely that would be looked upon suspiciously, and even if I could, not being able to earn money while in the US would set us back further.

 

If we were using a co-sponsor, we wouldn’t expect them to ever pay a penny, and I know I would return to England if we were ever in a situation where I would become reliant on state benefits for some reason. Even so, I understand the magnitude of it, which is why I’ve been trying to look for another option.

Is moving to the UK an option? Would the NHS provide a more affordable option for her to transition? It seems like it might be a stretch for her to meet the income threshold in the US. 

We also used a co-sponsor and started in a similar situation - just out of college with not much in the way in savings/work history. Without a co-sponsorer, it could be more difficult. I wish you the absolute best of luck in your journey.

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