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True_South

We file our taxes separately and don't have a lot of joint accounts

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Hi all. Here comes the wall of stupid text.

 

Our ROC window opens on June 1. I work remotely for a software company and make over 5 times more than my husband on his good year - he works part-time bar and driving jobs. Plus, we moved across the country a few months ago, and while I continued working for the same company, it took him some time to find a job. That means that rent and loans come out of my paycheck. I don't really know how a joint account would make sense in that situation, but we can definitely open one, or I can add him to one of my credit card accounts with his own card. Do you think it makes sense opening a joint account at like a credit union, or can we just get a card for him with one of my accounts? Adding him as an authorized used for my primary credit card account is not an issue, I'll probably do that anyway now (although he's against that), and those cards could be used for groceries and gas. But with the majority of my paycheck going towards rent, bills and loans (which are in my name because of my income and credit) I don't even know how much I would be able to transfer to a joint bank account that it would mean anything.

 

How does a joint bank account work? I have my checking for my direct deposit, and he has his own checking for his direct deposit. Would we need to change that? Or should I just dump the rent monies into that account and then write a check from it? (This could be difficult because transferring money between banks takes time and my rent is considered late the day after I get paid. My only hope here is that the landlord takes a couple of days to cash the checks.) All other bills and loans that I pay are in my name, so I don't know if paying them from a joint account makes sense.

 

Another thing is that he has a few accounts in collections and a delinquent student loan - the latter means that IRS takes his refunds. For that reason we file as "married filing separately", because my refund helps us cover some bills, and in 2017 it actually paid the AOS fees. Can we just explain the student loan thing in the cover letter, or do we have to file jointly and file form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation)?

 

Other than that:

 

• we got both our names on the lease

• one of the cars has both our names on the title

• we have the same insurance policy for both cars (with both of us listed as drivers for each, but the policy is in my name)

• he's on my health insurance

• I will work with the notary to draw a power of attorney for each of us

• Our apartment community just changed hands and the new owners can now add my husband's name to the utilities bill

 

I also have him as a beneficiary of my checking and savings, and of my Acorns Later (IRA). Not sure if it would be possible to get some sort of official proof of the beneficiary thing though.

 

I also reached out to the electricity provider and asked if they can add my husband to the account. I have Spotify Family for the two of us, but I doubt that would count, and how to prove it :) Oh! I also have him listed as associate with AAA but no official way of proving that (our cards have different numbers on them).

 

We each have our own cell service plans with different providers (he likes to change providers, and it kinda helps being on different networks when we are somewhere with poor coverage).

 

I know this is not a neat list that people usually post :) I'm mostly worried how much the separate tax returns and the absence of a joint bank account will matter.


07-15-2016     Married.

03-25-2017     AOS packet sent (i-130 + i-485 + i-765 concurrent).

03-27-2017     AOS packet received according to USPS tracking number.

04-06-2017     NOA1 emails and texts received.

04-10-2017     NOA1 hard copies received.

04-15-2017     Biometrics appointment letter received.

04-25-2017     Biometrics appointment.

05-06-2017     RFE mailed.

07-05-2017     RFE response mailed.

07-06-2017     RFE response received according to USPS tracking number.

07-12-2017     RFE response receipt on 07-10-2017 confirmed via email and text.

07-22-2017     i-765 case updated with "we updated your name" message.

07-25-2017     EAD card mailed.

07-26-2017     EAD card mailing notification (email and text) received.

07-28-2017     EAD card in hand.

08-01-2017     "Interview scheduled" texts and email received.

08-01-2017     Hard copy interview letter (I-797C) received.

08-30-2017     Scheduled interview.

08-30-2017     9 hours after getting out of the interview received email "we ordered your new card".

08-31-2017     33 hours after getting out of the interview received texts about case updates (i.e. texts were received 24 hours after emails).

08-31-2017     Hard copies of i-130 and i-485 approval notices received.

09-05-2017     "Card mailed" update on USCIS web site with notifications via text and email. Nothing on my USPS dashboard.

09-06-2017     Tracking number posted to USPS dashboard with "pre-shipment info sent".

09-08-2017     Green Card in hand.

09-11-2017     Online Request to fix the typo in the last name on the Green Card submitted.

09-20-2017     Infopass appointment. Result: "It's easier to wait for ROC and make sure they spell you name correctly at that time."

09-25-2017     Email received in response to the online request: "Infopass is the way to do this".

06-01-2019     ROC window opened.

08-01-2019     ROC packet sent.

08-05-2019     ROC packet delivered.

08-08-2019     Rejection notice sent (unable to process the credit card, possibly because of the formatting of billing address).

08-18-2019     Packet re-sent with personal check included.

08-20-2019     ROC packet delivered.

08-23-2019     NOA issued.

08-26-2019     NOA / 18 month extension letter received. Check still not cashed.

08-26-2019     Check cashed at 10:30 pm Mountain Time. Interesting.

12-14-2019     Biometrics letter received. Notice date 12-06-2019. Appointment date 12-23-2019.

12-23-2019     Biometrics appointment.

12-23-2019     Email from USCIS stating that initial review has started. "During this step, USCIS initiates the background checks of the applicant/petitioner and identifies issues that may need to be addressed either during an interview or by asking the applicant/petitioner to submit additional information or documentation."

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Joint bank accounts are really simple to open up, my husband and I have 2 of them. One was an online only bank, so I called them and got him added. The other bank is a regional one here, we just both went in together to a local branch and opened it up under both of our names. Both people have joint ownership of the account, so whatever money is in there is accessible to both people. I think join bank accounts are a very common and strong piece of evidence to have, so if you can, it would be worth doing that.


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19 minutes ago, True_South said:

How does a joint bank account work? I have my checking for my direct deposit, and he has his own checking for his direct deposit. Would we need to change that? Or should I just dump the rent monies into that account and then write a check from it?

I can tell how we utilize our joint checking account.  I have a personal checking account, my wife has a personal checking account, and we have a JOINT checking account....all at the same bank.  Since we share household expenses, we each simply fund the joint account regularly (or more often if needed) from our personal accounts........We then pay all household expenses from the joint account......sometimes, I will use my joint debit card, and sometimes she will use her joint account debit card.

 

Funding the account is easy since we can simply transfer funds from one account to the joint account when needed.

Edited by missileman

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My husband (USC) has awful credit (mostly from delinquent student loans, but a few credit cards in collections) AND he has 2 dwi’s on his driving record.  

 

We have a shared bank account and he’s an authorized user on my credit card, so that’s a positive, and I’m going to explain his credit situation in my covering letter to explain why the car loan is only in my name.  We do file our taxes jointly, and because of those student loans, I forfeit the refund I’m entitled to, but such is life I guess.  I’m just happy when we don’t owe.

 

Car insurance is separate because I couldn’t get him added to my policy due to his dwi’s, again, I’m going to explain that in my cover letter, though both titles are joint.

 

I think the important thing is to just explain the “deficiencies”.  As long as there is a reasonable explanation for things, you should be fine.  Afterall, I’m sure the people who adjudicate the petitions don’t have perfect lives either :) 

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Definitely open a joint bank account and use that for rent and other normal household expenses such as utilities, car insurance, etc.  You can also split a direct deposit paycheck so that part of it goes to the joint account and so it can be used immediately for rent payment--no concern about funds available on the day rent is due.  If you file tax returns jointly your total combined refund would most likely be higher, paying off the student loan sooner.

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Quote

 

If you file tax returns jointly your total combined refund would most likely be higher, paying off the student loan sooner.


 

Well, I still plan on having him deal with the student loan with a payment plan. We do need my refund - if definitely helps pay immigration fees, and my first year in the US it bought me my living room furniture :) I understand that filing jointly increases the refund, but the thing I don't like about the "injured spouse" form (which would allow us to file jointly but keep my refund since the student loan went delinquent before we were married) is that it takes about 14 more weeks in processing. And because I now have an Acorns account, which is stock trading, I have to wait until mid-March for an additional form before I can even file my return. I might do the "injured spouse" thing this year and see how that goes.


07-15-2016     Married.

03-25-2017     AOS packet sent (i-130 + i-485 + i-765 concurrent).

03-27-2017     AOS packet received according to USPS tracking number.

04-06-2017     NOA1 emails and texts received.

04-10-2017     NOA1 hard copies received.

04-15-2017     Biometrics appointment letter received.

04-25-2017     Biometrics appointment.

05-06-2017     RFE mailed.

07-05-2017     RFE response mailed.

07-06-2017     RFE response received according to USPS tracking number.

07-12-2017     RFE response receipt on 07-10-2017 confirmed via email and text.

07-22-2017     i-765 case updated with "we updated your name" message.

07-25-2017     EAD card mailed.

07-26-2017     EAD card mailing notification (email and text) received.

07-28-2017     EAD card in hand.

08-01-2017     "Interview scheduled" texts and email received.

08-01-2017     Hard copy interview letter (I-797C) received.

08-30-2017     Scheduled interview.

08-30-2017     9 hours after getting out of the interview received email "we ordered your new card".

08-31-2017     33 hours after getting out of the interview received texts about case updates (i.e. texts were received 24 hours after emails).

08-31-2017     Hard copies of i-130 and i-485 approval notices received.

09-05-2017     "Card mailed" update on USCIS web site with notifications via text and email. Nothing on my USPS dashboard.

09-06-2017     Tracking number posted to USPS dashboard with "pre-shipment info sent".

09-08-2017     Green Card in hand.

09-11-2017     Online Request to fix the typo in the last name on the Green Card submitted.

09-20-2017     Infopass appointment. Result: "It's easier to wait for ROC and make sure they spell you name correctly at that time."

09-25-2017     Email received in response to the online request: "Infopass is the way to do this".

06-01-2019     ROC window opened.

08-01-2019     ROC packet sent.

08-05-2019     ROC packet delivered.

08-08-2019     Rejection notice sent (unable to process the credit card, possibly because of the formatting of billing address).

08-18-2019     Packet re-sent with personal check included.

08-20-2019     ROC packet delivered.

08-23-2019     NOA issued.

08-26-2019     NOA / 18 month extension letter received. Check still not cashed.

08-26-2019     Check cashed at 10:30 pm Mountain Time. Interesting.

12-14-2019     Biometrics letter received. Notice date 12-06-2019. Appointment date 12-23-2019.

12-23-2019     Biometrics appointment.

12-23-2019     Email from USCIS stating that initial review has started. "During this step, USCIS initiates the background checks of the applicant/petitioner and identifies issues that may need to be addressed either during an interview or by asking the applicant/petitioner to submit additional information or documentation."

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On 1/17/2019 at 4:02 PM, True_South said:

Hi all. Here comes the wall of stupid text.

 

Our ROC window opens on June 1. I work remotely for a software company and make over 5 times more than my husband on his good year - he works part-time bar and driving jobs. Plus, we moved across the country a few months ago, and while I continued working for the same company, it took him some time to find a job. That means that rent and loans come out of my paycheck. I don't really know how a joint account would make sense in that situation, but we can definitely open one, or I can add him to one of my credit card accounts with his own card. Do you think it makes sense opening a joint account at like a credit union, or can we just get a card for him with one of my accounts? Adding him as an authorized used for my primary credit card account is not an issue, I'll probably do that anyway now (although he's against that), and those cards could be used for groceries and gas. But with the majority of my paycheck going towards rent, bills and loans (which are in my name because of my income and credit) I don't even know how much I would be able to transfer to a joint bank account that it would mean anything.

 

How does a joint bank account work? I have my checking for my direct deposit, and he has his own checking for his direct deposit. Would we need to change that? Or should I just dump the rent monies into that account and then write a check from it? (This could be difficult because transferring money between banks takes time and my rent is considered late the day after I get paid. My only hope here is that the landlord takes a couple of days to cash the checks.) All other bills and loans that I pay are in my name, so I don't know if paying them from a joint account makes sense.

 

Another thing is that he has a few accounts in collections and a delinquent student loan - the latter means that IRS takes his refunds. For that reason we file as "married filing separately", because my refund helps us cover some bills, and in 2017 it actually paid the AOS fees. Can we just explain the student loan thing in the cover letter, or do we have to file jointly and file form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation)?

 

Other than that:

 

• we got both our names on the lease

• one of the cars has both our names on the title

• we have the same insurance policy for both cars (with both of us listed as drivers for each, but the policy is in my name)

• he's on my health insurance

• I will work with the notary to draw a power of attorney for each of us

• Our apartment community just changed hands and the new owners can now add my husband's name to the utilities bill

 

I also have him as a beneficiary of my checking and savings, and of my Acorns Later (IRA). Not sure if it would be possible to get some sort of official proof of the beneficiary thing though.

 

I also reached out to the electricity provider and asked if they can add my husband to the account. I have Spotify Family for the two of us, but I doubt that would count, and how to prove it :) Oh! I also have him listed as associate with AAA but no official way of proving that (our cards have different numbers on them).

 

We each have our own cell service plans with different providers (he likes to change providers, and it kinda helps being on different networks when we are somewhere with poor coverage).

 

I know this is not a neat list that people usually post :) I'm mostly worried how much the separate tax returns and the absence of a joint bank account will matter.

There's several ways to make joint accounts work. 

You can either open a joint account, both use it and both get your pay checks directly deposited.

You can keep your separate accounts and have money automatically transferred to the joint account to pay bills (including automatically deducted bills) and keep separate accounts to buy things as individuals.)

 

In our home: Hubs, as the main earner, has his money deposited into our joint account.  He has his own credit card through that company.  I have my own bank account in a different bank which is also linked to a separate credit card.  I move money automatically once per month into the joint account to help with bills that are taken from the joint account. Because it's a different bank, it takes a couple days but same bank transactions should happen pretty much immediately.  Also I"m better at saving than  he is so we use my account to buy large items.  

 

But in all honesty, don't go open up an account right before ROC.  It won't have any movement on it.  If you can have at least 6months to a year on it, then fine but otherwise don't bother. 

 

You can certainly file MFS.  You're filing married and that's the main issue. 

 

The rest of your list honestly seems fine.  


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Take a look at the framework I proposed earlier for I-751 evidence, linked below (click the arrow). Focus on the 3- and 2-star documents in each segment (cohabitation, co-mingle assets, co-mingle liabilities, shared experiences, plan for the future). Strong ROC applications provide multiple documents in each segment and across all the segments. Where there are gaps, I would craft a cover letter similarly structured (feel free to copy and paste!), with appropriate explanations for your inability to produce the major documents listed. Remember to produce documents that span the entire duration from marriage to ROC application date.

 

 

Edited by afrocraft

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This is what we'll be sending

 

• G-1145 e-Notification of Application/ Petition Acceptance

• G-1450 Authorization for Credit Card Transactions

Removal of Condition application form

• Copies of the Passport ( change of last name) and Green Card ( front and back) of Rebecca Ludwig

• Copy of the tax statements and transcrips for 2017 and 2018

• Copy of our apartment rental contracts in both of our names

• Copies of our GA driver's licenses showing the same address

• Copies of bank statements showing a joint savings account

• Copy of our debit card and bank statements showing a joint checking account

• Copies of our life insurances showing that we are each other's beneficiary

• Copy of dental and vision plan showing Rebecca Ludwig as a dependent

• Copies of the car insurances showing that Christopher and Rebecca Ludwig are authorized users

• Email from our internet provider and gas company showing that Rebecca Ludwig is an authorized user

• Copy of cell phone provider statement showing a joint account

• Copy of Atlanta Track Club dual membership registration

• Pictures of our wedding on May 20 th 2017

• Pictures of us at family events with family members

• Copies of travel itineraries

• Copies of letters sent to both of us


ROC Timeline

08/16/19: sent I-751 packet to USCIS Lockbox in Dallas

08/19/19: packet received by USCIS

08/21/19: received text message with case number ( Texas Service Center)

08/23/19: check got chashed

08/26/19: received extension letter in the mail

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31 minutes ago, Becci391 said:

This is what we'll be sending

 

Your evidence looks great. Please make sure everything spans over the time of your marriage. Don't have to send statements from every month, but quarterly at least. Good luck!! Also, may be wanna delete identifying info from your post.

 

 


01/09/2019  Mailed ROC package via FEDEX to Lewisville,Texas

 01/11/2019  Package delivered to USCIS office

01/16/2019  Received text message with service center as SRC

01/17/2019  Status on https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/ as accepted. Check submitted electronically to my bank. Not cashed yet.

01/18/2019  Check cashed electronically. 

02/07/2019  Called USCIS regarding non delivery of receipt . They asked me to call back after 30 days have expired since delivery

02/11/2019  Called USCIS again regarding non delivery of receipt. Mentioned that license will expire along with greencard on 02/28.

                        The lady filed a request on my behalf so i could schedule infopass.

                        I separately also filed e-request(https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/displayNDNForm.do?entryPoint=init&sroPageType=ndn

                        by choosing I-751 and other option , before calling USCIS just in case.

02/13/2019 Got callback from USCIS that infopass cannot be scheduled,but they will mail

                       a duplicate notice.

11/08/2019 Biometrics got completed

03/24/2020 Case status got changed to card being produced

 

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16 minutes ago, Springleaf said:

Your evidence looks great. Please make sure everything spans over the time of your marriage. Don't have to send statements from every month, but quarterly at least. Good luck!! Also, may be wanna delete identifying info from your post.

 

 

I had a separate bank account until my husband was able to put me on his account ( June 2017 until May 2018).

Do I have to include the separate account? Not really or?


ROC Timeline

08/16/19: sent I-751 packet to USCIS Lockbox in Dallas

08/19/19: packet received by USCIS

08/21/19: received text message with case number ( Texas Service Center)

08/23/19: check got chashed

08/26/19: received extension letter in the mail

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8 minutes ago, Becci391 said:

I had a separate bank account until my husband was able to put me on his account ( June 2017 until May 2018).

Do I have to include the separate account? Not really or?

My husband and I are not submitting statements from the separate account he has.  I’m not on it simply because we can’t be bothered to go to that bank because they have awful hours. 

 

Just include the statements from the joint account, and perhaps include in your covering letter the circumstances.  

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14 minutes ago, Becci391 said:

I had a separate bank account until my husband was able to put me on his account ( June 2017 until May 2018).

Do I have to include the separate account? Not really or?

 

2 minutes ago, Cryssiekins said:

My husband and I are not submitting statements from the separate account he has.  I’m not on it simply because we can’t be bothered to go to that bank because they have awful hours. 

 

Just include the statements from the joint account, and perhaps include in your covering letter the circumstances.  

I second this.

@Becci391Since by the time you will file, you guys would be sharing account for one year, it should be fine.

You can just mention why you chose to do it this way. For my spouse and I we share one account for wedding gift , tax refund and paying rents, but mainly use our individual accounts and we mentioned that in cover letter.

 

As long as you explain things in cover letter in a cogent way, it will work out. Also, you have awesome supporting evidence. 


01/09/2019  Mailed ROC package via FEDEX to Lewisville,Texas

 01/11/2019  Package delivered to USCIS office

01/16/2019  Received text message with service center as SRC

01/17/2019  Status on https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/ as accepted. Check submitted electronically to my bank. Not cashed yet.

01/18/2019  Check cashed electronically. 

02/07/2019  Called USCIS regarding non delivery of receipt . They asked me to call back after 30 days have expired since delivery

02/11/2019  Called USCIS again regarding non delivery of receipt. Mentioned that license will expire along with greencard on 02/28.

                        The lady filed a request on my behalf so i could schedule infopass.

                        I separately also filed e-request(https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/displayNDNForm.do?entryPoint=init&sroPageType=ndn

                        by choosing I-751 and other option , before calling USCIS just in case.

02/13/2019 Got callback from USCIS that infopass cannot be scheduled,but they will mail

                       a duplicate notice.

11/08/2019 Biometrics got completed

03/24/2020 Case status got changed to card being produced

 

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4 minutes ago, Springleaf said:

 

I second this.

@Becci391Since by the time you will file, you guys would be sharing account for one year, it should be fine.

You can just mention why you chose to do it this way. For my spouse and I we share one account for wedding gift , tax refund and paying rents, but mainly use our individual accountwe mentioned that in cover letter.

 

As long as you explain things in cover letter in a cogent way, it will work out. Also, you have awesome supporting evidence. 

I guess since we are both on the car insurance but he is only on the title that I have to write that on the cover letter?

Also I don't have a 401K. My husband has one and I'm the beneficiary. Do I submit the document or not?


ROC Timeline

08/16/19: sent I-751 packet to USCIS Lockbox in Dallas

08/19/19: packet received by USCIS

08/21/19: received text message with case number ( Texas Service Center)

08/23/19: check got chashed

08/26/19: received extension letter in the mail

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7 minutes ago, Becci391 said:

I guess since we are both on the car insurance but he is only on the title that I have to write that on the cover letter?

Also I don't have a 401K. My husband has one and I'm the beneficiary. Do I submit the document or not?

Sure, you can put it as that you are an insured driver of your husband's car. (Don't need to say that he is the only one on title)

Yes for 401k as well. He has made you the beneficiary and that shows financial comingling. 

Your evidence reads as if your spouse is the main earner and if so , your evidence list is fine.

 

I liked @Afrocraft post about this. I believe you hit all the major things in that.


01/09/2019  Mailed ROC package via FEDEX to Lewisville,Texas

 01/11/2019  Package delivered to USCIS office

01/16/2019  Received text message with service center as SRC

01/17/2019  Status on https://myaccount.uscis.dhs.gov/ as accepted. Check submitted electronically to my bank. Not cashed yet.

01/18/2019  Check cashed electronically. 

02/07/2019  Called USCIS regarding non delivery of receipt . They asked me to call back after 30 days have expired since delivery

02/11/2019  Called USCIS again regarding non delivery of receipt. Mentioned that license will expire along with greencard on 02/28.

                        The lady filed a request on my behalf so i could schedule infopass.

                        I separately also filed e-request(https://egov.uscis.gov/e-request/displayNDNForm.do?entryPoint=init&sroPageType=ndn

                        by choosing I-751 and other option , before calling USCIS just in case.

02/13/2019 Got callback from USCIS that infopass cannot be scheduled,but they will mail

                       a duplicate notice.

11/08/2019 Biometrics got completed

03/24/2020 Case status got changed to card being produced

 

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