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I-864 poverty guideline question

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My wife is in her first year as a teacher. Her current income is more than enough to cover the poverty guidelines. In 2017 she was in grad school and didn't earn any money, so the most recent tax return reflects that.


We just received an RFIE saying we didn't provide proof of current income and that as such we were under the poverty guidelines. It also mentioned the option of a joint sponsor.


So I just wanted to clarify whether the fact that my wife didn't earn any money in 2017 is relevant or not, seeing as she is now in full time employment and above the poverty guideline. Is my mistake in not providing enough evidence or do I need to get a joint sponsor?





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Her past income is part of the consideration, but current income is still king.

What I-864 evidence was sent originally?

A joint sponsor may be necessary.



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

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received





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



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



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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I believe we sent a paystub and letter of employment


Here are a couple of the relevant extracts from the RFIE


  • Based on the documents submitted with Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, for the petitioning sponsor, the income did not meet 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline for the petitioning sponsor's household size. Obtain a qualifying joint sponsor who demonstrates the ability to support you or submit evidence of assets. If you decide to obtain a joint sponsor, you will need to: .........................................................long list of joint sponsor requirements


  • The petitioning sponsor lists their current income on Form I-864 as an amount to be considered as sufficient; however, no evidence has been submitted as proof of current income. Submit evidence of the petitioning sponsor's current income. Such evidence should include:
    • Pay stubs or other documentation of pay for the previous 6 months
    • Letter of employment containing the following:
      • Dates of Employment
      • Nature of the job
      • Yearly salary earned
      • Number of hours per week worked
      • Prospects for future employment and advancement


To me that reads like I screwed up in not providing enough evidence and that a joint sponsor is only necessary if I don't have that evidence. What does anyone think?









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1 hour ago, delance8 said:

I believe we sent a paystub and letter of employment










As geowrian stated, current income is most important.

A single paystub is definitely not enough as the I-864 instructions state that in order to use current employment income as evidence you must submit an Employment Verification letter stating your salary/wage, your length of employment and whether you are part time or full AND SIX months worth of most current paystubs.

Quite possibly they will accept that however the totality of the sponsor's financial situation could still be taken into account. You could try but they may only request a joint sponsor again so it would be wise to submit both the EVL with 6 months worth of paystubs and a valid sponsor.

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We had the similar issue, my wife's income the year before we filed was lower than what was required but her current income was well above it. I was told my a immigration officer they use the previous year tax returns as if you also have student loans etc then your adjusted income will be considered less then the one on your paystubs. 


In the end we just got a cosponsor.

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