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kumakun

I-751: Concerns about financial co-mingling

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Hello VisaJourneyers! We are getting ready to file our I-751 petition and supporting evidence in mid-August. In reading (and reading, and reading) the forums here, I'm starting to get a little jittery about our financial co-mingling situation. I am the USC, my husband is the immigrant spouse.

 

I'll preface this by stating we do have the following evidence:

  • Tax transcripts from IRS for 2016, 2017, 2018, as well as copies of state returns for the same years. In 2017 and 2018 we filed MFJ; in 2016 we were advised by my CPA that it would be more financially advantageous to file MFS because (1) my husband hadn't been in the USA long enough to justify legal presence, and (2) he had zero income in the US that year, and thus was not required to file a return. We have emails from the CPA with this guidance and the transcript does state at the top "Married filing separate return and spouse is not required to file a return."
  • Driver licenses showing same physical address
  • Two vehicles registered to both of us with joint insurance on both
  • Designations as beneficiaries on retirement plans and life insurance
  • Listings as each other's emergency contacts with our employers
  • A letter from my employer stating that my husband was on my medical and dental insurance from the time we were married to the time he started working (and started receiving these benefits from his employer)
  • Mobile phone, electric, and cable bills in my name but addressed to both of us; phone bills show both of our phone numbers/lines (one in my name, one in his)
  • Accounts with AAA and Costco showing both of our names
  • Boarding passes and photos from two vacations taken since AOS interview (and emails with a hotel to arrange a surprise on our anniversary)
  • Photos from social events and with friends (21 total); screenshots of a few relevant social media posts and text message conversations
  • Cards exchanged between us and from my mom and a couple of friends
  • Affidavits (we'll have 4 or 5 total)

 

What we don't have:

  • Wills or MPOAs
  • Kids

 

So now about our financial and living situation:

  • We did open a joint checking account about eight months before we were married, but it is pretty much exclusively my spouse's. We've been able to download the last two years' worth of statements that show both of our names, but all activity on the account is his. We requested and obtained a letter from the bank stating the opening date of the account.
  • I did add his name to my checking account at a separate bank (which I've had for more than 20 years) just 6 weeks ago, but all activity on that account is mine.
  • For us we're both just more comfortable managing our own money! That's really what it boils down to. We like to spend and invest in different things, and we virtually never end up arguing about money (yay). We obviously do share some expenses (like utility and insurance bills), and sometimes we buy things for each other (like if I'm at Target and he needs something), so we do have a pretty elaborate household accounting system where we track expenses on spreadsheets. Most months he ends up writing me a check; some months I end up writing him one. We do have all of these monthly spreadsheets dating back to when he moved here on his K-1 in 2016. (Yes, we're sort of crazy.)
  • I purchased the home we live in three years before we met, and there are several reasons we did not add him to the mortgage and deed. (1) I didn't want to lose (part of my) investment in the house in the event the marriage didn't work out; (2) he didn't want to have any financial responsibility for the house (other than typical household expenses); (3) doing so is very messy!; (4) because we see joint ownership of property and a serious financial commitment, we figured we'd wait a few years to ensure we're on solid ground before considering buying a place together, not to mention housing prices are still crazy-high and we'd rather wait to take advantage of better prices and interest rates (because what goes up, must come down eventually, yeah?). He does share in our housing costs by contributing about 20% of the monthly mortgage/taxes/insurance on the house.

 

So, are we in red flag territory? Or will we likely be ok if we simply provide explanations of our banking, accounting, and housing situations as I did above?

 

Appreciate any advice and, if worthy, encouragement!

 


K-1/I-129F

Spoiler

02/19/2016 I-129F Sent
02/22/2016 I-129F Received at Lewisville, TX Lockbox
02/25/2016 NOA1 Received (Email)
05/04/2016 NOA2 Received (Email, 69 days)
05/09/2016 NOA2 Received (Hard Copy)
05/19/2016 NVC forwarded to USE-Tokyo (verbal confirmation); Case # received
05/24/2016 Case received at USE-Tokyo
05/30/2016 Packet 3 received from USE-Tokyo
06/06/2016 Requested Japan Police Certificate
06/14/2016 Medical Examination
06/16/2016 Fiance picked up Police Certificate and Medical Exam results
06/16/2016 Petitioner mailed completed I-134 and additional relationship evidence to Beneficiary
07/05/2016 K-1 Interview at USE-Tokyo -- APPROVED!
07/07/2016 K-1 visa received in passport
09/23/2016 Fiance arrived in U.S. (POE=Honolulu)
10/29/2016 Married!!!

 

AOS/EAD/AP

Spoiler

11/19/2016 AOS documents (I-485/864, I-131, I-765) sent to USCIS-Chicago via UPS
12/07/2016 Text messages and emails received confirming receipt/acceptance of I-485, I-131, I-765
01/06/2017 Biometrics for AOS and EAD (USCIS-Honolulu office)
03/09/2017 EAD and AP approved! (Email/text notifications received)
03/15/2017 EAD/AP Combo Card received via U.S. Priority Mail
09/29/2017 Notification of AOS Interview received
11/07/2017 AOS Interview at USCIS-Honolulu Office -- APPROVED!
11/09/2017 Notification of Approval received
11/16/2017 Green Card received -- no notifications received regarding production or shipping!

 

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You're overthinking this. You have more than enough evidence of cohabitation, co-mingling of financing, shared life experiences, and planning for the future together. You don't even need the affidavits or the wills, or any of the detailed explanatory documents/statements. Keep it simple: Create a 2-column "Evidence Guide" in Word and append to your cover letter.

 

Like so:

 

Evidence                                                Remarks

Cohabitation

Deed to XXX House                             House purchased by Wifey 3 years before marriage, so bears one party's name

....

Comingled Finances

IRS tax transcripts 2016-2018           We filed MFS in 2016 (husband had zero income) and MFJ in outer years

Joint bank account statements        We first opened a joint account in XXX

one per quarter (201X-Y)

.....

Shared Experiences

Trip-related documentation               Boarding passes for trip to XXX, 201X

....

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Thanks @afrocraft! This is very helpful (and comforting). 😀 Yes I am an overthinker! 😂


K-1/I-129F

Spoiler

02/19/2016 I-129F Sent
02/22/2016 I-129F Received at Lewisville, TX Lockbox
02/25/2016 NOA1 Received (Email)
05/04/2016 NOA2 Received (Email, 69 days)
05/09/2016 NOA2 Received (Hard Copy)
05/19/2016 NVC forwarded to USE-Tokyo (verbal confirmation); Case # received
05/24/2016 Case received at USE-Tokyo
05/30/2016 Packet 3 received from USE-Tokyo
06/06/2016 Requested Japan Police Certificate
06/14/2016 Medical Examination
06/16/2016 Fiance picked up Police Certificate and Medical Exam results
06/16/2016 Petitioner mailed completed I-134 and additional relationship evidence to Beneficiary
07/05/2016 K-1 Interview at USE-Tokyo -- APPROVED!
07/07/2016 K-1 visa received in passport
09/23/2016 Fiance arrived in U.S. (POE=Honolulu)
10/29/2016 Married!!!

 

AOS/EAD/AP

Spoiler

11/19/2016 AOS documents (I-485/864, I-131, I-765) sent to USCIS-Chicago via UPS
12/07/2016 Text messages and emails received confirming receipt/acceptance of I-485, I-131, I-765
01/06/2017 Biometrics for AOS and EAD (USCIS-Honolulu office)
03/09/2017 EAD and AP approved! (Email/text notifications received)
03/15/2017 EAD/AP Combo Card received via U.S. Priority Mail
09/29/2017 Notification of AOS Interview received
11/07/2017 AOS Interview at USCIS-Honolulu Office -- APPROVED!
11/09/2017 Notification of Approval received
11/16/2017 Green Card received -- no notifications received regarding production or shipping!

 

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3 hours ago, kumakun said:

Thanks @afrocraft! This is very helpful (and comforting). 😀 Yes I am an overthinker! 😂

You're good. Just be sure to include, for each piece of evidence, documents from marriage to the present time. As much as is possible, obviously.

 

Good luck!

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19 hours ago, kumakun said:

Hello VisaJourneyers! We are getting ready to file our I-751 petition and supporting evidence in mid-August. In reading (and reading, and reading) the forums here, I'm starting to get a little jittery about our financial co-mingling situation. I am the USC, my husband is the immigrant spouse.

 

I'll preface this by stating we do have the following evidence:

  • Tax transcripts from IRS for 2016, 2017, 2018, as well as copies of state returns for the same years. In 2017 and 2018 we filed MFJ; in 2016 we were advised by my CPA that it would be more financially advantageous to file MFS because (1) my husband hadn't been in the USA long enough to justify legal presence, and (2) he had zero income in the US that year, and thus was not required to file a return. We have emails from the CPA with this guidance and the transcript does state at the top "Married filing separate return and spouse is not required to file a return."
  • Driver licenses showing same physical address
  • Two vehicles registered to both of us with joint insurance on both
  • Designations as beneficiaries on retirement plans and life insurance
  • Listings as each other's emergency contacts with our employers
  • A letter from my employer stating that my husband was on my medical and dental insurance from the time we were married to the time he started working (and started receiving these benefits from his employer)
  • Mobile phone, electric, and cable bills in my name but addressed to both of us; phone bills show both of our phone numbers/lines (one in my name, one in his)
  • Accounts with AAA and Costco showing both of our names
  • Boarding passes and photos from two vacations taken since AOS interview (and emails with a hotel to arrange a surprise on our anniversary)
  • Photos from social events and with friends (21 total); screenshots of a few relevant social media posts and text message conversations
  • Cards exchanged between us and from my mom and a couple of friends
  • Affidavits (we'll have 4 or 5 total)

 

What we don't have:

  • Wills or MPOAs
  • Kids

 

So now about our financial and living situation:

  • We did open a joint checking account about eight months before we were married, but it is pretty much exclusively my spouse's. We've been able to download the last two years' worth of statements that show both of our names, but all activity on the account is his. We requested and obtained a letter from the bank stating the opening date of the account.
  • I did add his name to my checking account at a separate bank (which I've had for more than 20 years) just 6 weeks ago, but all activity on that account is mine.
  • For us we're both just more comfortable managing our own money! That's really what it boils down to. We like to spend and invest in different things, and we virtually never end up arguing about money (yay). We obviously do share some expenses (like utility and insurance bills), and sometimes we buy things for each other (like if I'm at Target and he needs something), so we do have a pretty elaborate household accounting system where we track expenses on spreadsheets. Most months he ends up writing me a check; some months I end up writing him one. We do have all of these monthly spreadsheets dating back to when he moved here on his K-1 in 2016. (Yes, we're sort of crazy.)
  • I purchased the home we live in three years before we met, and there are several reasons we did not add him to the mortgage and deed. (1) I didn't want to lose (part of my) investment in the house in the event the marriage didn't work out; (2) he didn't want to have any financial responsibility for the house (other than typical household expenses); (3) doing so is very messy!; (4) because we see joint ownership of property and a serious financial commitment, we figured we'd wait a few years to ensure we're on solid ground before considering buying a place together, not to mention housing prices are still crazy-high and we'd rather wait to take advantage of better prices and interest rates (because what goes up, must come down eventually, yeah?). He does share in our housing costs by contributing about 20% of the monthly mortgage/taxes/insurance on the house.

 

So, are we in red flag territory? Or will we likely be ok if we simply provide explanations of our banking, accounting, and housing situations as I did above?

 

Appreciate any advice and, if worthy, encouragement!

 

You met financial intermingling.  I will add living will and power of attorney of health of each other. 

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