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Tylosand

Submit new I-864 for RFE on sponsor's finances?

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Posted (edited)

Hi!

 

 

I'm in the process of adjusting my status. My mother-in-law is acting as a sponsor - she makes many times the income requirement. My submission was received by USCIS on May 3rd, 2019 - which is after you are supposed to have filed taxes for the previous year. But because of a big (positive) change in my parents-in-law's economy last year, they needed to file for a tax extension. In our original submission, in form I-864, we therefore listed 2017, 2016, and 2015 as the three most recent years (field 24a-24c, page 5) - since she did not have a tax return for 2018 yet. We attached transcripts for each of these years, along with a W2 for 2017. And naturally, we attached the form 4868 for Tax Extension that my parents-in-law filed to support that part.

 

I received an RFE on this, which was not completely unexpected. USCIS claims we did not provide enough support for our sponsor's finances. I think the tax extension part was too much in combination with a sponsor, and that we should wait for the tax returns for 2018 before we respond to the RFE. We should have the papers that we need from my parents-in-law's accountant this week or next week, so still well before the deadline of my RFE (September 22nd).

 

Now, my question is if we should also include a new I-864 form, since the years won't be correct anymore. With the new taxes, we could change the years to 2018, 2017 and 2016 instead of 2017, 2016 and 2015 as it was in the original submission and enter in the new amounts in the total income column. I guess the answer is yes, but I'd like to get some opinions from the knowledgeable people on here first :) 

 

BTW I hope I didn't confuse any tax terms here, I'm trying to learn how it all works but there is a lot. Please let me know if it looks like I used the wrong terminology somewhere.

Edited by Tylosand

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Read the RFE carefully. Make sure it’s not just the issue of latest tax return before responding. It could well be other things. You can definitely submit new i864 with new supporting documents.

 

were two i864s provided? One from the sponsor and one from your MIL (joint sponsor)?


Spouse:

2015-06-16: I-130 Sent

2015-08-17: I-130 approved

2015-09-23: NVC received file

2015-10-05: NVC assigned Case number, Invoice ID & Beneficiary ID

2016-06-30: DS-261 completed, AOS Fee Paid, WL received

2016-07-05: Received IV invoice, IV Fee Paid

2016-07-06: DS-260 Submitted

2016-07-07: AOS and IV Package mailed

2016-07-08: NVC Scan

2016-08-08: Case Complete

2017-06-30: Interview, approved

2017-07-04: Visa in hand

2017-08-01: Entry to US

.

.

.

.

Myself:

2016-05-10: N-400 Sent

2016-05-16: N-400 NOA1

2016-05-26: Biometrics

2017-01-30: Interview

2017-03-02: Oath Ceremony

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Posted (edited)

@arken Yeah, we spent some time reading through the RFE again and again. The language is confusing, and sometimes seemingly contradicting, as always with migration agencies. But we feel fairly confident that we interpreted it correctly. We did submit two I-864s, one for my wife (largely empty because she moved to the US with me from Sweden and does not have a job yet) and one for my mother-in-law, as the joint sponsor.

 

@K1visaHopeful They do, or more correctly my wife and I live with them.

 

 

Edited by Tylosand

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Just now, Tylosand said:

@arken Yeah, we spent some time reading through the RFE again and again. The language is confusing, and sometimes seemingly contradicting, as always with migration agencies. But we feel fairly confident that we interpreted it correctly. We did submit two I-864s, one for my wife and one for my mother-in-law.

 

@K1visaHopeful They do, or more correctly my wife and I live with them.

 

 

Okay then that is your main issue then.

She was supposed to file an I864a as a co-sponsor rather than an I864 as a joint sponsor.

You will be combining your income as a household.

 

Must you use your FILs income too to meet the poverty guidelines? Or just mom?

This is a very easy fix.

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The way I have understood it, is that it is optional to do the combination of incomes if you happen to live together with your co-sponsor, using form I-864a. We chose not to do that because it was definitely not necessary finance-wise - my MIL's income is way, way above the poverty level. So we thought we'd just keep it as simple as possible, and for that reason we are not listing any assets either. We're just using her income. My wife doesn't currently have any income or any assets in the US, so we thought it should not matter whether we declare her finances in the form of an independent I-864 or in the form of an I-864a.

 

There is no mention about having to combine our incomes because we live together with the intended co-sponsor in the RFE, so I hope that is not the problem.

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11 minutes ago, Tylosand said:

The way I have understood it, is that it is optional to do the combination of incomes if you happen to live together with your co-sponsor, using form I-864a. We chose not to do that because it was definitely not necessary finance-wise - my MIL's income is way, way above the poverty level. So we thought we'd just keep it as simple as possible, and for that reason we are not listing any assets either. We're just using her income. My wife doesn't currently have any income or any assets in the US, so we thought it should not matter whether we declare her finances in the form of an independent I-864 or in the form of an I-864a.

 

There is no mention about having to combine our incomes because we live together with the intended co-sponsor in the RFE, so I hope that is not the problem.

Okay then your problem may be this then:

What income did you report in Part 6, Question 7 of your MILs I864?

Did you input her individual income from her earnings statement or did you input their (MIL plus FIL) income from their joint taxes?

 

If you are only using MILs income you would have had to input her individual income in that question and then supported it by submitting her individual earnings statement to distinguish her income from her husband's on their joint tax return. 

If you are using their combined income (MIL and FIL), you still would have had to input her individual income in Question 7 and then her husband's individual income in Question 10. 

He would then be required to file an I864a as a co-sponsor to her household and you would have had to submit both of their individual earnings statement as evidence of what you input in Question 7 and Question 10 as well as their joint tax return.

What is the situation?

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Okay then your problem may be this then:

What income did you report in Part 6, Question 7 of your MILs I864?

Did you input her individual income from her earnings statement or did you input their (MIL plus FIL) income from their joint taxes?

 

If you are only using MILs income you would have had to input her individual income in that question and then supported it by submitting her individual earnings statement to distinguish her income from her husband's on their joint tax return. 

If you are using their combined income (MIL and FIL), you still would have had to input her individual income in Question 7 and then her husband's individual income in Question 10. 

He would then be required to file an I864a as a co-sponsor to her household and you would have had to submit both of their individual earnings statement as evidence of what you input in Question 7 and Question 10 as well as their joint tax return.

What is the situation?

We're only using my MIL's income since it is enough. So we submitted her W2, I think we used a W2 from 2017 to match the most recent tax returns that we could submit at that point, which was for 2017 since they had filed for an extension. This is probably one of the issues that USCIS had with our application, perhaps we should have used a W2 for 2018 instead even though it wouldn't match the rest of the tax transcripts.

 

On top of the W2 we submitted a end-of-year compensation statement (for 2018) and a contract to further prove her employment and income. We are speculating that they did not like the end-of-year compensation statement, since they are asking specifically for pay stubs for the last 6 months in the RFE, so this time we are going to send in individual pay stubs for the previous six months. She's paid bi-weekly so I guess that should amount to 12 pay stubs.

 

Again, I don't think there is an issue with the joint taxes or living in the same household, since I haven't read anywhere that it is a requirement to reflect that in your submission. I certainly hope they would use a much clearer language in the RFE if they indeed wanted us to use the form I-864a.

 

Reading through what I've written in this thread, I'm starting to see that we have kind of mixed numbers from 2018 and 2017 because of the tax extension. The latest tax returns we've submitted are from 2017, but the income we stated as "current income" in part 6, question 7, is from 2018 and the end-of-year compensation statement is also from 2018. Even though the tax extension form that we included in the original submission *should* have made the situation clear, I can see how this could have tripped up our application.

Edited by Tylosand

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Like I said, it depends what income amounts you input in Question 7. Whatever you input there would need to be backed up by the specific document where that amount came from plus the most recent tax return as that is required for question 24.

 

If you used the amount from her most recent tax return transcript which would be 2018 you would need to submit that 2018 W2 to differentiate her income from his on their MFJ tax return Transcript. 

If you used an Employment Verification letter predicted income amount for 2019, then you would input that amount in Question 7 and support it with 6 months of recent paystubs.

 

It's really hard to follow your post.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Like I said, it depends what income amounts you input in Question 7. Whatever you input there would need to be backed up by the specific document where that amount came from plus the most recent tax return as that is required for question 24.

 

If you used the amount from her most recent tax return transcript which would be 2018 you would need to submit that 2018 W2 to differentiate her income from his on their MFJ tax return Transcript. 

If you used an Employment Verification letter predicted income amount for 2019, then you would input that amount in Question 7 and support it with 6 months of recent paystubs.

 

It's really hard to follow your post.

 

Sorry, I didn't really answer your question in the previous post. We only put my MIL's income in question 7. And that income was from 2018. But because they had filed for a tax extension, we didn't have anything to show tax-wise for 2018 (other than the extension itself, tax form 4868, which we attached in our original submission). So the W2 we submitted was from the year before, 2017, and all transcripts were from 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. So probably the W2 should have been from 2018 just as you are saying, even though we did not have any returns from that year yet.

 

I guess one of my confusions is concerning the link between question 7 and question 24a. If we put the predicted income for 2019, we can definitely back it up with pay stubs, but not with a W2 or any tax documents. Feels like we'd end up in a similar situation as the one that seems to have given us an RFE in the first place - i.e., the tax documents we included in the original submission (from 2017-2015) do not support the income stated (from 2018). Isn't it better to still use the income from 2018 in question 7 in our response to the RFE, as we can now back that number up with the W2 plus the actual tax documentation from 2018 which we will soon receive from my PIL's accountant?

Edited by Tylosand

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tylosand said:

I guess one of my confusions is concerning the link between question 7 and question 24a. If we put the predicted income for 2019, we can definitely back it up with pay stubs, but not with a W2 or any tax documents. Feels like we'd end up in a similar situation as the one that seems to have given us an RFE in the first place - i.e., the tax documents we included in the original submission (from 2017-2015) do not support the income stated (from 2018). Isn't it better to still use the income from 2018 in question 7 in our response to the RFE, as we can now back that number up with the W2 plus the actual tax documentation from 2018 which we will soon receive from my PIL's accountant?

 

Another way to put my question here, would be by asking a hypothetical question.

 

Let's pretend I did not have a co-sponsor, and I only used my wife's income for my AoS. Let's further say that she had made 0$ in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And let's say we're sending in our application on July 30th, 2019. Because of that, we would put the most recent tax years (question 24a-24c) as 2018 to 2016, and the income would be 0 on all of them. No tax documents would be submitted - maybe we'd include a statement saying that my wife was unemployed and therefore she did not pay any taxes.

 

Then, let's say that she was hired at the start of 2019. She starts making a ton of money. So we would put the projected annual income in question 7 - let's just pretend its 1,200,000$. We have pay slips and contracts to back this number up beyond doubt. For argument's sake, let's say we my wife has worked for exactly 6 months when we submit the application, so we have the required 6 months worth of pay slips. But we do not have any tax documents to back that number up yet - not until next year. 

 

Would USCIS (probably) approve of the petition?

  • If yes, why is it even important to submit anything regarding taxes? In this scenario, taxes (or the lack of taxes) show exactly 0$ in income, but the pay slips show 1,200,000$ over the current year (or 100,000$ a month).
  • If no, how could we (in the actual scenarion where my MIL is my co-sponsor) get away with putting my MIL's projected income for 2019 in question 7, when we won't have any tax documents to support that number? Sure, her past finances will still look really solid and the required tax documentation to back that up would be included, but that was also the case in our original petition. Still, we received an RFE complaining about a lack of documentation.
Edited by Tylosand

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1 hour ago, Tylosand said:

 

Another way to put my question here, would be by asking a hypothetical question.

 

Let's pretend I did not have a co-sponsor, and I only used my wife's income for my AoS. Let's further say that she had made 0$ in 2016, 2017 and 2018. And let's say we're sending in our application on July 30th, 2019. Because of that, we would put the most recent tax years (question 24a-24c) as 2018 to 2016, and the income would be 0 on all of them. No tax documents would be submitted - maybe we'd include a statement saying that my wife was unemployed and therefore she did not pay any taxes.

 

Then, let's say that she was hired at the start of 2019. She starts making a ton of money. So we would put the projected annual income in question 7 - let's just pretend its 1,200,000$. We have pay slips and contracts to back this number up beyond doubt. For argument's sake, let's say we my wife has worked for exactly 6 months when we submit the application, so we have the required 6 months worth of pay slips. But we do not have any tax documents to back that number up yet - not until next year. 

 

Would USCIS (probably) approve of the petition? Yes they probably would because she has been employed at her job for more than 6 months and you had provided an Employment Verification Letter and backed it up with 6 months current paystubs. They DO look at your three most recent year's income situation but in this scenario, it likely would be enough.

  • If yes, why is it even important to submit anything regarding taxes? Because a sponsor has to be a tax law abiding taxpayer who either filed taxes within the three most recent years or had a reason not to file and provided a statement explaining so. In this scenario, taxes (or the lack of taxes) show exactly 0$ in income, but the pay slips show 1,200,000$ over the current year (or 100,000$ a month).
  • If no, how could we (in the actual scenarion where my MIL is my co-sponsor) get away with putting my MIL's projected income for 2019 in question 7, when we won't have any tax documents to support that number? Sure, her past finances will still look really solid and the required tax documentation to back that up would be included, but that was also the case in our original petition. Still, we received an RFE complaining about a lack of documentation.

A W2 is not enough without a return Transcript to prove current income so you should use MIL's EVL plus paystubs instead in Q7.

24a 2018 $0 (plus submit the extension documentation and W2, yet it may still not be enough because late filing is generally not a good enough excuse but you can try).

24b. 2017 $×××××

24c. 2016 $×××××

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tylosand said:

 

I guess one of my confusions is concerning the link between question 7 and question 24a. There is no link. They are two separate questions. One for current income in which you can use the most recent tax year's tax Transcript gross total OR from the most recent earnings statement gross total if those taxes were filed as jointly (BUT you would still need to submit the Return Transcript plus the earnings statement to distinguish the individual's income from their spouse on the TRT for the latter option) OR to use an EVL plus paystubs. Qu24 is only asking what was reported in the gross total of the 3 most recent year's taxes regardless of if those taxes were filed as single or MFJ and includes the income of another person. If the reported tax income reported in 24a is from a jointly filed return you'll need the earnings statements too but you still won't input the individual's income in 24a. It will still be the gross total.

 

If we put the predicted income for 2019, we can definitely back it up with pay stubs, but not with a W2 or any tax documents. Feels like we'd end up in a similar situation as the one that seems to have given us an RFE in the first place - i.e., the tax documents we included in the original submission (from 2017-2015) do not support the income stated (from 2018). Isn't it better to still use the income from 2018 in question 7 in our response to the RFE, as we can now back that number up with the W2 plus the actual tax documentation from 2018 which we will soon receive from my PIL's accountant?

 

Edited by K1visaHopeful

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Posted (edited)

@K1visaHopeful Ok, thank you for the comprehensive answer! I think I got it now. So what we'll do is probably that we'll use the most recent income (i.e. projecting the income for 2019) in part 6 question 7, and we'll support that with 6 months of pay stubs + contract. Then for 24a-24c we'll put in the total income for the household for the years 2018, 2017 and 2016, and also provide an IRS transcript for each year, which should reflect my MIL's individual portion of the income. We'll also add in the tax extension document (again) to show why the 2018 taxes were finalized after the deadline.

 

So if I understood you correctly, question 24a-24c purpose is not really to support a co-sponsor's ability to currently support an intending immigrant - it just shows if the co-sponsor has been paying taxes correctly previously. Although, it is in fact possible to use income stated on the latest tax return as the "current" income in part 6 question 7. In those cases, the tax return obviously acts as a piece of evidence for this number.

 

Did I get that right? Then, just out of curiosity, what else would work as evidence for this "current" income? Old pay stubs, predating the income amount stated on the most recent tax return, and perhaps contracts from that time? If the answer to that is "yes", then it seems like you could actually have been laid off from your job in the current year, without this being reflected anywhere in I-864. If that happened to you as a sponsor or a co-sponsor, just use the most recent tax return and you've solved that problem... Surely that is not a possibility? Again, just asking out of curiosity :)

Edited by Tylosand

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42 minutes ago, Tylosand said:

@K1visaHopeful Ok, thank you for the comprehensive answer! I think I got it now. So what we'll do is probably that we'll use the most recent income (i.e. projecting the income for 2019) in part 6 question 7, and we'll support that with 6 months of pay stubs + contract. Then for 24a-24c we'll put in the total income for the household for the years 2018, 2017 and 2016, and also provide an IRS transcript for each year, which should reflect my MIL's individual portion of the income. We'll also add in the tax extension document (again) to show why the 2018 taxes were finalized after the deadline.

 

So if I understood you correctly, question 24a-24c purpose is not really to support a co-sponsor's ability to currently support an intending immigrant - it just shows if the co-sponsor has been paying taxes correctly previously. A little bit of both as they can look to the reported tax income as proof of stability however current income is paramount. Although, it is in fact possible to use income stated on the latest tax return as the "current" income in part 6 question 7. In those cases, the tax return obviously acts as a piece of evidence for this number.

 

Did I get that right? Then, just out of curiosity, what else would work as evidence for this "current" income? Old  pay stubs, predating the income amount stated on the most recent tax return, and perhaps contracts from that time?

No. Current income means income inclusive of the most recent tax return or more current, not before the most recent tax return UNLESS your talking about submitting employment income info from any Nov to April as that Dec to April of that tax year would not be included on that tax return but still may prove your employment income is better than your tax reported income. So yes, you could be previously unemployed but not currently unemployed. Youd still have to input your current employer in Part 6 so if you're not currently employed you're probably screwed.   If the answer to that is "yes", then it seems like you could actually have been laid off from your job in the current year, without this being reflected anywhere in I-864. If that happened to you as a sponsor or a co-sponsor, just use the most recent tax return and you've solved that problem... Surely that is not a possibility? Again, just asking out of curiosity :)

 

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