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Am I screwed with Affidavit of Support AOS? Help!

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Hi guys. So my husband finally got approved his I-130 for CR-1 and I was so happy. I thought everything was sorted out with a join sponsor too because my income won't be enough I think and my dad's friend agreed to sponsor months ago and confirmed a few times, but he just backed out I think because of his wife :( . So my happiness shattered today and I am so confused right now I am trying to put pieces together to see if I can pull this off myself OR with the help of my parents who live with me as I have no one else to sponsor my husband. I need to submit A of S soon, so can you guys PLEASE help me figure out my options for Affidavit of Support as my mind is cloudy right now and I'm feeling anxiety. :(

 

1) HOME: I live in a townhouse that's worth around $700,000 or more  in value and no mortgage, so I thought that I can use home as an asset, but some guy told me long time ago that my townhouse can't be used as an asset because it's in a revocable trust, BUT as I was going over the trust docs, this is what it says there "Jane Doe (replaced by me real name obviously) of Los Angeles, CA, who is herein referred to as the "settlor" or "the trustee," depending on the context, hereby, declares that she holds certain property (the "trust estate), in trust, to be held, administered, and distributed as provided in this instrument." In another page it says that "Jane Doe, (hereafter "Settlor"), assigns and transfers to Jane Doe (hereafter "Trustee) of Jane Doe Revocable Trust dated XXX, 2015, all of Settlor right, title, and interest in and to all of the property owned by Settlor that would otherwise be subject to Probate on the death....This property includes Settlor residence, other real property; all stock, blah blah blah." Also, in another page it says "I, Jane Doe,  the undersigned, declare: That I am the current trustee of the of the trust established by Jane Doe of (Address) on XXX, 2015."  The reason I am writing this is because I was told by someone (not an attorney) that I can't use my paid-off home because it's in a trust and it belongs to the trust; not me. I got confused about that because I am the settlor and the trustee of the estate according to my revocable trust, so I wanted to know is my residence home value can be used as a supplemental asset to my income? Was the guy wrong to claim that this doesn't belong to me, hence can't be used as an asset? This is a nuance that I can screw up if I assume things. Also, is the townhouse valued at 1/2 or 1/3 price in case it can be included? I don't understand one thing based on the guy told me and that's even if in a trust, if I am the settlor and the trustee and my name is the only name on the papers drafted by a probate attorney, how can I not sell it as a settlor or a trustee if I'm the one who makes decision? This is why I feel like the guy was talking cra* without detailed knowledge of the law, but then again, I am freaking out nonetheless. 

 

2) CASH: I have $25,000 in savings and checking combined. How much of it will be counted as a cash asset? 1/2 or 1/3? 

 

3) INCOME: I am currently a student and my only income is through a rental of my property (room), so in my US Individual Tax Return Form #1040 I filed this year it was "married, filing separately" since my husband isn't in the US yet. This is where I wan clarification to determine which $ will be counted to determine which income to use? So my tax return shows: Rents received: $21,600 (for 2018), and expenses part shows the following: $2,356 utilities, $3,656 taxes; $4,158 HOA dues, so under it all, it says "Total expenses: $10,172". Does Affidavit of Support only count the total gross income I received from my rent, which is $21,600 or they will only count the income that I am left at the end after everything is deducted, which is $11,438? Which of those two amounts highlighted from my tax return I should be including and counting to determine whether I can sponsor my husband myself? Also, since this is my main income as I am close to finishing up my paralegal course studies before getting back to work, this is an income derived from the property I mentioned, so does it mean that I can't even use my tax return as an income now considering that it's an income derived from my trust where I'm the settlor and the trustee? I am referring to what the guy told me that I can't supposedly use my property as an asset. 

 

4) HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS: My retired mom and dad live with me and they have filed their own taxes jointly, so based on the above info, will I need to get their assistance to help me too? We are not considered dependent on our tax return on each other as mine is individual while theirs is joint. They are receiving Social Security benefits as retired seniors. On my dad's return SSA (Social Security Benefits) Statement stub it shows the following: "Net Benefits for 2018 - $15,308; Paid by check/direct deposit - $14,000; Medicare Part B premiums deducted from your benefits $1,308; Total additions; $15,308; Benefits for $15,308". So if I include my dad, do I take into account the Net benefit amount of $15,308 or the direct deposits of $14,000?

My mom's statements is the following "Net Benefits for 2018 - $11,532; Paid by check/direct deposit - $10,248; Medicare Part B premiums deducted from your benefits $1,284; Total Additions $11,532; Benefits for 2018 -  $11,532." My last question about my parents is whether I must include them as joint sponsors or I can pick either my dad or mom to use as additional sponsor to meet the requirement even thought they file their taxes as married and joint?  

 

 

 

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Short version is you need a Joint Sponsor with enough income.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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As a "landlord" you are considered self employed, even if you are also "employed".  Therefore, your "current income" in this context will be found on line 6 of your 2016 tax return.

 

You can combine your income with that of your parents.  First calculate whether you have enough, by comparing the the total of line 6 on your return plus line six of Mom and Dad's return and compare that to the requirement for a household of 4.  If you have it covered, you're good to go.  Provide an I-864 from you and I-864a forms for Mom and for Dad.  Go ahead and list your liquid assets and forget the house.  Your liquid assets can make up for an income shortfall at 1 to 3, so a third of your assets.

 

Mom and Dad's income calculation MIGHT be more complicated than just taking the number on line 6 though.  You would take total income minus the taxable amount of SS, if any, PLUS the total SS number.

 

If the income plus a third of your savings doesn't meet the minimum requirement, you'll need a qualified joint sponsor.

 

About the house.  Even assuming it is YOURS free and clear, it is not "liquid".  (Read those I-864 instructions carefully.) To be considered liquid it must be able to be liquidated within a year WITHOUT HARM to the sponsor or their family.  Selling the primary residence of you, your husband and your parents, would be harmful to your family, so not considered liquid.  You wouldn't really sell that home to support your family.


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On 8/25/2019 at 7:55 PM, pushbrk said:

As a "landlord" you are considered self employed, even if you are also "employed".  Therefore, your "current income" in this context will be found on line 6 of your 2016 tax return.

 

You can combine your income with that of your parents.  First calculate whether you have enough, by comparing the the total of line 6 on your return plus line six of Mom and Dad's return and compare that to the requirement for a household of 4.  If you have it covered, you're good to go.  Provide an I-864 from you and I-864a forms for Mom and for Dad.  Go ahead and list your liquid assets and forget the house.  Your liquid assets can make up for an income shortfall at 1 to 3, so a third of your assets.

 

Mom and Dad's income calculation MIGHT be more complicated than just taking the number on line 6 though.  You would take total income minus the taxable amount of SS, if any, PLUS the total SS number.

 

If the income plus a third of your savings doesn't meet the minimum requirement, you'll need a qualified joint sponsor.

 

About the house.  Even assuming it is YOURS free and clear, it is not "liquid".  (Read those I-864 instructions carefully.) To be considered liquid it must be able to be liquidated within a year WITHOUT HARM to the sponsor or their family.  Selling the primary residence of you, your husband and your parents, would be harmful to your family, so not considered liquid.  You wouldn't really sell that home to support your family.

Thank you sir for the helpful advice. I was waiting to get my parent's joint income tax return before replying to you to say thank you! I filled out I-864 for myself and used Line 6 of my tax return, but I am VERY confused regarding my parent's household income that I need to add and I feel like I need guidance otherwise I will mess things up and delay/reject the whole thing. I heard that for a slight number mistake they can reject the AOS.

 

1) Parents' tax return:

You said to me previously that "Mom and Dad's income calculation MIGHT be more complicated than just taking the number on line 6 though.  You would take total income minus the taxable amount of SS, if any, PLUS the total SS number." I'm a little worried not to screw this up as there's just 1 tax return for both, filed married jointly.

 

You mentioned to provide I-864A's for mom and dad, so I take that I need to submit two separate I-864A's for parents even thought they are filing jointly and there's only one combined ss benefits retirement income showing on their #1040 tax form? Only their Form SSA-1099-Social Security Benefit Statements show their benefits for each person, otherwise their joint tax return shows the combined total amount only. I attached their SSA-1099-Social Security Benefit Statements to show what I mean. Also, there's nothing showing on their Line 6 of tax return and I also attached it here to show what I mean. It's blank. I am looking at their tax return and this is what I see:

Line 4b: taxable amount $192;

Line 5a: SS benefits $27,168;

Line 8: Standard deduction or itemized deductions $26,600. 

 

The two SS Benefit statements I attached show that dad's net benefit (box 3 minus box 4) = $15,396 (he paid $1,608 for Medicare Part B premium deduction from his benefit) & mom's net benefit is $11,772 and she got deducted Medicar Plan B premium for $1,524. I'm assuming that their income on the tax return is that "5a. Social security benefits amount of $27,168" and that the Medicare premium deductions don't play a role here since $15,396 (dad) + $11,772 (mom)=$27,168, hence the 5a SS benefit total $. I'm afraid I can't figure this out on my own and while I compiled a really good petition by myself & got the approval, I knew that this part was going to be tough for me although it is fairly easy...the question is where the hell do I find parent's income to use on AOS forms lol? Could you please help me out by pointing at which $/line to use on income tax return? I just need to know is it their NET BENEFIT that counts or do we deduct the medicare premiums they get deducted before their direct deposit is made each month.443583243_69549664_1691508984315287_6887059387181957120_n(1).thumb.jpg.35928f8e8f94280c1b1ffe5feb3fc20b.jpg70331594_2560698310656158_8469116951510122496_n.thumb.jpg.943593445cdf3d009e093d7dbb356e03.jpg

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THEIR current income does NOT come from a tax return.  The tax section for both will show the line 6 or line 22 amounts.  Use their individual income to state their current individual income.  It's any earned income they may have, or other passive income that is individual, plus their gross social security.  "Their income" will be added together automatically by the form itself, but you transfer the individual figures to YOUR I-864, so the total current income is correct.

 


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3 hours ago, pushbrk said:

THEIR current income does NOT come from a tax return.  The tax section for both will show the line 6 or line 22 amounts.  Use their individual income to state their current individual income.  It's any earned income they may have, or other passive income that is individual, plus their gross social security.  "Their income" will be added together automatically by the form itself, but you transfer the individual figures to YOUR I-864, so the total current income is correct.

 

 

I am sorry Im totally lost. Current income is their monthly SS retirement benefits they get, which shows on tax returns and their benefit statement I attached here, they don't have any other income other than their SS retirement benefits per month that they get. Where do I look for the 'current' income then? I thought it's all about tax return. You said "Use their individual income to state their current individual income. It's any earned income they may have, or other passive income that is individual, plus their gross social security. " My line 6 shows $11,456, theirs shows $192 as you can see from the attachment of their joint tax return, but how is their income only $192 for both doesn't make sense based on the amount they get paid for their SS social benefits. 

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I see what you mean although im still confused as to how to now calculate their individual income without using their 2018 tax return, but I understand now that it has nothing to do with their tax return then although Im not sure why i took into account my own tax return line 6 then if we are not using tax return to calculate income. This is too complicated for me and I was wondering if you know of any services who can assist me in filling out the income part on I-864? Do local USCIS offer assistance with the forms? I feel like to deter any more confusion, I need to find someone who can help me either free (if USCIS has such a service) or for a fee but I am not aware of such services myself. Are services available on this website regarding assistance in filling out petitions although my issue is trying to figure out the current income and not how to fill out a form as that is the easiest part so I just don't know what the current income is to put it on the form.

Edited by fem_femme

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2 hours ago, fem_femme said:

 

I am sorry Im totally lost. Current income is their monthly SS retirement benefits they get, which shows on tax returns and their benefit statement I attached here, they don't have any other income other than their SS retirement benefits per month that they get. Where do I look for the 'current' income then? I thought it's all about tax return. You said "Use their individual income to state their current individual income. It's any earned income they may have, or other passive income that is individual, plus their gross social security. " My line 6 shows $11,456, theirs shows $192 as you can see from the attachment of their joint tax return, but how is their income only $192 for both doesn't make sense based on the amount they get paid for their SS social benefits. 

If their "ONLY INCOME" is social security, then you use the benefit statements.  They receive more this year than last year.  "Last year" is NOT "current" unless a person is "self employed".  Put information from the tax return in the past years' tax return section.  Put current income where current income is asked for.


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2 hours ago, pushbrk said:

If their "ONLY INCOME" is social security, then you use the benefit statements.  They receive more this year than last year.  "Last year" is NOT "current" unless a person is "self employed".  Put information from the tax return in the past years' tax return section.  Put current income where current income is asked for.

aaa ok :)))) I get it now. Yes, their ONLY income is just that...their SS monthly benefits they get, nothing else, so unless the government raises/adjusts it due to inflation, then it's pretty stable. Just last question before I finish filling out that I-864A. You said to use their SS statement if that's the only income for them, so thought I attached my parent's each statements above, I'll use my dad as an example: Statement shows that his net benefit is $15,396 out of which he is paid check/direct deposit $13,788 and the rest, $1,608, is his Medicare Part B premium as deduction. So is his income the net benefit of $15,396 that he gets or it's only the direct deposit/check he gets for $13,788? Which one is the income? That's all I need to know to get this ordeal over with. Sorry for my earlier confusions. I feel like it's the net benefit of $15,396 but had to double check.

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9 hours ago, fem_femme said:

aaa ok :)))) I get it now. Yes, their ONLY income is just that...their SS monthly benefits they get, nothing else, so unless the government raises/adjusts it due to inflation, then it's pretty stable. Just last question before I finish filling out that I-864A. You said to use their SS statement if that's the only income for them, so thought I attached my parent's each statements above, I'll use my dad as an example: Statement shows that his net benefit is $15,396 out of which he is paid check/direct deposit $13,788 and the rest, $1,608, is his Medicare Part B premium as deduction. So is his income the net benefit of $15,396 that he gets or it's only the direct deposit/check he gets for $13,788? Which one is the income? That's all I need to know to get this ordeal over with. Sorry for my earlier confusions. I feel like it's the net benefit of $15,396 but had to double check.

Gross before any deductions.

 


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Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

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