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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Australia
Timeline

Hi team,

 

Been working on AOS application for quite some time now. I have been reading and doing my research. We have been waiting to see/hear about the approval statuses from the initial February/March I-944 guinea pigs, but that has yet to happen. So, I get that no one really has definitive answers yet. I've been going through monthly AOS filer threads and everyone just seems to have conflicting answers or opinions about certain topics that I'm in question with. I'm looking for some advice with the following on form I-944:

 

1) Part 3 question 1 - Household income- For my husband who is adjusting and filling out i944:

Like most people on here with a similar timeline as us, he has yet to file a US tax return because he just got here. We ticked "not required to file a tax return" and explained that he has no US work history and entered recently on K1. We are providing his Australian tax return. My question is, for HIS total income on tax return , am I putting ZERO?  Or should I put what I, the US citizen, made for 2019? (the wording "self OR household member" confuses me) 

 

image.png

 

 

2) Part 3 question 9 - Household assets

From my understanding, if you are above 125% poverty line, you do not need to include assets. The example I-944 form on VJ states their income is 75K (well above poverty line), yet they included assets. This confuses me. Do I need to include assets if we are above 125%? 

 

3) Health Insurance

My husband does not have an SSN yet because we couldn't find an office during COVID that would deal with him obtaining one. His I-94 is now expired. I am finding it difficult searching for health insurance without an SSN. Am I missing something? He has travel insurance with Cover More until March 2021. Is the travel insurance okay to mark "yes" on the I-944 for having health insurance for now until he obtains an SSN and can get traditional health insurance? I don't even know if this is considered health insurance, my guess is no because it has the word "travel" and not "health". He is not able to be added to my plan as I have a unique Native American plan. I'm not familiar at all with traditional insurance plans or how it all works. I've checked Marketplace. Can you get health insurance without an SSN? Is his travel insurance okay until he obtains an SSN? I'm scared to tick "no" for health insurance as that might look bad on his application. 

 

4) Part 4 - Your Education and Skills

My husband does not have a college degree. He has an Australian equivalency of a high school Diploma. He also has 2 trade profession certifications. 

Page 11 of I-944 directions state:

"Foreign education should include an evaluation of equivalency to education or degrees acquired at accredited colleges, universities, or educational institutions in the United States."

Does he need to get an evaluation of equivalency for his HS diploma and 2 trade profession certificates? Some people say you do for high school and certificates, some people say you do not. It would be great to not have to pay for that if we didn't have to. 

 

Any insight is helpful,

Thank you. 

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15 minutes ago, Jsg2016 said:

I've checked Marketplace. Can you get health insurance without an SSN?

From the government: https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/questions-and-answers-about-reporting-social-security-numbers-to-your-health-insurance-company "You should advise your coverage provider that you do not have an SSN or TIN and give them the date of birth for each covered individual."

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Regarding skills, the I-944 instructions state that evidence should be included IF available. So it depends on how easy it is for you to get the needed documents to send for evaluation.

 

I would like to add that I'm SO grateful that when we filed, that form did not exist. 

Just looking at the threads inquiring on how to fill it out, I get a headache. 

 

Good luck with AOS😊

 

Edited by Allaboutwaiting

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Australia
Timeline
On 7/14/2020 at 7:13 PM, Allaboutwaiting said:

Regarding skills, the I-944 instructions state that evidence should be included IF available. So it depends on how easy it is for you to get the needed documents to send for evaluation.

 

I would like to add that I'm SO grateful that when we filed, that form did not exist. 

Just looking at the threads inquiring on how to fill it out, I get a headache. 

 

Good luck with AOS😊

 

See this is why I posted on here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the instructions for skills and education section and the words “if it is available” just flew completely over my head. We do have the papers for his Australian “high school diploma” and his 2 trade profession certificates. Now I’m wondering if it’s easier just to NOT include them that way we don’t have to get it evaluated and save us a couple hundred bucks. Or just take the gamble and include them without being evaluated like a lot of people have done on here. Or lastly, suck it up and pay for it to be done. 

 

You are very lucky you didn’t have to deal with this form! It’s been such a pain 😤

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ecuador
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On 7/14/2020 at 7:04 PM, Jsg2016 said:

Hi team,

 

Been working on AOS application for quite some time now. I have been reading and doing my research. We have been waiting to see/hear about the approval statuses from the initial February/March I-944 guinea pigs, but that has yet to happen. So, I get that no one really has definitive answers yet. I've been going through monthly AOS filer threads and everyone just seems to have conflicting answers or opinions about certain topics that I'm in question with. I'm looking for some advice with the following on form I-944:

 

1) Part 3 question 1 - Household income- For my husband who is adjusting and filling out i944:

Like most people on here with a similar timeline as us, he has yet to file a US tax return because he just got here. We ticked "not required to file a tax return" and explained that he has no US work history and entered recently on K1. We are providing his Australian tax return. My question is, for HIS total income on tax return , am I putting ZERO?  Or should I put what I, the US citizen, made for 2019? (the wording "self OR household member" confuses me) 

 

image.png

 

 

2) Part 3 question 9 - Household assets

From my understanding, if you are above 125% poverty line, you do not need to include assets. The example I-944 form on VJ states their income is 75K (well above poverty line), yet they included assets. This confuses me. Do I need to include assets if we are above 125%? 

 

3) Health Insurance

My husband does not have an SSN yet because we couldn't find an office during COVID that would deal with him obtaining one. His I-94 is now expired. I am finding it difficult searching for health insurance without an SSN. Am I missing something? He has travel insurance with Cover More until March 2021. Is the travel insurance okay to mark "yes" on the I-944 for having health insurance for now until he obtains an SSN and can get traditional health insurance? I don't even know if this is considered health insurance, my guess is no because it has the word "travel" and not "health". He is not able to be added to my plan as I have a unique Native American plan. I'm not familiar at all with traditional insurance plans or how it all works. I've checked Marketplace. Can you get health insurance without an SSN? Is his travel insurance okay until he obtains an SSN? I'm scared to tick "no" for health insurance as that might look bad on his application. 

 

4) Part 4 - Your Education and Skills

My husband does not have a college degree. He has an Australian equivalency of a high school Diploma. He also has 2 trade profession certifications. 

Page 11 of I-944 directions state:

"Foreign education should include an evaluation of equivalency to education or degrees acquired at accredited colleges, universities, or educational institutions in the United States."

Does he need to get an evaluation of equivalency for his HS diploma and 2 trade profession certificates? Some people say you do for high school and certificates, some people say you do not. It would be great to not have to pay for that if we didn't have to. 

 

Any insight is helpful,

Thank you. 

I asked something very similar to your question 1) here, along with my current thoughts on it, but have not heard any responses:

 

For your question 3), I am not sure about health insurance on the marketplace but once we marry I plan to add my wife to my employer's health insurance plan without a SSN. I have spoken to HR where I work and they will be able to do this.

 

For question 4), we are planning to get an equivalency report that includes the high school diploma, although it will also include university degrees. Some of the approved services will do a general report that includes various diplomas/degrees for the same set price. The lowest I have seen is $80.

 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Australia
Timeline
23 hours ago, JKLSemicolon said:

I asked something very similar to your question 1) here, along with my current thoughts on it, but have not heard any responses:

 

I was following your question on that thread and was hoping someone would also answer. Did you fill yours out yet ? My thoughts sound the same as yours- leaving the tax year and return total blank or “n/a” and just attaching the foreign tax return. 
 

The more I think about it, I believe we are to not put any number because it says  “Total income from tax return or Item 1 on W-2 “Wages, tips, $ other compensation” (U.S. dollars) (if applicable)” 

 

To me, that’s describing a number from a US tax return, in which our case, the foreign partner does not have one. 
 

23 hours ago, JKLSemicolon said:

For question 4), we are planning to get an equivalency report that includes the high school diploma, although it will also include university degrees. Some of the approved services will do a general report that includes various diplomas/degrees for the same set price. The lowest I have seen is $80.

 

Do you remember which one was at $80? 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Serbia
Timeline
On 7/17/2020 at 1:27 PM, Jsg2016 said:

I was following your question on that thread and was hoping someone would also answer. Did you fill yours out yet ? My thoughts sound the same as yours- leaving the tax year and return total blank or “n/a” and just attaching the foreign tax return. 
 

The more I think about it, I believe we are to not put any number because it says  “Total income from tax return or Item 1 on W-2 “Wages, tips, $ other compensation” (U.S. dollars) (if applicable)” 

 

To me, that’s describing a number from a US tax return, in which our case, the foreign partner does not have one. 
 

Do you remember which one was at $80? 

I’m also interested to hear about the $80 one. Furthermore, I can’t seem to figure out if I’m supposed to apply for the SSN and health insurance, and what do I put for taxes? :(

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1 hour ago, SP&DT said:

if I’m supposed to apply for the SSN

You'll have to wait for the EAD because your 76 days (90 days - 14 days of legal status required by the SSA) to apply for SSN with K-1 have passed. Unfortunately, SSA offices have been closed for in-person services.

1 hour ago, SP&DT said:

and health insurance

Usually through spouse's employer-sponsored health plan. The ACA Exchanges are also an option. When they ask for SSN: "You should advise your coverage provider that you do not have an SSN or TIN and give them the date of birth for each covered individual." https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/questions-and-answers-about-reporting-social-security-numbers-to-your-health-insurance-company

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Serbia
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58 minutes ago, HRQX said:

You'll have to wait for the EAD because your 76 days (90 days - 14 days of legal status required by the SSA) to apply for SSN with K-1 have passed. Unfortunately, SSA offices have been closed for in-person services.

Usually through spouse's employer-sponsored health plan. The ACA Exchanges are also an option. When they ask for SSN: "You should advise your coverage provider that you do not have an SSN or TIN and give them the date of birth for each covered individual." https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/questions-and-answers-about-reporting-social-security-numbers-to-your-health-insurance-company

Thanks for this.

 

Now to figure out taxes... The 944 is a nightmare. I am trying to get my diploma translated so I can get the equivalency...

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26 minutes ago, SP&DT said:

Now to figure out taxes...

Tax year 2019 taxes? Since you came in the year 2020 you shouldn't do tax year 2019 taxes. Your US citizen spouse should file tax year 2019 taxes as "Single" as they weren't married on Dec. 31, 2019.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Australia
Timeline
30 minutes ago, SP&DT said:

Thanks for this.

 

Now to figure out taxes... The 944 is a nightmare. I am trying to get my diploma translated so I can get the equivalency...

It sucks, that’s the best way I can describe this form. What about the taxes are you needing to figure out? Is this also in regards to my question #1? 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Serbia
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7 minutes ago, Jsg2016 said:

It sucks, that’s the best way I can describe this form. What about the taxes are you needing to figure out? Is this also in regards to my question #1? 

Yeah. Back in Serbia, taxes are automatically deducted from your paycheck, and I presume they appear on the paystub, but I'm not sure. Am I to obtain a translation for that too?

 

Also, I saw something on the forum that it's okay to send a note explaining we just arrived in the US so we can't have a credit score - is that enough? I'm slowly panicking.

17 minutes ago, HRQX said:

Tax year 2019 taxes? Since you came in the year 2020 you shouldn't do tax year 2019 taxes. Your US citizen spouse should file tax year 2019 taxes as "Single" as they weren't married on Dec. 31, 2019.

Ah! So - I don't file mine from back home at all?

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12 minutes ago, SP&DT said:

Also, I saw something on the forum that it's okay to send a note explaining we just arrived in the US so we can't have a credit score - is that enough?

The following post might help with that:

On 7/11/2020 at 2:29 PM, Sinead91 said:

For the credit score I contacted TransUnion and they conducted a search for my credit score (obviously non existent) and I attached the letter they sent saying that I didn’t have one. 

"If you do not have a credit report or credit score, provide documentation that demonstrates that you do not have a credit report or score with a credit bureau." https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-944instr-pc.pdf

Edited by HRQX

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Australia
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9 minutes ago, SP&DT said:

 

Also, I saw something on the forum that it's okay to send a note explaining we just arrived in the US so we can't have a credit score - is that enough? I'm slowly panicking.

You need a letter from one of three nationwide credit report agencies. Pg 7 of i944 instructions state

“If you do not have a credit report or credit score, provide documentation that demonstrates that you do not have a credit report or score with a credit bureau. You may provide evidence of continued payment of bills if there is no credit report or credit score.”

 

You can obtain one from equifax, Experian, or transunion. 
 

We used equifax. We called them explaining that husband does not have an ssn and need a letter stating he has no credit score or report for immigration purposes. They asked for a cover letter explaining what we need and 2 forms of identity (passport and Australian drivers license). A letter stating he does not have a credit report or score was received via USPS about 9 days later. 

Edited by Jsg2016

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Serbia
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3 minutes ago, Jsg2016 said:

Yes, you do. Pg 7 of i944 instructions state

“If you do not have a credit report or credit score, provide documentation that demonstrates that you do not have a credit report or score with a credit bureau. You may provide evidence of continued payment of bills if there is no credit report or credit score.”

 

You can obtain one from equifax, Experian, or transunion. 
 

We used equifax. We called them explaining that husband does not have an ssn and need a letter stating he has no credit score or report for immigration purposes. They asked for a cover letter explaining what we need and 2 forms of identity (passport and Australian drivers license). A letter stating he does not have a credit report or score was received via USPS about 9 days later. 

Thank you so much for this. I'll do the same!

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