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Understanding Financial Sponsorship for The Move to America

06 August, 2014 07:33  Erin Erin

At EasyExpat we provide the latest and greatest in expat news, but sometimes a personal journey can best explain the unique challenges and triumphs involved in moving abroad. Meet Molly and follow along on her adventure in the Move to America.

understanding sponsorship move to america One of the many questions I get asked about on my blog concerns the cost of the whole visa process (which I wrote about on here previously) and the role of the sponsor.

Often for people at the very beginning of it all (including myself when I started) they look for information about what to expect regarding the financial proof the sponsor has to provide, and what all of this part of the process involves - I get asked about this many times too, so I hope by sharing some of my experiences of getting my spousal visa, it all becomes a little clearer.

What is a US sponsor?

A sponsor is the person who has to prove, and provide information for, the financial support of the person wishing to live in America.

When filing the very first form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - the Petition for Alien Relative - my husband was my 'petitioner' as he was the one submitting the request for the initial stages of our spousal visa application. Once we progressed to the National Visa Center (NVC) stage and had to submit the Affidavit of Support - the form you use to provide the financial information - he also became my 'sponsor'.

What financial evidence is needed for a US Sponsership?

The evidence that my husband and I had to provide alongside the Affidavit of Support was:

  • Proof of my husband's current annual income
  • Photocopy/transcript of Federal tax returns (not state or local ones) for the three most recent tax years

What is the financial evidence used for in US Sponsership?

The financial information provided by the sponsor is used to determine whether or not they meet the minimum income threshold - this is set out each year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). There is a minimum annual amount that must be met, otherwise a visa will not be issued.

What if you do not meet the minimum income requirements?

If the sponsor does not meet the income requirements, you can have a co-sponsor, which is someone else (alongside your original sponsor) who will submit an Affidavit of Support along with their financial information to make sure you now meet the minimum income.

Top Tips for Financial Sponsorship in the USA

If I was to give some advice for this part of the visa process, it would be:

  • Check the I-864P form (the HHS financial guideline) on the USCIS website to make sure your sponsor does meet the required minimum income. If you do not meet the required minimum income, organise a co-sponsor before you get to the interview stage
  • Provide wage slips from the sponsor's job along with the tax returns and a letter from their employer stating their annual income
  • Check you have the correct tax returns before you submit them as evidence as they will slow the process down if they are the wrong type

There is a lot of information here, so I hope it has been of some use. If you need further explanation or advice, look through the expat forums for immigration in the USA or contact me on my blog, The Move to America, and I will be happy to help.

Find out about How much the visa process costs for the move to America in Molly's previous post. 

For more information on visas in the USA, consult our comprehensive USA City Guides with information on visas. Catch all of Molly's posts in the Moving Abroad category and watch for new posts on the first Wednesday of every month.


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