Immigration Issues/I-864 for USCIS


QUESTION: Hello, I'm in the process of filling out the I-864 for the USCIS in hopes of getting the green card for my husband. We expected to have a baby by this month.  As of now I'm pregnant and not working. I haven't worked since July 2011 and I don't plan to work again until my baby is about 5 months old. Right now I do get food assistance from Michigan DHS and once my baby is here I will get cash assistance for 2 months. I do hope to find a job but I'm not so sure I will be able to work right away. My husband is here in F1 VISA and he expects to graduate by the end of April with his Masters Degree and hopes to find work as soon as he can. Right now he gets cash allowance from his embassy every month. Once he graduates he will not longer receive that. The issue I'm having with this application is the SPONSOR part. I don't have anyone who could be a joint sponsor. I'd have to be his sponsor but I'm unemployed and not sure when I'll find work again. In addition, I am living with him since two years and since I lost my job, he is the one who support everything around the home. By the way, he is student at U.S since May 2006 as he has scholarship from his embassy. He got his undergrad from U.S university and he expected to graduate with his master degree by this end of April. However, he is still in F1 visa that he cant work without having the green card and we just want to start out life normal. He could apply for some program like OPT but we donít want to apply for this because this program keeps him just for one year and we just want to start life normally without any condition.   What might happen in a situation like this? And should we file I-864 and I-864A?
Thank you

ANSWER: Dear Sam,

1. You have to file an I-864 along with the application for adjustment of status and the immigrant visa petition (I-130).  Your husband would file the I-864A if he decides to self-sponsor.

2. Self-sponsor is possible normally only with people who are on work visa.  However, because he receives an allowance from his Embassy, you can use that as income.  If his income exceeds the required amount on the Federal Poverty Guideline, he can self-sponsor on the I-864A as a household member.  I am not sure about his income, so my advice would end here.

3. If his income is not sufficient, you must find a joint sponsor.  A friend or a family can help if income is sufficient.  If he is not able to self-sponsor, the joint sponsor would be his only chance at receiving the green card.


Jack C Sung
attorney at law

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for fast replied. However, he will graduated by end of May 2012 and when he graduate, he will not be able to get allowance any more. We are planning to file all our paper by March 2012 which he still get allowance in that time. Do we still can file for him I-864A. Because I went to the form and I read the instruction and it said one of the requirement, that the income have to continue from the same sources.

My other question, when we file for him AOS, is he gonna be bale to get work authorization to find a job in U.S, no matter what or if they declined one form, they declined the whole processing?

Should we file all the form in one time which is: I-130, I-485, G-325A, I-765, I-131,I-864, I-864A, I-693. If there is any form that I should to file and not mention it here, just let me know.

Thank you in advance and I appreciate your help


1. I recommend that you find a joint sponsor because your household income does not qualify for the I-864, in my opinion.

2. If his AOS is declined then his work permit will be declined as well.  It is not true that USCIS will give him work permit even if his AOS is declined.  AOS can be declined if the paperwork is not done correctly.

3. The forms you listed look complete, except for the I-864A, which is not needed.  Again, I don't think you guys can proceed safely without a joint sponsor, in my opinion.


Jack C Sung
attorney at law

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: When you said join sponsor or co- sponsor, what do you mean by this? So the joint sponsor or co-sponsor income should cover 3 of us plus himself or his income should just cover the immigrant. Because I am thinking about my brother sponsor us and he make only $15,000 a year. So like I said we need to get my husband the green card and work permit in order for us to live normal.
Thank you

Hi Sam,

1. The joint sponsor's income needs to be able to cover his/her household + you.  The joint sponsor's income does not have to cover your husband.  Your brother's income is not sufficient because for a minimal household of 2 (your brother + you), the required income level is $18,387 per year.

2. I understand your concern about getting the green card and living normally, but you must have a financial sponsor for the I-864 before your husband would even receive a green card.  Without a joint sponsor, I do not believe your husband's green card application can be approved with your current financial situation.  

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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