Immigration Issues/affidavit of support

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Question
Hello, Janelle!

Can you help me with several questions, please?
I am getting married to a guy with H1-B visa.
When I become a citizen (about a year from now) of the US we will apply for a green card for him. I will need to submit affidavit of support. I was unemployed for 2 years and this year my income is a little less than 125% of poverty guidelines.  He has been working in the US since the beginning of 1999. We live together for the last 2 years.
My questions are:
- if his is still in his 6 year that he can stay in the country because of his H1-B and he is still working, can he be a co-sponsor?
-Can his assets (saving account) be used to make up for the difference in income?  
-Can it be money from our joint saving account?

http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/howdoi/sub-spon
On this website I found:
“Are there any exceptions to the sponsorship requirements?
There is no need to submit a Form I-864 if the intending immigrant can show that the intending immigrant has already worked....”
-He has been working in the US since 1999. So, do I still need to submit Affidavit of Support?
-How long it usually takes to get Green card through the spouse? How long it takes for Work Authorization in case if his 6 years period is up?
-If we move for a couple of years to his country (Brazil) and apply for his green card from there will it take longer? More troubles?
-To keep my citizenship I understand my absence has to be less than 6 months during the first five years after becoming a citizen? The same applies for him, if he gets his green card and we will stay in Brazil?
I understand that it's a lot of questions, but I will appreciate if you answer as many as you consider possible.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Olga


Answer
When you are a US citizen and will file the I-130/I-485 application to sponsor your husband for a green card, you will be required to submit an I-864 Affidavit of Support.  If your husband has lived in your residence for the last 6 months or longer at the time of filing the application (particularly if you file joint taxes), you may use your combined income on the form. You may also use his and/or your assets to meet the income requirement.

If these factors do not clearly place you in the 125% level, it may also a good idea to have a member of your family or someone else who is a USC also file an I-864A as a joint sponsor, since the purpose of the Affidavit of Support is that if your husband loses his job or requires public assistance at a later date, a US citizen has vouched for him financially in this legal document.

The processing times for I-130/I-485 application depend upon where you live and which local BCIS office has jurisdiction over your case.

To file for IV processing in Brazil, you would still file the I-130 petition at the BCIS in the US.  Then, you would apply for a final immigrant interview at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro.  Sometimes, this may be faster, but depending on the Consulate, it may or may not be more difficult.

Maintaining permanent resident status is very complicated, especially when you have plans to travel outside the US for long periods of time.  There are no exact rules, but the BCIS is tracking exits and entries to the US now more closely, and it can be problematic to maintain status if spending more time outside the US than inside.

I hope this is helpful!

Immigration Issues

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Janelle Miau

Expertise

I can respond to any employment-based and marriage-based U.S. immigration questions. I specialize in obtaining visas and permanent residence for performers, musicians and filmmakers who have job offers from viable U.S. companies.

Experience

I have several years experience working for an immigration law firm and am familiar with a wide variety of topics. I also have several sources of up-to-date information on recent changes in the law.

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