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I-864 self employment questions

I-864 self employment questions

Old Dec 15th 2009, 2:57 am
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Default I-864 self employment questions

Hi all. I am savannah_boy's wife (the USC) and we are following the CR-1 Visa Application route. We have received the DS-3032 and instructions to pay the AOS fee. I am trying to get a head start on the I-864 documentation now and have a couple of questions:

1. I am self employed and am wondering what to show as proof of this. Should it be my business license? A month (or more) of bank statements? I am a sole-proprietor and file taxes under my SSN (as opposed to a my business being incorporated and having a tax ID, etc.)

2. I have my last two tax returns showing that I am above the 125% poverty guidelines. My 2007 returns shows income well above that line, 2008 shows just above the line, and obviously 2009's return has yet to be completed. My parents have agreed to be joint sponsors should I need them. Is this a good idea to have just in case or is it overkill?

Thanks all,
Kim
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 3:09 am
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
I am trying to get a head start on the I-864 documentation now and have a couple of questions:

1. I am self employed and am wondering what to show as proof of this. Should it be my business license? A month (or more) of bank statements? I am a sole-proprietor and file taxes under my SSN (as opposed to a my business being incorporated and having a tax ID, etc.)

2. I have my last two tax returns showing that I am above the 125% poverty guidelines. My 2007 returns shows income well above that line, 2008 shows just above the line, and obviously 2009's return has yet to be completed. My parents have agreed to be joint sponsors should I need them. Is this a good idea to have just in case or is it overkill?
Your business license doesn't prove anything as far as your level of income is concerned. Tax returns are good for the last few years. If you think that 2009 is going to qualify (i.e. above 125% of the poverty line) then file it early in January and use that too....then you'll have three years of returns to show them.

It's never a bad idea to have a joint-sponsor lined up, if you think it could go either way, with the other evidence you have to show them.
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
1. I am self employed and am wondering what to show as proof of this.
You aren't required to prove that you own a business. Be aware that you must demonstrate your personal income... not the business income.


I am a sole-proprietor and file taxes under my SSN (as opposed to a my business being incorporated and having a tax ID, etc.)
You will be required to submit copies of either your returns or IRS transcripts.


I have my last two tax returns showing that I am above the 125% poverty guidelines.
You are not required to prove that you have earned 125% in the previous 3 years. People often conflate those two separate and distinct requirements (ie. 125% of the poverty level; and 3-years worth of tax returns). Current income is what really matters.


My parents have agreed to be joint sponsors should I need them. Is this a good idea to have just in case or is it overkill?
It's always a good idea to be prepared... you never know when you're going to get the IO from hell.

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Old Dec 15th 2009, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

BG,

True, it doesn't prove anything about level of income, but it is good evidence of being gainfully self-employed. This is important because the self-employed often have difficulty demonstrating what their current income is and may have to rely more heavily on their past income as a demonstration of what their current income might reasonably be.

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
Your business license doesn't prove anything as far as your level of income is concerned.

Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
Hi all. I am savannah_boy's wife (the USC) and we are following the CR-1 Visa Application route. We have received the DS-3032 and instructions to pay the AOS fee. I am trying to get a head start on the I-864 documentation now and have a couple of questions:

1. I am self employed and am wondering what to show as proof of this. Should it be my business license?
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Be aware that you must demonstrate your personal income... not the business income.
I'm going to emphasize Ian's point about making sure you are using your own personal income to meet the I-864 requirement, not the business income.

Your own personal income is what's leftover after looking at your total business income minus your business deductions. Let's say the business earns $50,000 a year. On the surface, it looks like you are way above the $18,000+/- required for the I-864. But then you have to deduct your business expenses from that $50,000. So if you have $35,000 in business expenses, that only leaves you with a personal profit of $15,000, which is not enough to meet the I-864 requirements.

A good way to show your ongoing business vs. personal income is to provide a Profit & Loss Statement along with the I-864.

And yes, it's a good idea to have the joint sponsor lined up just in case the ConOff does not think you meet the I-864 requirements.

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Old Dec 15th 2009, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

s_g,

Obviously, but mid-way through December you should have a pretty good idea what your income for 2009 is going to be, yes? And you file quarterly statements and estimated tax payments with the IRS, so you've got 3 of those behind you for 2009?

Comparing your 2009 records to date with your 2007 and 2008 records you should be able to make a good showing of what your current income is. If it is insufficient to meet the I-864 requirement then by all means be prepared with a joint sponsorship package from your parents.

I will repeat Ian's caution about looking at your personal income not your business' income, because many self-employed just don't see (or don't want to see) the difference. Line 22 on your 1040 is the number to use.

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
2. I have my last two tax returns showing that I am above the 125% poverty guidelines. My 2007 returns shows income well above that line, 2008 shows just above the line, and obviously 2009's return has yet to be completed.
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
s_g,

Obviously, but mid-way through December you should have a pretty good idea what your income for 2009 is going to be, yes? And you file quarterly statements and estimated tax payments with the IRS, so you've got 3 of those behind you for 2009?

Comparing your 2009 records to date with your 2007 and 2008 records you should be able to make a good showing of what your current income is. If it is insufficient to meet the I-864 requirement then by all means be prepared with a joint sponsorship package from your parents.
Yep. I know approximately what my personal income for 2009 will be and it's CLOSE if I make it over the 125% (bad year to be a graphic designer ). I do happen to own my home outright and I am certain that will cover the difference in my income. However, I'm securing the joint sponsor as well. Covering all bases.

Thanks everyone for the great information.
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

s_g,

Maybe, maybe not. Things like one's home or an only automobile may not be counted for much. Remember, the purpose of the affidavit of support is to show that the sponsor has or can get their hands on sufficient cash to pay the immigrant's living expenses. Selling an asset like one's home to generate cash is conter-productive.

In today's market getting a mortgage might be very difficult for someone who is barely over the poverty level, and again would be somewhat counter-productive since it would create and additional expense that would consume the cash generated. (True, the affidavit of support looks only at income and not expenses, but in looking at the overall picture an immigration or consular officer may be influenced by what is going on.)

Please do report back when this is settled, it will be helpful to know how your I-864 is received and if you do make it on your own or are required to get a joint sponsor.

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
I do happen to own my home outright and I am certain that will cover the difference in my income. However, I'm securing the joint sponsor as well. Covering all bases.
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Old Dec 15th 2009, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
Please do report back when this is settled, it will be helpful to know how your I-864 is received and if you do make it on your own or are required to get a joint sponsor.

Regards, JEff
Will do! Thanks for the advice on the house as well. I wasn't thinking of selling it, but you do make a valid point. Looks like the joint sponsor is the way to go.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 5:07 am
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy View Post
Please do report back when this is settled, it will be helpful to know how your I-864 is received and if you do make it on your own or are required to get a joint sponsor.
I express mailed the I-864 package on December 23. I ended up using my father as a joint sponsor since my income from the last three years was all over the place--the life of a freelancer. For the minimum requirement, 2009's income was iffy at best.

Dad was grumbling about the needed paperwork (can't I just send the first page of my tax return... WHY do they need this profit/loss statement, WHY do I need proof of this and that, etc.) so Mom took over the document-gathering duties. They e-file their tax return and coming up with the many supporting files took some searching on her end.

I am so grateful for my parents' help and am reminded that although this is a huge priority for my husband and me, it is not as time-sensitive for others. Mom was great and had everything ready and signed in a few days (and at Christmas!), but I think if someone needs to go the joint sponsor route, he/she needs to be prepared to be patient and explain the process in the simplest terms possible. It is a lot to ask someone to do, not just for the inconvenience of dragging out financial documents, but for the potential legal issues as well.

I know the package was received at the NVC, but haven't any additional information. I don't expect to have any (from what I've read) unless there is a problem or need for further documentation (at which point my dad's head explodes).

We've paid the fee for the DS-230 and savannah_boy is gathering the last of his records. It should be mailed by the end of the month.
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

s_g,

Thanks for the update. If the I-864 package was complete you won't hear anything more about it until the visa interview. The I-864 information is not evaluated by the NVC, it's evaluated by the consular officer who handles the visa application. The NVC simply collects the information that the consular officer will need to have to make an evaluation.

Good luck!

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by savannah_girl View Post
I express mailed the I-864 package on December 23. I ended up using my father as a joint sponsor since my income from the last three years was all over the place--the life of a freelancer. For the minimum requirement, 2009's income was iffy at best.

....

I know the package was received at the NVC, but haven't any additional information. I don't expect to have any (from what I've read) unless there is a problem or need for further documentation (at which point my dad's head explodes).
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Old Jan 6th 2010, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Ordering tax transcripts from IRS is another way around gathering the supporting evidence. All schedule information is included in the transcipt.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 8:37 am
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Cool Re: I-864 self employment questions

Well same thing happen with my friend and i help her out and i told her to provide following documents.

Your ID Copy
Your Passport Copy
Your SSN Copy

Last 3 Year Tax Returns

If you have 2 Years that will work to

3 Months Checking and Savings Account Statement
If you are Self-Emloyed Try to also attach Last 3 Months Business Account

Business Tax ID Letter from IRS ( Not the State Tax ID Copy) The once u recieve in Mail or once when u file a Corperation you recieve it.

Corperation Papers (Certificate)

If you participate in Share Market Better you provide Summary of Annual total that you have invested not the Gross or Trading Total Statement.

Best Regards,
The Real GURU
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by therealguru View Post
Well same thing happen with my friend and i help her out and i told her to provide following documents.
Why do you think including any information about the business is required? US immigration will be looking at her personal income... completely separate from the business income.

Ian
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: I-864 self employment questions

Originally Posted by therealguru View Post
Your ID Copy
This was not necessary.

Your Passport Copy
This was necessary as it shows US citizenship. Or, a US birth certificate would have been OK too.

Your SSN Copy
This was not necessary.

Last 3 Year Tax Returns
Good. Either photocopies of the entire tax return (including 1099's), or official IRS transcripts are fine.

3 Months Checking and Savings Account Statement
If you are Self-Emloyed Try to also attach Last 3 Months Business Account
I suppose bank statements would show regular deposits made to the business account, to show it's an active business...but it doesn't do much to prove the personal income from the business.

Business Tax ID Letter from IRS ( Not the State Tax ID Copy) The once u recieve in Mail or once when u file a Corperation you recieve it.
This was not necessary.

Corperation Papers (Certificate)
This was not necessary.

If you participate in Share Market Better you provide Summary of Annual total that you have invested not the Gross or Trading Total Statement.
This was not necessary.

The main focus of a self-employed sponsor or joint sponsor is to prove they earn enough *personal* income to qualify. Personal income is separate from business income.

Rene
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