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US or UK? A few questions about income support!

US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Old May 30th 2012, 2:16 am
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Default US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Hello! Just to introduce myself, I'm an American citizen living in the UK. Me and my British husband have been married for five years. We were married in the UK and we have one young child who was born here. We're thinking about moving to the US, but I'm not sure what the best way to go about it is.

The biggest problem we have is proving income support. If we immigrate DH will leave his job behind, and I'm not currently in work. We don't have any big savings or property to act as an income. As I understand it, I'll need to get a job in the US which will provide a sufficient income for us all.

While that's fine in itself, I'm wondering will my husband be able to join me in the US while we get ourselves settled, or does he have to stay in the UK? Obviously we don't want to be apart. But if we started the immigration process before we left I'm not sure if I could find a suitable job in time. I've been out of work for a while and I'm not too sure about my prospects, frankly. Family acting as co-sponsors is a possibility, but I'd prefer not to unless there was no other way.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? Thanks for your help!
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Old May 30th 2012, 2:28 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Hello! Just to introduce myself, I'm an American citizen living in the UK. Me and my British husband have been married for five years. We were married in the UK and we have one young child who was born here. We're thinking about moving to the US, but I'm not sure what the best way to go about it is.
Hi there, and . What he's after is an immigrant visa. May I suggest starting here for an overview.

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
The biggest problem we have is proving income support. If we immigrate DH will leave his job behind, and I'm not currently in work. We don't have any big savings or property to act as an income. As I understand it, I'll need to get a job in the US which will provide a sufficient income for us all.
This is one way. An alternative would be to find a Joint Sponsor who meets the requirements. That would save you having to travel to the US ahead of your husband to find a job.

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
While that's fine in itself, I'm wondering will my husband be able to join me in the US while we get ourselves settled, or does he have to stay in the UK? Obviously we don't want to be apart. But if we started the immigration process before we left I'm not sure if I could find a suitable job in time. I've been out of work for a while and I'm not too sure about my prospects, frankly. Family acting as co-sponsors is a possibility, but I'd prefer not to unless there was no other way.

Unless one of you has income that will continue from the same source after the move that satisfies the income requirements, your options are either assets, you move and find a job before starting on his visa application or find a joint sponsor.

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Has anyone been in a similar situation? Thanks for your help!
Oh yes. Probably hundreds of people here.

Regards,
James
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Old May 30th 2012, 2:48 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Actually, your biggest problem is having "income support". If you have it, it's easy enough to prove. If you don't have it, or a bundle of saved cash, it's not fun to live in ragged clothes without food in a cardboard box. So you are correct - somebody is going to have to get a job in the US that will provide sufficient income to support your family. To support your husband, at least - you and your child can get government benefits, but as a new immigrant your husband cannot.
Originally Posted by Garden Lady
The biggest problem we have is proving income support. If we immigrate DH will leave his job behind, and I'm not currently in work. We don't have any big savings or property to act as an income. As I understand it, I'll need to get a job in the US which will provide a sufficient income for us all.
You seem to have thought through your own employment prospects. Turning from the practical issues that I outlined above to the immigration issues - the US government is not going to let your husband into the USA if it's clear that he's going to have to live as a beggar. So the answer to your situation should be obvious (Brits seem to love that word) - either you or your husband gets a job in the USA, or you get a family member or friend to offer their financial resources to take care of your husband, before applying for the visa.

You can petition for him and get that out of the way, but you'll want to have the financial aspects resolved before your husband applies for his visa.
Originally Posted by Garden Lady
While that's fine in itself, I'm wondering will my husband be able to join me in the US while we get ourselves settled, or does he have to stay in the UK? Obviously we don't want to be apart. But if we started the immigration process before we left I'm not sure if I could find a suitable job in time. I've been out of work for a while and I'm not too sure about my prospects, frankly. Family acting as co-sponsors is a possibility, but I'd prefer not to unless there was no other way.
Regards, JEff
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Old May 30th 2012, 3:01 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Thank you for the welcome!

My Dad is really the only person who could potentially be a joint sponsor, but he is retired. Would his savings be acceptable to show support? Also, what legal obligations would this put him under? Not that we are expecting any problems (DH is quite law abiding, lol) but my Dad would obviously want to know.


Another question, while I imagine switching status while inside the US might be a problem, would it be possible for DH to visit on a regular tourist entry if he went back to the UK before we filed his application?


To jeffreyhy--Thanks for your reply. We have enough money to make the move, and could stay with relatives while we got settled. We weren't planning on hitchiking across the US or anything, ha ha. We'd have enough saved to support us for a few months, but I don't think it's enough to really qualify as assets.
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Old May 30th 2012, 3:08 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Thank you for the welcome!

My Dad is really the only person who could potentially be a joint sponsor, but he is retired. Would his savings be acceptable to show support? Also, what legal obligations would this put him under? Not that we are expecting any problems (DH is quite law abiding, lol) but my Dad would obviously want to know.
Yes, he can use savings. They would need to be 5x the difference between his income and the required income level for his household size. The income requirements can be found on form I-864P. A read through the I-864 instructions would answer all of your questions and might help your understanding.

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Another question, while I imagine switching status while inside the US might be a problem, would it be possible for DH to visit on a regular tourist entry if he went back to the UK before we filed his application?
Yes, he can continue to visit under the regular terms of the VWP while his visa application is underway.

James
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Old May 30th 2012, 3:18 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

These questions are answered by the I-864 affidavit and its instructions. Perhaps a more important question to be considered - I always look at the practical side of things - is can your father afford to actually provide support should it be required? The I-864 is not just some piece of bureaucratic paperwork intended to make immigration difficult. It's a binding contract between sponsor (or joint sponsor) and the US government obligating the sponsor (or joint sponsor) to provide the immigrant with an amount of real money should the immigrant need it.
Originally Posted by Garden Lady
My Dad is really the only person who could potentially be a joint sponsor, but he is retired. Would his savings be acceptable to show support? Also, what legal obligations would this put him under? Not that we are expecting any problems (DH is quite law abiding, lol) but my Dad would obviously want to know.

Yes, he can visit the USA while your petition is being processed and while his visa application is being processed.
Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Another question, while I imagine switching status while inside the US might be a problem, would it be possible for DH to visit on a regular tourist entry if he went back to the UK before we filed his application?

This is comforting to know.
Originally Posted by Garden Lady
We have enough money to make the move, and could stay with relatives while we got settled. We weren't planning on hitchiking across the US or anything, ha ha. We'd have enough saved to support us for a few months, but I don't think it's enough to really qualify as assets.
Regards, JEff
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Old May 30th 2012, 3:53 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Sorry if I sound a bit slow right now, I have a very busy little girl to look after! I had more time to read through the link you provided. I do believe that my Dad could support us all if need be, although I couldn't say how much he actually has in savings. He has his own home and we don't have any debts to speak of. While *we* know that we wouldn't attempt such a big move if we thought we'd end up destitute, it's what the US government thinks that really matters! But if my husband can visit the US that would make things a lot easier for us. Thank you again for your help!
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Old May 30th 2012, 4:07 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

As I wrote in my first post in this thread, if you know where the money is going to come from then the I-864 should not be a problem.

The US government does not expect that immigrants will become destitute. It does want to protect both the immigrant and the US tax payer from such a fate by simply asking, 'Show me the money.'

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by Garden Lady
While *we* know that we wouldn't attempt such a big move if we thought we'd end up destitute, it's what the US government thinks that really matters!
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Old May 30th 2012, 9:03 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Thank you. I have one more question about income support, though. How long do I need to be in work before I can claim my earnings? Is there any kind of waiting period? I don't have any tax returns to show previous income from.
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Old May 30th 2012, 9:22 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Thank you. I have one more question about income support, though. How long do I need to be in work before I can claim my earnings? Is there any kind of waiting period? I don't have any tax returns to show previous income from.
You probably would need to have at least a few pay stubs in hand.

What is the reason you don't have US tax returns to show? I know you said you're not currently working, but were you working overseas in the past? Was your income below the required level for requiring a tax return to be filed?

Rene
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Old May 30th 2012, 9:23 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by Garden Lady
Thank you. I have one more question about income support, though. How long do I need to be in work before I can claim my earnings? Is there any kind of waiting period? I don't have any tax returns to show previous income from.
Couple of pay stubs usually.
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Old May 30th 2012, 10:13 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

This is an excellent question, which can only be answered by the particular consular officer who reviews the specific information that you submit. It's not as simple as "how long". That's only one of many factors.

There is a requirement that the sponsor's income can reasonably be assumed to be sustainable. People fresh out of college in their first 'real' job often have problems because of this. People who have worked in the same or comparable jobs for many years usually do not have problems. There is a lot of middle ground between those two situations.

These days, many jobs come with a 3-month or 6-month probationary period, or are 'temp to permanent' positions. Such a position can be problematic. Contract positions can be problematic, depending on the terms of the contract.

Regards, JEff


Originally Posted by Garden Lady
How long do I need to be in work before I can claim my earnings? Is there any kind of waiting period?
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Old May 30th 2012, 10:42 am
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy
This is an excellent question, which can only be answered by the particular consular officer who reviews the specific information that you submit. It's not as simple as "how long". That's only one of many factors.

There is a requirement that the sponsor's income can reasonably be assumed to be sustainable. People fresh out of college in their first 'real' job often have problems because of this. People who have worked in the same or comparable jobs for many years usually do not have problems. There is a lot of middle ground between those two situations.

These days, many jobs come with a 3-month or 6-month probationary period, or are 'temp to permanent' positions. Such a position can be problematic. Contract positions can be problematic, depending on the terms of the contract.

Regards, JEff
Not to mention, actually getting a job that pays enough, is not a given these days.
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Old May 30th 2012, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: US or UK? A few questions about income support!

Originally Posted by Noorah101
You probably would need to have at least a few pay stubs in hand.

What is the reason you don't have US tax returns to show? I know you said you're not currently working, but were you working overseas in the past? Was your income below the required level for requiring a tax return to be filed?

Rene
I have worked in the UK, but my income was below the filing requirements for US tax returns. It was only one year out of five that I had earnings. I struggled to find a job in my field and ended up taking agency work which didn't earn much. The agency I was working for actually went out of business (!!) so I just said "the hell with this" really, and became a full-time housewife. I always planned to get back into work but with the baby I kept putting it off. Probably not too smart from a financial point of view, but I imagine it's a situation plenty of people find themselves in.

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy
This is an excellent question, which can only be answered by the particular consular officer who reviews the specific information that you submit. It's not as simple as "how long". That's only one of many factors.

There is a requirement that the sponsor's income can reasonably be assumed to be sustainable. People fresh out of college in their first 'real' job often have problems because of this. People who have worked in the same or comparable jobs for many years usually do not have problems. There is a lot of middle ground between those two situations.

These days, many jobs come with a 3-month or 6-month probationary period, or are 'temp to permanent' positions. Such a position can be problematic. Contract positions can be problematic, depending on the terms of the contract.

Regards, JEff
That's a good point. If I could get a professional position making the requirements wouldn't be an issue, but my field is fairly competetive and I've been out of the loop for some time. I could always fall back on waitressing if need be, in the right restaurant that can earn a surprising amount of money! But whatever I do it looks like my husband and I will be facing a long separation if we want to make this work.
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