Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘I864’

2nd April 2010

An integral component of the US visa process is the submission of an affidavit of support which attests to the US Citizen Petitioner’s ability to support a foreign fiance for a K1 visa or spouse for a CR1 Visa, IR1 Visa, or K3 Visa once they are in the United States. Usually, the Federal Poverty Guidelines are used as a basis for ascertaining the guidelines used by Consular Officers and USCIS officers to adjudicate the ability to provide support. In most cases, the Federal poverty guidelines are updated on a yearly basis, as of the time of this writing, the 2010 guidelines have not been published, per se. Instead, the US Congress has extended the guidelines from 2009. The following is quoted from the website of Housing and Human Services:

“Congress has taken action to keep the 2009 poverty guidelines in effect until at least March 31, 2010.

Congressional actions on this matter have been in response to a decrease in the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for 2009, projected during 2009 and announced on January 15, 2010 (see, Table 1A). In the absence of legislative change, this decrease–the first since the poverty guidelines began to be issued in 1965–would have required HHS to issue 2010 poverty guidelines that were lower than the 2009 poverty guidelines; that would have led to the “reduction in eligibility” referred to in the Congressional explanatory language quoted below. Congress took several actions on this matter:

1. On December 19, 2009, Congress enacted and the President signed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-118), which included a provision affecting the poverty guidelines. Section 1012 of this law (as originally enacted, before subsequent amendment) stated that:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall not publish updated poverty guidelines for 2010 under section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)) before March 1, 2010, and the poverty guidelines published under such section on January 23, 2009, shall remain in effect until updated poverty guidelines are published.

The Congressional Record (House) (December 16, 2009, p. H15370) provided the following explanation of this Congressional action in Pub. L. 111-118:

Section 1012 includes a provision to freeze the Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines at 2009 levels in order to prevent a reduction in eligibility for certain means-tested programs, including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and child nutrition, through March 1, 2010.

A Federal Register notice about this initial extension of the 2009 poverty guidelines was published on January 22, 2010. (See Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 14, January 22, 2010, pp. 3734-3735.)

2. On March 2, 2010, Congress enacted and the President signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-144), which included a provision affecting the poverty guidelines. Section 7 of this law amended Section 1012 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010, by replacing “March 1, 2010” with “March 31, 2010”. The effect of this was to extend the 2009 poverty guidelines until at least March 31, 2010.”

The issue of one’s ability to provide support to a foreign national is extremely important. Currently, the Federal poverty guidelines appear to still be those of the year 2009 as there is no word that new guidelines will be promulgated. Therefore, those who have an interest in the current guidelines would be wise to keep checking up on this issue as we are due for either a new extension of the 2009 guidelines or a new set of guidelines for 2010.

For further information please see: K1 Visa Requirements.

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5th September 2009

This blog has often compared and contrasted the difference between the Immigration procedures for obtainment of a US Visa and a Thai Visa. To further compare the two systems, this post will provide a brief overview of the financial requirements one must meet in order to obtain a visa to Thailand or the United States of America.

In order to sponsor a traveler to the United States, one must first decipher the type of visa the traveler will be using. In the case of Non-Immigrant visas (F1 student visa, J1 exchange visa, or B1 Business Visa) the applicant must be able to prove that they or their sponsor will be able to pay the expenses related to the trip. In the case of F1 and J1 visas, the applicant must show that they will also fully pay for their educational endeavors or their exchange program. In some cases, the J1 visitor must reimburse the public education system where they stay in order to obtain the J1 visa.

In the case of United States Immigrant IR1 and CR1 visas for family members from Thailand, the American Citizen must show that they meet the income or financial requirements in order to act as sponsor for their loved one. The basic concern of the Consular officer revolves around the notion that the Immigrant could become a “public charge,” if the American Citizen does not have the resources to pay for the foreign spouse. An I-864 affidavit of support is used to assist in determining if the American is capable of sponsorship.

The K1 visa is a combination of the non-immigrant and immigrant visas. That being said, an affidavit of support must be filled out by the American Citizen. The difference between the I-134 and I-864 is the fact that the I-864 is more legally binding with regard to the sponsor. If the foreign entrant ever becomes a ward of the state, then the sponsor could be forced to reimburse the American government for the expenses the foreign national incurs. The K3 visa, although a marriage visa, is technically a non-immigrant visa so the American Citizen must simply submit an I-134 affidavit of support.

In Thailand, there are certain Thai visa categories which require that the applicant show that they have some sort of financial safety net. Visas such as the Thai retirement visa and the Thailand O visa (based upon marriage), require the visa holder to continually prove that they either meet a prescribed minimum monthly income or have a certain amount of money in a Thai bank account.

For those applying for Thai visas outside of Thailand, certain consulates have differing financial requirements depending upon the visa category. Therefore, one wishing to obtain a Thai Business Visa may be required to show a minimum bank balance. The minimum financial requirement may vary from post to post.

The United States Embassy in Thailand, diligently scrutinizes the financial resources of those applicants wishing to obtain an American visa. Many people believe that there is some sort of magic numerical amount of money that if shown in a bank account will guarantee visa application approval. In reality, the Embassy looks at the “whole picture” when making decisions on US tourist visas and often simply having a large bank balance is not enough to obtain a tourist visa. Further, in cases where an American boyfriend tranfers a large amount of money into a Thai applicant’s bank account in an effort to “beef up” the applicant’s credentials, the Embassy can tell that the bank balance is artificially inflated and will likely deny the application. It is never wise to manufacture evidence in order to obtain a United States visa on behalf of another.

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