Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I pledge allegiance (and 125 percent of the federal poverty line) ...

When you marry a foreigner and want to live with her in the United States, there are a lot of things required of you that are not required of American-on-American newlyweds. You have to prove your relationship's validity, for one, a process that I imagine entails correctly answering such age old questions as "Boxers or briefs?" and providing photographic evidence that shows beyond all doubt that you're in it for love, not a green card. "And here's one of my wife and I kissing, one of us on vacation, then kissing in front of a historical monument ..." My wife's interview is next month. The time is nigh.

The other big demand on you is a pledge of financial support. The guv'ment doesn't want any immigrants coming to the United States to enjoy the benefits of the modern welfare state, which so far as I can tell has been reduced to not having to feed the meter on Sundays. So yeah, you have to show that you are capable of providing for your loved one at 125 percent of the federal poverty level, even if your spouse, if simply given the opportunity to enter the free market, will no doubt out-earn your garden-variety writer of literary fiction in a matter of months.

The affidavit of support is eight pages long, and is enough to terrify someone not employed in investment banking. You're asked to provide three years of tax returns, evidence of any assets, stocks, bonds, savings certificates, old and new W2s, 1098-T's and 1099s, certified banking documents, notarized forms -- I've never bought a house, but I imagine it's a little something like this. And that one year when I took some time off to work on my novel? The one that's still not done? Oy vey, a writer considers a year productive if he produces a lot of words, not if he's able to visit Target and Wal-mart everyday.

Enough. The meter's ticking.

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

You also have to pledge to support your spouse until they accumulate 40 quarters of work even if the marriage ends. So the common held belief that you are pledged for 10 years of support is not accurate if it takes said spouse more than 10 years to accrue 40 quarters.

Consul-At-Arms said...

It's actually no longer that bad. If you look at the DHS website (http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-864.htm or http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-134.htm) you'll see that they only need the tax return for the most recent year. There was a change to the guidance, as well as the forms themselves, earlier this year. Old forms should still be acceptable. The other major change, from the standpoint of most applicants, is that the I-864 no longer requires notarization.

WittyName32 said...

Consul -- welcome news, very much indeed. Thanks for the input. I just sent off the DHL package with all the financials yesterday, and I was sure I had done everything right until I searched online for a last minute verification -- and saw the old information, I suppose. Either way, it was my wife who told me to notarize, and I believe she got that information from the packet sent to her from DHS. I got it notarized just in case. But I'm glad this amounts to nothing more than gravy.