My Immigrant Sponsor Doesn't Want Me to See His Form I-864 Financials; How to Handle?

Dealing with a privacy-protecting spouse who doesn't want to reveal financial information.

Question

I am a citizen of Chile and I am applying for my green card while I am in the United States. My husband, a U.S. citizen, is completing an Affidavit of Support form to submit along with my green card application to show the U.S. government that he has adequate financial resources to support me.

However, he is telling me that he does not want me to view the document or see any information about his bank accounts, his tax returns, or his assets. Can I make him show me this information?

Answer

While your husband is not legally required to show you Form I-864 or any of the supporting financial information submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it is to your benefit that you try to convince him to allow you to see the form, as it will become a part of your official USCIS immigration file.

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is a contract between the U.S. government and the financial sponsor whereby the sponsor agrees to financially support the green card applicant for approximately ten years or until he or she becomes a U.S. citizen.

USCIS requires that all applicants for permanent residence have a "sponsor" complete this form. Using this form, your husband must show that he has sufficient income and resources to support you within 125% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines, an amount that depends upon the year you apply, where in the U.S. you live, and your family size.

Although your husband will be submitting this form for your benefit (so that your green card can be approved), he alone will be signing it. However, when you attend your marriage interview, the immigration officer will expect you to be familiar with all of the documents submitted with the green card applicationincluding the Affidavit of Support.

Moreover, combining financial accounts, filing taxes together, and keeping joint assets are all factors that USCIS considers when deciding whether your marriage is bona fide (or genuine). If USCIS finds out that you were not permitted to even look at information about your husband's salary and income, it might raise red flags about the sincerity of your relationship.

If all else fails, you can submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for your file after it is submitted. USCIS will be legally required to provide it to you, but it is definitely preferable for you and your husband to be on the same page when filing your green card application. USCIS FOIA requests are backlogged and can take many months for the information to be provided to you.

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