Is This a Thing? Advertising for an Affidavit of Support Joint Sponsor

classifiedsI just came across this classified ad on Craigslist seeking a joint sponsor for the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support:

Co-Sponsor

My income is not enough…. I need someone to co-sign for my mother. Of course I will pay for your services $ 1000. Half with verification of your papers and signing (Form I-864) and other half when she arrives…. I will be the main sponsor, and you do not have to do anything else.

I initially assumed this classified ad was a novel approach to the affidavit of support problem. But then I found immigration lawyer Greg McLawsen’s blog touching on a similar ad:

Affidavit of support co-sponser needed

I know this is a long shot but I have tried everything else, so I have decided to come here to see if I can find someone with a good heart that is willing to help my family…. I work full time and go to school but I still don’t make enough to petition for my husband on my own. Please I beg if you are willing to help and make over 125% of the poverty guideline please contact me.

The petitioner who files a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is normally required to also file a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. (Some exceptions apply). The form must be accompanied by federal individual income tax returns for the most recent 3 years or an explanation of why the sponsor was not legally obligated to file tax returns. To be sufficient, the I-864 must show that the petitioner’s current household income (including the sponsored immigrant) is at least 125% of the Federal poverty guidelines. The policy underlying this requirement is that a sponsor should take responsibility to ensure that the sponsored immigrant doesn’t become a “public charge,” i.e.,  rely on means-tested public benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

But this I-864 requirement can be a hardship for petitioners with limited means. One strategy is to find a “joint sponsor.” Most often a relative of friend serves as the joint sponsor, as attorney McLawsen points out. But I’m not aware of any law or guidance from the government prohibiting a stranger from acting as an I-864 joint sponsor or a petitioner from paying for this service. Still, exercise extreme caution:

  1. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident, age 18 or older, and domiciled in the United States. He or she must execute a separate Form I-864 and submit tax returns, as mentioned above. He or she must satisfy the income requirements independently. In other words, the petitioner and joint sponsor may not pool their income to arrive at a total that satisfies the income threshold.
  2. Use of a joint sponsor does not relieve the petitioner from the responsibility to meet the sponsorship requirements, file federal income tax returns for the three most recent years (if legally required to do so), and file a Form I-864.
  3. The petitioner has no real way to vet the joint sponsor’s financial documents. For example, if the joint sponsor is running a scam, he or she may have previously sponsored multiple immigrants but falsely claim on the I-864 to have sponsored none. The petitioner can’t independently confirm this (short of a FOIA request with the joint sponsor’s consent). The misrepresentation may be discovered by the government only after the green card is issued, in which case permanent resident status may be rescinded or the immigrant may be subject to removal proceedings.
  4. The I-864 is a binding contract between the joint sponsor and the Federal government. It can be enforced by either the sponsored immigrant or a government agency seeking reimbursement of certain benefits to the sponsored immigrants. A joint sponsor’s obligations last for an indefinite period of time. So a joint sponsor’s potential liability is significant. The amount is also unpredictable, especially if the joint sponsor hasn’t vetted the finances of the petitioner and sponsored immigrant.
  5. The joint sponsor may want to consider entering into agreements with the sponsor and the sponsored immigrant waiving any liability to them and seeking indemnification from them if any government agency seeks reimbursement from the joint sponsor for benefits received by the sponsored immigrant. It’s not clear that such agreements are enforceable, but it may be worth a try.
  6. An immigration official may not give much evidentiary weight to a Form I-864 by a sponsor who is a stranger. Officials can ask about the relationship between the parties. The reasoning for giving a stranger’s Form I-864 little weight would be that despite the legal obligation to support the sponsored immigrant, the sponsor may not be wiling to do so. In short, a stranger’s Form I-864 may not be sufficient to qualify for immigration, in the eyes of some officials.

So, to my surprise, classified ads for a joint sponsor are a “thing.” But proceed, if at all, only after exhausting other options and only with extreme caution.

For more about the Form I-864, see the Affidavit of Support Help Center, where you can read more, ask questions, and consult with an immigration lawyer.

 

37 Replies to “Is This a Thing? Advertising for an Affidavit of Support Joint Sponsor”

  1. Interesting. It seems crazy, of course, for someone to enter into such an obligation on behalf of an unrelated individual.

    But this begs a question: If the Congress had written the law in such a way that not only physical persons could be joint sponsors, but corporate entities as well, would that create a legitimate market in sponsorship underwriting? One can imagine that a corporate sponsor may actually be viewed by the government as easier to deal with than an individual – it, presumably, would be required to be a well-capitalized entity, such as an insurance company, and would have its paperwork professionally prepared… (For comparison, think Obamacare: to avoid an income tax surcharge, most Americans are now mandated to buy a health insurance policy from a recognized insurance company; you can’t “self-insure”, nor can you have your uncle write an affidavit promising to pay your hospital bills should you need help with them!)

    i wonder though what the actuarially sound “market rate” for such an affidavit would be. A $1000 one-time payment may not quite cut it – after all, the underwriter would assume a potential huge liability (imagine paying the cost of someone’s welfare benefits for life – e.g., if the beneficiary and primary sponsor become disabled, or just do not want to work, and the beneficiary neither leaves the country, nor naturalizes, nor dies); on the other hand, situations like this are probably fairly rare in real life. Insurers manage to make money on health insurance, car liability insurance, long-term care insurance, and so on, after all; Hertz or Avis manage to rent luxury cars to customers every day, without too many being either totaled or stolen; and there is even such thing as “credit default swap”, whereby a lender can insure debt obligations against the corporate debtor’s default…

  2. I think it’s a great idea because sometimes not even family members are willing to take on the responsibility of being joint sponsors. If you need to get your love one to you and someone is willing to help, I don’t think there is anything wrong with paying for their help.

    1. I’m looking for joint sponsor for my adjustment of Status. My husband doesn’t make enough to sponsor me. I’ ve been asking around for help but still got no luck at all. I live in Florida, if someone here is willing to help, please contact me at hiennguyentt79@gmail.com. Thanks

  3. Same situation here. Looking for the joint sponsor for myself. I am a grad student my husband is orphan. No family members to ask for. If anyone willing to help me?

  4. USCIS mailed me a request for initial evidence and put my application on hold because my spouse is not able to meet the poverty guideline.
    I would definitely be glad if I can find a joint sponsor.
    I’m having few more weeks before the deadline for responding to the request
    you can contact me on richybrainy@gmail.com
    I would so much appreciate

  5. Please help us. I am trying to sponsor my daughter with her baby. We need joint sponsor as our previous joint sponsor passed away. Her interview is in August. Help

  6. Urgently need a joint sponsor for my wife and step-daughter. All other visa conditions have been cleared by the U.S. Consul here. Will pay a fee. And build karma for your own self extending help to others at the same time . Good deeds will come back to yourself.

  7. I too am in need of a joint sponsor for my husband. He has been to the consulate interview and has passed all other requirements. My plea for help from the few family members and friends that I have has not countered well. May God bless those who are humane and have heart.
    k.black_family@yahoo.com

  8. I’m in need of a sponsor, I’ve had 3 strokes and I really need my husband here with me my lawyer said he can work soon he gets here. I’m not trying to use anyone. My husband is a auto mechanic who ever does this for us he will keep your car fixed for no charge, that’s his appreciation for you helping us… kandiepparris2@gmail.com.

  9. My situation is complicated. My husband’s dad is supposed to be my joint sponsor, but he took forever to get everything done for me. I know I sound like a spoiled brat, but I think he did this on purpose. I had been waiting for his response for 7 months straight. I submitted my application to USCIS two months ago, and now they have sent me a letter requesting more evidence. I feel so sorry or scared to ask him again, and I only have 87 days until the USCIS deadline. I really need some help! I will pay you I promise!
    cuicuijulia@gmail.com

  10. I’m in desperate need of joint sponsor for my husband. I know this may seem as asking for alot but indeed it really is all on paper my income is low however my parents are well off. My case is complicated because my parents and i waited 13 years for.my sister to be able to come so they just sponsored her and we are awaiting on her and my baby nephew however i so happened to get in love last year and now even my parents cant help 🙁 hope someone has the heart to help out i assure for no trouble further. Email ne please: rozaliagermanova@gmail.com god bless

  11. Hi! I really need a joint sponsor right now. I received a request for evidence notice saying that i have 30 days to submit a new affidavit of support because the one submitted had expired. My spouse’s father filled out and sent his tax information and affidavit of support, but USCIS took almost 2 years to process the case so the affidavit and tax information are currently outdated. Both me and my spouse are unemployed although we have been employed and have our joint tax returns for the past years of our life together. In case someone agrees to help us out I will generously pay for the assistance in such an urgent situation. Please, email skin75@mail.ru

  12. Hi am in urgent need of a joint sponsor for me an my little girl my husband was not able to meet the poverty guideline and now we are stuck at the processing .please if there is anyone here thats willing to help us out we will be most appreciative and we can assure you there will be no problems…. email me at nataleerodgers03@gmail….

  13. i need a joint sponsor for my wife, i got laid of and my family is in asia and my dad past away who was in the green beret and i was able to come to the u.s by a NGO helping ameriasians to come in the u.s. i really need a sponsor pls. help deburat2019@gmail.com

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