Most green card applicants require a financial sponsor to demonstrate that the intending immigrant has adequate means of financial support. For family-based applicants, the I-130 petitioner submits a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Likewise, some non-immigrant visas (such as a K-1 visa) require Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support. A well-prepared affidavit of support with sufficient financial support is how an applicant removes the public charge ground of inadmissibility. If the sponsor’s income comes from self-employment, income can be more challenging to document.
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Self-Employment Income on Form I-864 and Form I-134
A well-prepared affidavit of support or declaration of financial support is accompanied by supporting documents that corroborate the facts in the form. For financial sponsors and supporters, establishing that they have sufficient income is generally one of the most important components of this evidence.
Evidence of Income History
Minimally, the sponsor must provide the most recent federal tax return information (but may provide up to three years on Form I-864). You’ll still need to submit a copy of your most recent individual federal income tax return. USCIS recommends that you submit an IRS tax transcript instead of the actual tax return. A tax transcript can be processed more efficiently than a tax return. To obtain a free IRS tax transcript, visit irs.gov or call 1-800-908-9946. If you choose to submit a copy of your actual tax return, send a signed copy, including all W-2s, 1099s, Schedules and any other evidence of reported income. If you are self-employed, be sure to include a copy of your Schedule C, D, E, or F from your most recent Federal income tax return which establishes your income from your businesses.
Evidence of Current Year’s Income
Sponsors and supporters also should submit documentation that evidences income for the current year. Persons who are employed by a company or organization may provide documents such as pay stubs, W-2 or an employment verification letter. However, self-employed individuals may be slightly more challenged to prove income for the current year.
You’ll need to establish your anticipated current year income. According to USCIS, submit the following documentation if you are a self-employed sponsor:
- Business license and registration (if available)
- Bank statements from the previous 6 months showing self-employment income
- Signed and dated statement about the nature of the business and the sponsor’s involvement
This may be the case for individuals who earn income from driving (Uber, Lyft, etc.) or other self-employment. As mentioned above, use bank statements that can prove a stable flow of income. This may be supported with a profit and loss statement from the business.