Thursday, April 14, 2011

Proving domicile in the USA on the I-864 (the affadavit of support)

How to show domicile on the I-864 when you're living abroad. I totally had an "immigration zombie" moment with this one.

I believe the reason showing domicile is important is because U.S. Immigration wants to be sure that you will be arriving in the United States with or before your spouse. If you're not living in the States, but your alien spouse is, I imagine that makes the I-864 pretty worthless to the government.

The domicile part of the I-864 is sort of confusing because if you are applying DCF, it's because the U.S. citizen applying is a "resident" in another country. However, you have to prove your "country of domicile" is the United States. You can be a resident somewhere outside the U.S. and have you country of domicile be the United States. If you go to Part 4, question 15 on the I-864 instructions, it gives you options A, B, and C. For most people trying to prove B and/or C is the way to go.

Possible proof of domicile:
On the I-864 instructions they list the following as proof of U.S. domicile:
  • your voting record in the United States,
  • paying U.S. State or local taxes,
  • having property in the United States,
  • maintaining bank or investment accounts in the United States,
  • having a permanent mailing address in the United States.
  • evidence that you are a student studying abroad or that a foreign government has authorized a temporary stay.
Or if you don't have these, you can show the following:
  • accepting a job in the United States,
  • signing a lease or purchasing a residence in the United States,
  • registering children in U.S. schools.
On the visa forums, users make even more suggestions of what to submit as proof of domicile:
  • a letter from parents/siblings/etc. saying that you are welcome to live with them while you get set up in the United States
  • a bill from a U.S.-based health insurance in your name or that you're included on
  • that you are giving up your lease or selling your house abroad
  • if you will be studying in US, send them documentation that you are enrolled in a college or university
Also there's a wiki at British Expats which is super helpful. It gives suggestions on how to prove domicile in the USA.

For more info on this, i.e., other people's experiences, it's very helpful to do a search for "I-864 and domicile" or something to the effect at british expats forum on the "USA, Marriage-based visas" branch.

Here's a link to the USCIS forms. As of April 14, 2011, anyway.

1 comment:

sukh_bhullar said...

I am a US citizen,my spouse's NO2 has been approved since march 19th 2014. Our all documents and fees have been submitted except AOS i-864. I could not send them my tax documents as i have been living with my husband for past 2 and half years in india.I had two sons born here who got US citizenship by birth (CRBA).I am not able to provide tax documents because i didnt work for tht period of time.My cousin is helping me out by providing his tax documents.I have property in US with partnership of 40% but the other owner with 60% is filing the taxes for it. I
have questions about my options ....
1. Can i still use my 40% property to show my real estate holdings in US?
2.Do i need to write any kind of letter along with the tax documents of my cousin?
3.What kind of documents do i need to provide the nvc with?
4.Can i mail the documents from india or do i have to mail from US.
If you have any kind of suggestions please do let us know.Thank you for all the help and suggestions and also your valuable time.