On February 24,2020 started the new document I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency. The petition is for anyone that is applying for an Adjustment of Status. This petition must be completed to show that the petitioner will be self-sefficient finacially prior to obtaining a Green Card within the United States, and it has to be submitted with your Adjustment of Status petition. There are a few individuals exempt from filling out this document when applying for an adjustment of status. A few of these individuals include, a refugee, an asylum seeker, victim of a qualifying crime, just to name a few. To see the entire list vist it here within the I-944 Instructions. For the purposes of this post we are talking about anyone that has completed the K1 Visa process, and are working on obtaining their Adjustment of Status Green Card.
Part One: General Information
This first part of the I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency is the geneal information about the petitioner.
This section is pretty straight forward as it is all your basic information. Question 3 asks for your Alien Registration Number (A-Number). If you haven’t located this number yet on the top of your approved K1 Petition, that was mailed to you, is the A-Number that you will from this point on use on all your petition documents.
Who are you? Who lives with you?
What is your worth? Assests, Financial Status
Part Three of the petition is the most confusing part of this petition. Here is where you find all the information about not only your assests and financial status, but everyone else in the household has to be included within this part. Part A through C is where you will list each individual within the household inlcuding if they filed taxes for the prior year, and your prior years gross income. When filling out this form be aware that the government requires that your total gross income should be at least 125% of the poverty level. To see what the poverty level is based on your household size go here.
When providing the information you must put down an explaination if there was no tax return filed at the time of submitting your petition. Check the appropriate box, and also give a brief explaination in the box provided. Remember this should be done for each person listed on this application. It is ok that you are not able to submit a tax return, as you have not been able to obtain employment without having a social security number allowing you to work.
Questions 2 and 3 is pretty easy to figure out. Any of your income come from illegal activity such as drug dealing, prostitution, or any other things deemed illegal in nature. I am hoping these will be a big no or you may find federal agents at your door step. Question 3 simply asks how much you made.
Question 4 and 5 asks if any income has come from Public Benefits such as Social Security Income, Retirement Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Question 6 asks if you receive any additional income that is not reported on your tax return. Examples of this would be child support or alimony. Simply put the person in the household receiving the income, and how much they will receive. If this is a term based payment you much put when the payments will end. Lastly you will put the total yearly amount received for the tax year. If there are multiple people listed on your petition that receive this type of income simply use the other spaces to include their income as well.
Question 9 is asking about your assets and resources for additional income. This section is anything you will earn interest on, or dividends on stock you own. Within this section you will want to list any of the following you might have:
- Checking and Savings Accounts
- Stocks/Bonds (cash value)
- Retirement/Educational Accounts
- Real Estate (cash value)
- Any other holdings you might have that can be sold or transferred for cash gain.
Question 10 is where you will list all your liabilities and debts. This will include your mortgage/rent payments, credit card debt, car/personal loan payments, and any other debts you may have. This is the total amounts owed to the creditors. Make sure to send in your recent statements to show accuracy.
Question 11-13 is requesting that you provide a credit report with a credit score. This can be obtained for free from many websites such as Credit Karma, Experian, Transunion. I have no affiliation with any of these sites. You can simply go to their website, sign up, and print off your credit report. By law you are allowed one free credit report per year. If you were denied credit for any reason you can also request additional credit reports. My advise is go to one of the main credit report agencies such as Transunion or Experian to obtain your credit report with your credit score. A copy of your credit report must accompany your petition. If you have a low credit score make sure to give a detailed honest explaination as to the reason why.
Question 14 is simply asking about bankruptcy. You must provide the details of your bankruptcy information here if you have ever filed bankruptcy. This also includes any businesses you may have owned.
Question 15 is asking about health insurance. If you have insurance simply answer the questions, and submit a copy of your insurance card when you file your petiton. If you do not have insurance answer no and move to section D. Section D allows you to explain how you plan to pay for medical costs. An example of this would be if you have a cost share with your Doctor or hospital that allows you to pay only a certain percent due to income. This section is where you would put the details of this plan.
Question 16-18 ask about any public benefits you receive. This is pretty straight forward just choose the benefit you receive within the past. Question 17 simply asks if you are no long enrolled in the service to provide the date when it ended or is to end. Question 18 you simply list the benefits you listed, dates enrolled, and how much benefit you received.
Question 19-26 are simply asking further questions about public benefits, and if you are, or the spouse/child or someone in the military. Simply answer the questions.
Part Four: Education and Skills
Within this section you will provide your education background such as a high school diploma, college degree, and any technical college degree you might have obtained. If you have a work permit already to be able to work within the United States you can provide this information. Make sure you list all your skills, and all the languages you are fluent in that can help you with your employment within the United States.
Once you have finished filling out all the questions please make sure to sign the declaration page. It is important to make sure you complete this document to the best of your ability, and submit all the documents showing proof of your income and debts. As the applicant of the I-944 you yourself may not have many of the items listed, but you must supply the income, and debt of your spouse or anyone else living in the household with you.
After you complete the form make sure you organize all documents neatly that you are going to mail in with your petition. Best practice is to put all the documents together for each person on the petition, paper clip them together with a slip of paper labeling each stack with the person on the petition they belong to.
This petition seems intimidating, but really it is not as hard once you understand what each section means, and what information to place in each section.
I hope this helps you with your petition going forward. Please feel free to comment below to share your story or ask any questions you might have that we can help answer for you. Please share this with your friends, or any groups you belong to so that we can help them as well with this new requirement to the I-485 Adjustment of Status. Simply click the button of the social media you wish to share it on. Thank your for your support. If you are interested in having us blog about a particular topic or want to reach out to us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org