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  • Will my husband and I ever be together?

    Wondering if anyone in a similar situation has any advice to offer. My husband and I were married in Cairo last June and started the immigration process in October. His petition was approved, but he has not yet received his visa because the consular said we need a joint sponsor. I had been a college student the last several years and had spent considerable time abroad, so my annual income was not over the guidelines, though during the time I was in the States my income was well over the poverty line.

    I was forced to return home this month, as we are expecting a baby and have no health insurance in Egypt. I am now back in the States, making a salary of about $29,000 and am six and half months pregnant. My husband and I miss each other terribly and I desparetly want him to be here for the birth of the baby, but after all these months we still have no joint sponsor. I have contacted, family, friends and strangers , but because most of my friends are students and I do not come from a wealthy family, my options are somewhat limited. We found some people who intially said they would be a joint sponsor and then backed out after reading the paper and feeling they would be financially responsible for my husband for a long time. I called the BCIS and they told me I can't sponsor my husband myself for three years.

    I feel I am out of options and I don't know what to do. Neither my husband nor I are able to take care of the baby by ourselves and there is no place that we can live together. My husband is Palestinian and is unable to return to his country due to a travel ban on Palestinian males 15-35. He cannot stay in Egypt legally, as his visa was contigent upon completing the U.S. immigration process and he has no work visa. Short of telling me to ask my friends and family again, does anybody have any advice on how to proceed?

  • #2
    Wondering if anyone in a similar situation has any advice to offer. My husband and I were married in Cairo last June and started the immigration process in October. His petition was approved, but he has not yet received his visa because the consular said we need a joint sponsor. I had been a college student the last several years and had spent considerable time abroad, so my annual income was not over the guidelines, though during the time I was in the States my income was well over the poverty line.

    I was forced to return home this month, as we are expecting a baby and have no health insurance in Egypt. I am now back in the States, making a salary of about $29,000 and am six and half months pregnant. My husband and I miss each other terribly and I desparetly want him to be here for the birth of the baby, but after all these months we still have no joint sponsor. I have contacted, family, friends and strangers , but because most of my friends are students and I do not come from a wealthy family, my options are somewhat limited. We found some people who intially said they would be a joint sponsor and then backed out after reading the paper and feeling they would be financially responsible for my husband for a long time. I called the BCIS and they told me I can't sponsor my husband myself for three years.

    I feel I am out of options and I don't know what to do. Neither my husband nor I are able to take care of the baby by ourselves and there is no place that we can live together. My husband is Palestinian and is unable to return to his country due to a travel ban on Palestinian males 15-35. He cannot stay in Egypt legally, as his visa was contigent upon completing the U.S. immigration process and he has no work visa. Short of telling me to ask my friends and family again, does anybody have any advice on how to proceed?

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    • #3
      please, can anyone advise!

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      • #4
        To Dawn:
        I am really moved to read your story. Now you have a job $29000 annual, so you can submit job letter from your employer and as proof copies of your Pay stub or checks etc. In addition to that you should try to get a Job offer for your husband from some company or Store, wherein it is stated that as soon your husband will enter the United States and will be legally authorized to work, he will be employed in that company/Store. In the job offer, annual proposed salary and position has to be mentioned and it has to Notarized. There should not be any problem with these papers.
        God bless you and may join your family asap.

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        • #5
          Don't u think the job offer need to be approved by labour department? I mean labour certification.

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          • #6
            To abc:
            Her husband is coming her on marriage basis, so this job offer will just help to me poverty guidelines for Affidavit of Support.
            If he was coming on Employment based Visa only then that had to be approved by Labor Department.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the advice. I was under the impression I would not be eligible until I showed an annual tax return exceeding 125% of the poverty line. I will take your advice and try it from this angle. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                Perhaps he could come in on a work or student visa?

                Anyway, he should at least check with Egyptian Authorities to know what he should do if unable to complete the US immigration process in a timely fashion.

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                • #9
                  You now make enough money to sponsor him. Please contact me at info@myronmorales.com for more information.

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                  • #10
                    TO DAWN:

                    Some of the posters over here have posted wrong advises in yr case since you can not use your husband's presumed job offer or salary anything like that in order to file a affidavit of support. Law requires that the only income you can use for this purpose is of a u.s.citizen or a p.resident, and since your husband is not a p.resident yet, you would not able to include him as a sponsor to himself.

                    However, you do not need any more joint sponsors since you are making enough money over the established poverty line and you would be able to furnish that affidavit yourself. Nevertheless, it requires you to submit the income tax-returns for the last 3 yrs, but since you just have started to work under this salary,then obviously you would have any tax return, so in this situation, you need to explain to them in a letter that due to studying, you have no income for the last yrs or have little income where you were not required to pay taxes, and if you did have income (whatever)in the past then you need a copies of tax-return on that alongwith the proof of yr current income. You can submit copies of pay-stubs for 6 weeks, a letter from your employer indicating the nature of yr work, how long you are working there, how much is yr annual salary and whether yr job is permanent or not. This would be enough.

                    I do understand why others backed out on you for joint sponsorship, since if ever yr husband goes on welfare or sought out a public help from the govt, then govt. will collect that help from the sponsor and this responsibilities would be valid until yr husband becomes a us citizen. You do not need a copy of tax-return alone to prove your income, if you have then it is plus and if not then no problem, but should come up with other as i have said earlier. Good luck.

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                    • #11
                      Just a thought, but as husband of a USC, he should be eligible for citizenship within 3 years (I think). A sponsor is considered responsible for an immigrant for 10 years (I think) UNLESS they become a citizen.

                      Thinking about this in my own mind, I would be very hesitant to sponsor someone for 10 years, but not necessarily for 3 years.

                      You may want to approach them and see if they would consider sponsoring him, ONLY until he obtains his citizenship. I am sure that there is some type of official document that a lawyer could draw up that would obligate him to obtain residency within the three year period... and that should make possible co-sponsors more comfortable.

                      Of course, if you can use any of the other suggestions they might be better, but I am not completely clear on the details of the particular sponsorship laws. Just thought I would throw in an idea.

                      Also, perhaps a potential employer would be interested in co-sponsoring him. This is somewhat less likely than close friends or family, but you never know.

                      please keep us up to date on the results and best of luck to you!

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                      • #12
                        Thanks all of you for the advice you have given. My husband and I decided to take your advice and I sent in my tax returns from the last three years with an explanation of part-time or gaps in employment due to studying and I sent in an offical letter from my job confirming my salary as well as copies of pay stubs for 4 weeks. Everything clearly showed that while in the U.S. and not enrolled full-time in a university, my income has always been well over the poverty line and that I am currently employed at nearly twice the minimum salary requirements.

                        It didn't help. My husband received a letter back from the embassy this weekend stating, "Your wife's income is not sufficient" and the entire application was returned for the second time. We are still wondering who reviewed it; Cairo has a preliminary screening system and this was written in English and in Arabic, which means it was likely not an American Consular Officer. Nonetheless, we are unable to proceed.

                        So my questions for the board. First, does anybody know if there is any way we could get our case reexamined? Is there any kind of appeals process? Second, does anybody know of an advocacy organization that might be able to help us out? We now six weeks until the baby's due date and currently there is no country where we can be together for the birth of our baby or to raise our child, as my husband is from the Gaza Strip.

                        Thanks for the advice about finding a joint sponsor. I thought it took 5 years to get citizenship, but is it only 3 for the spouse of a USC? I will keep searching for the ever-elusive joint sponsor, but after a year of searching with no luck, I've pretty much given up hope on this end.

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                        • #13
                          Dawn, its amazed me to know that U.S. Embassy in Cairo has denied yr husband's application even though you have submiited yr tax-returns which evidently show that you are making enough income over the poverty guideline established by the U.S.Government to sponsor an alien. Let me tell you something, there MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG, since nobody can make the law by itself, no matter who they are( whether INS officer or counslate officer), and it also applies when it comes to furnishing a 'affidavit of support', since its not a discretonary matter.I can only presuem at this time some possibilities such as might be they did not receive anything from you, or they might have lost yr supporting documents, or they might have overlooked yr affidavit, or must be someone in clerical staff(over there) has done some mistake in analyzing or putting yr documents alltogether specifically in the views of the letter you received it contains arabic language also, as well when you said that cariro has preliminary screening system, so obviously it was not reviewed by INS or Counselor officers at the embassy while someone from clerical staff there, otherwise, embassy can not deny yr case without the basis in law and facts because nobody above the law.

                          Now, you are allowed to file a motion for reconsideration of their decision at the same embassy, but make sure this time that they must receive all the supporting documents you want to submit in order to consider yr 'affidavit of service'. I strongly believe that there is some mistake happened in the embassy while filing yr documents, bucause yr case is like a "slum-dunk case" in order to get approval on 'affidavit of support' since you indeed are making the income over the poverty line, and law is very clear on this as in "black & white". There is no any if's, and's, or's , but's etc...They must have to approve or accept yr furnished 'affidavit of support' regardless you have joint sponsor or not, because you really don't need any other joint sponser if you are making enough required income to sponsor yr huband. The only time you will need joint sponsor when your income is not enough which are required to sponsor yr husband.If you are still don't get succeed then you can file for appeal since you are filing for a immigrant visa instead of nonimmigrant visa, but i highly doubted that this time they will deny yr case just merely for this affidavit of support alone, specifically if you will go thru a attorney. So, the answer to yr question is yes, you can file appeal and yr will definately will win since the facts and laws in yr favor.

                          As far as the liability and responsibility of a sponser is concerned, then it would be for 10yrs or until an alien becomes a U.S.citizen. But, you should know that not every alien wanna be a citizen since they just want to be a p.resident only and don't want to loose their citizenship with their country. As i know lots of people who are living in the united states for the last 40yrs on p.residency and don't wanna be a citizen. So, you can not be a citizen after 5 or 10 yrs later automatically, if you don't ask for it, and even though if you ask for it, it doesn't mean that you will automatically become citizen, since application has to go through lots of process in order to be a naturalized citizen.

                          Any p.resident can file for a naturalization after the 5 yrs of their p.residency, or 3yr of their p.residency if s/he is married to a USC, and then it takes another yr to process the application, and if everything goes well, then eventually an alien will become a citizen, so just marrying with the usc is not enough or a sole ground to be a citizen. I hope you will understand the cofusion people have, since nobody can become citizen after 3yrs just because they are married to a USC for 3 yrs, instead they can be eligible after 3yrs of being a p.resident and married and living with the USC for those last 3YRS, but they still need to overcome other grounds of ineligibility. You can go to local non-profit organization if you have problem to proceed on yr case since they can able to help you without any fee or may be $25-$50. I do not know where are you located, otherwise i can provide you the name of some non-profit organizations. At last, i just want you to know that i was not supposed to answer you since i have taken off from this board because of some child-minded people, but since i had answered you here previously on this past, that's why i felt to give you further my opinion on this issue. PL. don't just give up yr hope so easily, be optimistic, and strong, as well keep yr finger crossed. May god bless you. GOOD LUCK.

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                          • #14
                            somehow I doubt that Sammy has ever worked in a consulate or embassy. There is no "motion to reopen" available overseas. An immigration attorney cannot force someone to look at papers.
                            Most likely there are some gaps in her story or facts that the embassy knows, which is why they have temporarily denied the application.
                            Only consular officers review files for final analysis, not the employees who may be citizens of a particular country.

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                            • #15
                              Hi. Let me clarify because I think there was some confusion. The income on my tax returns was not over the BCIS guidelines. They were below the level because I was a university student and studied abroad. During the time that I was not in a university or abroad, my income exceeded the guidelines, but not when you account for the entire year. For example, in 2001 I made about $10,500, but I only worked from Jan-June and then I studied abroad. My 2002 returns were even lower because I stayed abroad with my husband and did not work in the U.S. after April.

                              I am not relying on my tax returns, but I am currently employed at a salary of $28,900 and I have been working here about 2 months now. Despite providing evidence of this and an explanation and evidence of the reasons that my previous annual income did not meet the guidelines, the paper was sent back to us with the explanation that my income was not sufficient. There was also a box for missing documents in which they checked "affadavit of support from joint sponsor." When my husband called the embassy to clarify the matter, he was told that I needed to show tax returns for the past three years that were over the 125% poverty line guidelines, and since I didn't have that, we needed a joint sponsor.

                              As far as the system at the Cairo embassy, it is a bit different than the INS. Usually everything is done in one interview (approving the petition, application and giving the visa). If any documents are missing, the embassy will send the petition or application back to you before they will schedule an interview. In our case, the petition was initially accepted and the application (filed at the same time) was sent back prior to the January interview saying that we needed to return the documents with an affadavit from a joint sponsor. All other documents were confirmed to be complete. At the January interview, the Consular Officer told us we now needed to find a joint sponsor and continue with the application process. We were never given a notice of approval of our petition, and when we contacted the embassy they said they approve everything at once and we just needed to finish the process.

                              As far as dealing with the Cairo embassy, my past experience has told me that many errors are made and many of the local staff are incompetent, to say the least. Sorry Cairo staff, but it's true and well-known among the American expat community there. Every time I have called or emailed I am put in touch with a local staff member, not a Consulate Officer, and the person either does not answer my question or gives me inaccurate information. I would not be suprised if the same staff members are the ones who reviewed the application and sent it back because of "missing documents."

                              So to sum it up, the status of our case is not that we are denied, but that they will not further consider our case until we have an affadavit from a joint sponsor...or perhaps until I can actually get it in the hands of a U.S. Consulate Officer if that hasn't happened yet.

                              There are no other circumstances surrounding our case. My husband has never been to the U.S., and neither of us have any criminal record or anything else that could affect the case.

                              By the way, I live in the Washington D.C. area and have been looking up non-profits. I think without some kind of advocate, we are never going to be able to move forward on this...

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