LPR w/Re-Entry Permit Residing Abroad - Can I file I-130 for my new spouse?

Client Question:

Hello.  I've had a re-entry permit for 1 year and am recently married. I was wondering if it was possible to apply for my wife while i have re entry permit and am residing outside the US?

Attorney Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry.  First, good job on getting a re-entry permit while you reside outside the U.S. to make sure you don’t inadvertently abandon your green card status.  Second, yes, you can indeed proceed with filing a I-130 for your wife while you are outside the U.S.  Given the priority date backlog in the F-2A category (Spouses of LPR’s), I would go ahead and at least get her a Priority Date.  (Filing the I-130 gets a Priority Date as of the date of filing, but you can only keep it if it is approved.)  Ideally, you can coordinate your return to the U.S. with her immigrant visa processing once her Priority Date becomes available.  In fact, she cannot complete the Immigrant Visa Process until you have established your plans for re-establishing domicile in the U.S. - i.e. proof of where you will reside in the U.S. once she is approved for her immigrant visa, etc.  


Must the I-130 Petitioner with No Income (or Insufficient Income) Still Submit an Affidavit of Support?

Q:  I am a U.S. citizen sponsoring my wife who is from India for her green card - we were married last year.  However, I am a student and do not have sufficient income to support the Affidavit of Support requirement.  I understand I need a Joint Sponsor, but do I still need to submit an Affidavit of Support even when I don't have enough income? 

A:  Yes.  As the Petitioner from the I-130, you are required to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) - regardless of whether you have no income or have insufficient income to fulfill the income requirements.  You should complete the form as applicable - listing your tax filings and current annual income.  Since you do not qualify under your income, the agency would then look to the Joint Sponsor's affidavit to confirm (1) they qualify as a joint sponsor (U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, over age 18, domiciled in the U.S.); (2) they have sufficient income based on their household size, including your spouse, to meet the Affidavit of Support income requirement.  


USCIS May Allow Re-Entry Biometrics Appt. Abroad at USCIS Intl. Office for "Rare and Compelling" Circumstances

Recently, USCIS confirmed that while re-entry permit application biometrics appointments are to be completed in the U.S., they may be completed at a local USCIS International Office in 'rare and compelling' circumstances. There is no concrete rule about what may qualify as 'rare and compelling' circumstances and determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

To request the biometrics appt. abroad at a USCIS International Office, the applicant must establish

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