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I-864: What if I didn't file with the IRS the past three years?

Los Angeles, CA |

I'm a student and I only worked part-time during college the past three years. I haven't filed for any of those years. Now I am married and am filing an I-130 / I-485 for my wife. Form I-864 requires me to acknowledge that I have filed my federal taxes for the past three years and include a copy of my tax return for the most recent tax year, but I haven't done that. Can I get around this somehow? I am having a co-sponsor who did file, but I didn't.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    The I-864 is required even if you did not file taxes. Be sure to request IRS tax transcripts even if you did not file, to show which years you did file. It will not be fatal to your application if you did not file and did not have to but you will have to explain why you did not file taxes. Moreover, if you do not meet the requirements to sponsor your spouse under the federal poverty guidelines on your own you will be required to obtain a joint sponsor. Be advised that assets also count toward the income requirement and equity in a house or other property should be indicated on your I-864. The I-864 is a complicated little form which has a lot of hidden not-so-easy-to-understand peculiarities and issues and that is why it is a good idea to consult a competent immigration attorney especially if a joint sponsor is needed. Also for your joint sponsor and you it is very important to understand what you are agreeing to when signing the I-864. Read carefully the form, instructions and seek help.

    No attorney-client relationship is created or implied by this communication in any way. Consult a competent immigration attorney preferably one who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).


  2. You should be fine with a joint sponsor and explain why you did not file.


  3. You will need a co-sponsor who is a US citizen or permanent resident and meets the income requirements.


  4. 1) You will need to explain why you were not required to file.
    2) You will need to find a co-sponsor to also file an I-864.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


  5. I agree. You will need a co-sponsor and he/she will have to fill out Form I-864, as well.

    Please note: This information is general in nature and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice. This post does not create any attorney-client relationship between us. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult an attorney.

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