According to USCIS I do not meet the minimum financial requirements to support my spouse. A 2 person household has to make 125% of the federal poverty line. This is about 18900, My 2011 income was about 18000. So I am 900 short and received a notice about it. What I am wondering is if it is possible to call them and make an argument for cost of living, since those expenses where we live are significantly lower than almost anywhere else in the country. For example, our total rent with utilities included for a three bedroom apartment is about $160. Also this notice says I have 87 days to send in more information, if I can't argue cost of living would it be recommended to just wait for my 2012 tax information? I know i've made more this year since I am working two jobs.
cost of living argument will not work and there is no one to call and argue over the phone about that issue. However, it is your income now, not in 2011 (although you do provide that return). So what I am saying, if right now, with your salary you do meet the poverty guidelines, you must send all proof, explain it to the service and you should be just fine. Another option is to obtain a financial co-sponsor.
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You need a co-sponser, a second person who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and meets the income requirements, if you do not meet the income requirements. You cannot argue costs of living.
Just get a joint sponsor whose income meets the guidelines. Also, if your spouse is lawfully employed, you can combine her income with yours as long as she will continue to derive income from the same job after she becomes a permanent resident.
You need a joint sponsor or have assets worth 5x the deficit. So about $4500.00. I regularly use a client's car if they own it outright.