The next query had even the lovely lady stumped and grabbing her supervisor for additional input.
Apparently, we go our affidavit of support wrong!
Now the instructions for completing the Avadavat of support regarding family size are very clear – you have to include your children even if they don’t reside with you, and can’t claim them on your tax form.
Here they are:
Q: I’m divorced and my child resides in my household part of the time and with my spouse the other. Is he or she counted as part of my household?
A: Dependent children of a divorced couple are members of the parent’s household, even if they live part of the time with the other parent. A parent always has a legal obligation to support his or her child.
Q: My (ex)spouse claims my child as a dependent on his or her tax return.
A: Even if you are not entitled to include them as a dependent on your tax return, your child is considered part of both parent’s households for the purposes of Form I-864, unless you can show you have been formally relieved of any legal obligation to support your child.
So here is our form with JT’s three children included:
The response we got was:
“The household size must equal the sum of Spouse + travelling applicants+dependents/exemptions claimed on most recent tax return.”
Now this goes against everything it said in the instructions, and the woman at the NVC Helpline said we got it right, and her supervisor said we got it right and neither of them could see why it was queried, but the advice they gave us was to complete it again, but with the total of two, to match the tax return.
So that’s what we are doing, but we are also keeping the other version just in case the embassy in London want the version that does match their rules.
Apparently, the people who write the guidelines are not the same people who vet the applications, nor the same people who work on the Helpline.
This is quite stressful for someone who likes to read instructions and follow them. It feels like I’m back in school and failing the most important exam of my life – and I still have the interview to do.
Lost in Translation is a 2003 Sofia Coppola directed movie starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, set in Tokyo