THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
ACA, the American Citizens Abroad group which advocates on issues affecting overseas Americans, has submitted official comments to USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) raising concerns over plans to increase the amount of evidence required by US citizens who want to sponsor non-US citizen family members for a visa to move to the United States.
In a letter addressed to Mark Phillips at USCIS, ACA explain that the new rules would require US citizens who wish to submit Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative, would also have file additional information as part of an Affadvit of Support, which could cause a number of difficulties.
The proposed new rules would require an Affadavit of Support to include:
• Credit scores and credit reports;
• Certified copies or transcripts of the last three years of US income tax returns;
• A submission of bank account information.
ACA's letter outlines why each of these new requirements would add unnecessary complication for US citizens looking to move back to the US with a non-US citizen relative.
On Credit Reports, ACA write that "Many US citizens living abroad ... will not be able to provide a US credit report since they have been out of the country for several years. US credit reports and scores are available only for US residents who have a residential address in the US. An American living abroad is not a US resident until he/she returns to the US to live there with his/her family. Legal immigration with family members should not be denied just because the US-citizen sponsor cannot provide a credit report."
On income tax returns, ACA argue that "Returning US citizens may have filed their US tax forms correctly during the years they were living abroad but obtaining official IRS-issued certified copies or transcripts is a lengthy and complicated process. Each year there are substantial delays and difficulty with communications even for the simplest tax returns,especially when filing from abroad."
On bank accounts, ACA points out that "US citizens living abroad have already raised objections to the reporting of bank account information as required by the FBAR and FATCA and should not have to report this information if they can prove sufficient means for the financial support of the intending immigrant as required by the current rules."
For the full letter, which explains more about the proposed rules, and ACA's objection to them, go to www.americansabroad.org