Tax Returns and W2s (IV)


What is the difference between an income tax return and a W2 (wage statement)?

The income tax return (or Form 1040) is the document that is submitted to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) every April in order to pay federal taxes.  It shows how much income a person (or a married couple, if filing jointly) has made during the year and how much tax he/she owes.  A blank copy of an income tax return looks like this:

W2s, or wage statements, show the income a person has made from each employer he/she has had over the past year.  If a person has more than one job, he/she will receive separate W2s from each job.  Each individual (even if filing taxes as a married couple) receives individual W2s.  A blank copy of a W2 looks like this:

Why does the Consular Officer sometimes ask for both forms?

Sometimes the Consular Officer will ask an applicant for the petitioner’s income tax return and W2s.  The reason for this is that your sponsor may have filed his/her income tax return jointly with his/her spouse.  The income tax return shows only the total income that both the husband and wife have earned.  If your sponsor signed an affidavit of support form (Form I-864), but his/her spouse did not sign a household member form (Form I-864A), the Consular Officer may want to see how much your sponsor made individually.  In this case, the Officer would need to see your sponsor’s W2s, showing all the income he/she personally made over the last year.

See our blog post “Affidavits of Support” for more information about I-864s and tax returns.

14 thoughts on “Tax Returns and W2s (IV)

  1. There is nothing here addressing the ITR of a person who is self employed. A self employed person does not have a W-2. The only way to see the individuals personal income on a joint return is to view “profits”. Any labor paid out for an employee (even a spouse) will be separate from profits.In other words, with a Joint Sponsor who files a joint tax return, there should be no need for the spouse to file an I-864, as “profits” on the Joint Sponsor’s ITR shows the individual earnings.

      • Does this response imply you are in agreement??? My comment is correct and there is nothing more to add to it??? Your response is not informative…I posted this comment because the incompleteness of the info provided causes, I’m certain, much anguish for many…My wife and i have had on going set backs because of requests for further info. + documents i have been required to submit more than once, as well as a cancellation of a visa interview last Nov. 3, for testing that proved to be unnecessary…Now we are at another delay due to a request for further documentation that should not be necessary…Approximately 5wks. till her medical expires and even though we submitted 3yrs. ITRs for joint sponsor, we are now being asked for the 2011 tax return…taxes are not even due until April 15…

        • Every petitioner or joint sponsor needs to show evidence to the Consular Officer that he/she earns enough income to surpass the federal poverty guidelines. If you or the joint sponsor are self-employed and do not have W2s, you or he/she will need to provide some evidence of your individual income. If you have questions related to your wife’s specific case, please contact us at

  2. Hi… Can I ask if an ITR with the W2 would be ok as part of his affidavit of support? my fiance’s W2 is missing since he moved to other house :(…
    is there any way to get a duplicate of w2?

  3. If in my divorce decree it states my ex and I should exchange the first page of our tax return, but he only gave me a copy of his w2. Isn’t this incorrect? I just wanted to ask before I start an argument if I’m incorrect. Thank you!

    • Thank you for posting a comment on VISAtisfied Voyager, U.S. Embassy Manila’s visa blog. For specific questions related to your case, please send an e-mail to with your complete name and case number clearly indicated.

  4. Hi, I would like to ask if my fiance’s (petitioner) W2 and Tax statements acceptable at the US embassy as part of the form I-134 affidavit of support? I don’t have his recent form 1040. Your reply will be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Gretchen, thank you for posting a comment on VISAtisfied Voyager, U.S. Embassy Manila’s visa blog.
      Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens (K1) are required to submit the I-134 Affidavit of Support together with a copy of the petitioner’s most recent Federal income tax return (Form 1040). Employment letters stating salaries and bank statements may be included to substantiate the I-134. If the petitioner is unable to provide a Form 1040, he must submit other credible evidence of assets to meet Federal poverty guidelines for his prospective household size. Such assets could include bank accounts, stock, personal property, real estate and non-taxable sources of income such as Social Security payments which should be available in the U.S. for the applicant’s support and must be readily convertible to cash within one year.
      For detailed information about the Affidavit of Support requirement and financial sponsorship guidelines, you may visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at: You may also wish to contact USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) toll-free at 1-800-375-5283 regarding this matter

  5. hi my parents and my little sister got their interview a week ago. interview goes well except the embassy is asking for my uncles federal income tax return and w2. embassy took their passports already and the consul even said that wait for their visa to come. but they need to submit the required forms, thus it means that the visa was already approved. thank you.

    • Thank you for your interest in the VISAtisfied Voyager. For specific information regarding your visa case, we request you to send an email to with your complete name, date and place of birth, and the 10-digit visa case number clearly indicated.

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