What is Form I-864?
Form I-864, officially known as the “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is a critical document in the U.S. immigration process. It’s used to demonstrate that a sponsor (usually a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) has the financial ability to financially support an intending immigrant. This form is commonly required in family-based immigration cases, including marriage-based green card applications.
The primary purpose of Form I-864 is to ensure that immigrants coming to the U.S. won’t become a public charge and will have sufficient financial support. By submitting this affidavit, the sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the intending immigrant and accept legal responsibility for repaying any means-tested public benefits the immigrant might receive while they are a green card holder.
Key points about Form I-864:
Legal Commitment: When the sponsor signs Form I-864, they’re legally committing to provide financial support to the intending immigrant at 125% of the federal poverty guideline levels. This commitment remains in effect until the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has worked for a certain number of quarters, or no longer holds permanent residency.
Income Requirement: The sponsor’s income needs to meet certain minimum requirements based on their household size. If the sponsor’s income falls below the required amount, they might need a co-sponsor who meets the requirements.
Supporting Documentation: The sponsor needs to provide supporting documentation to prove their income, such as recent tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and proof of assets.
Joint and Several Liability: The sponsor’s responsibility is joint and several, meaning that both the sponsor and the sponsored immigrant can be held liable for repaying means-tested public benefits if they’re used.
Adjustment of Status and Visa Applications: Form I-864 is typically submitted along with the Adjustment of Status application (Form I-485) for those already in the U.S. For those applying for an immigrant visa from abroad, it’s usually submitted as part of the visa application process.
Exemption for Certain Family Members: Some categories of family-sponsored immigrants, such as children of U.S. citizens, are exempt from the Form I-864 requirement.
It’s important to note that Form I-864 is a legal document with significant implications. The sponsor’s financial situation and willingness to take on this responsibility are crucial factors. Filling out the form accurately and providing the required supporting documents is vital for a successful immigration process. If you have any doubts or questions, consider seeking guidance from an immigration attorney to ensure that you understand the implications and requirements associated with Form I-864.
Form I-864 checklist of required documents
When completing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, you’ll need to provide various documents to demonstrate your financial ability to support the intending immigrant. Here’s a checklist of the required documents and supporting evidence commonly needed to accompany Form I-864: https://bwea.com/affidavit-of-support-checklist-form-i-864/
- Completed Form I-864: Fill out Form I-864 completely and accurately. Make sure you are using the most current version of the form available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency:
- S. Citizens: Provide a copy of your U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, or birth certificate.
- Permanent Residents: Provide a copy of your green card (front and back).
- Federal Income Tax Returns:
- Include copies of your most recent federal income tax returns (Form 1040) for the most recent three years.
- If you were required to file taxes but didn’t, provide an explanation.
- W-2 Forms and Pay Stubs:
- Include copies of W-2 forms for the most recent three years.
- Provide pay stubs or other evidence of current employment and income.
- Employment Verification Letter:
- Obtain a letter from your employer confirming your current employment, position, salary, and the duration of your employment.
- Proof of Assets:
- If using assets to meet the financial requirement, provide documentation such as bank statements, property appraisals, or other relevant documents.
- Assets should be evaluated at their current fair market value.
- IRS Tax Transcripts:
- In some cases, USCIS might request official IRS tax transcripts to verify your tax information. You can request these transcripts directly from the IRS.
- Proof of Non-Filing:
- If you were not required to file taxes due to low income, provide an explanation and any supporting documentation.
- Co-Sponsor Information (if applicable):
- If using a co-sponsor, gather the co-sponsor’s income and supporting documentation as well.
- Proof of Relationship to Intending Immigrant:
- Include copies of relevant marriage certificates or other documents that prove the family relationship between you and the intending immigrant.
- Affidavits from Household Members:
- If household members are providing income, they can submit Affidavits of Support (Form I-864A) and provide proof of their own financial status.
- Marriage Certificate:
- If applicable, provide a copy of your marriage certificate as proof of your marriage to the intending immigrant.
- Divorce or Death Certificates (if applicable):
- If you or the intending immigrant were previously married, provide documents showing the termination of those marriages.
- Other Supporting Evidence:
- Depending on your situation, you might need to provide additional evidence to explain your financial circumstances or demonstrate your ability to support the intending immigrant.
Remember that USCIS might request additional documentation or evidence during the processing of your application. It’s important to carefully follow USCIS instructions, provide accurate and complete information, and ensure that your financial ability to support the intending immigrant is clearly demonstrated. If you’re uncertain about any aspect of the process, consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney for personalized guidance. Read more “list your business in the” “free and paid submission to the” “add your site” statistics
How to fill out Form I-864?
Filling out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is an important step in the U.S. immigration process when sponsoring an intending immigrant. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out Form I-864 accurately:
Note: This guide provides a general overview of the form-filling process. It’s crucial to consult the most current version of Form I-864 and follow the specific instructions provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on their website.
- Download and Review Form I-864: Obtain the most current version of Form I-864 from the USCIS website. Review the instructions thoroughly to understand the requirements and guidelines.
- Personal Information (Part 1):
- Provide your full legal name, date of birth, social security number, and U.S. citizen or green card holder status.
- Sponsored Immigrant Information (Part 2):
- Provide the intending immigrant’s name, address, and relationship to you (e.g., spouse).
- Household Size (Part 3):
- List yourself, your spouse (if applicable), and any other dependents who are part of your household. Include the intending immigrant in the count.
- Income Information (Part 4):
- Provide details about your income sources. If you’re using your income to meet the financial requirement, list your total income for the most recent tax year.
- If you’re using assets, provide information about your assets and their value.
- Household Member Information (Part 5):
- If you’re including the income of household members to meet the requirement, provide information about each household member’s income and relationship to you.
- Federal Tax Information (Part 6):
- Provide information about your federal tax returns for the most recent tax year. This includes filing status, exemptions, and any taxes owed.
- Signature (Part 7):
- Sign and date the form. If you’re using a joint sponsor, they must also sign and date the form.
- Contact Information (Part 8):
- Provide your contact information, including address, phone number, and email address.
- Select One (Part 9):
- Indicate whether you’re a U.S. citizen or green card holder and provide the relevant details.
- Information About the Person Being Sought (Part 10):
- Provide information about the intending immigrant, including their full name and A-number (if applicable).
- Sponsor’s Tax Information (Part 11):
- If you’re required to file a federal tax return, provide details about your filing status, dependents, and total income.
- Sponsor’s Employment and Assets (Part 12):
- Provide details about your current employment, assets, and liabilities.
- Sponsor’s Contract (Part 13):
- Read the statement and sign and date it.
- Joint Sponsor’s Contract (Part 14, if applicable):
- If you have a joint sponsor, they should fill out this section, including their employment, income, and contact information.
- Interpreter’s Contact Information (Part 15, if applicable):
- If someone else filled out the form for you, provide their contact information.
- Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature (Part 16):
- Provide your contact information again, declare that the information is true and complete, and sign and date the form.
Note: It’s highly recommended to double-check all the information you’ve provided on Form I-864 for accuracy and completeness. Inaccurate or incomplete information could lead to processing delays or denials.
After completing Form I-864, gather the required supporting documents, as outlined in the USCIS instructions. Make copies of all documents before submitting the form and supporting materials. If you’re uncertain about any aspect of the form or the process, consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney for guidance tailored to your specific situation.