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What Is Form I-864?2023-01-18T07:17:55-05:00
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What Is Form I-864?

The Affidavit of Support is a document a person signs to accept financial responsibility for an immigrant who is seeking their green card. The Affidavit of Support is also called “Form I-864”. The person who signs the Affidavit of Support is called the “sponsor”.

The purpose of the Affidavit of Support is to prove that the immigrant who is seeking a green card has financial support and will not need the U.S. government to support them. For example, if a U.S. citizen marries a foreign person, the U.S. citizen will agree to financially support their foreign spouse.

The Affidavit of Support is necessary for most people seeking family based green cards. It can also be used by people seeking employment based green cards.

In this guide we answer many questions about Form I-864:

What Documents Do I Need To Provide With Form I-864?

There are several different types of documents required along with Form I-864 that the applicant needs to provide. The following documents must be submitted for all sponsors:

  • Copy of your individual federal income tax returns for the last 3 tax years.
  • W-2s for the most recent tax year. Or, If you don’t have W-2s, you must provide a statement, or evidence explaining why you didn’t file.
  • Any other evidence of reported income for the last 3 tax years.
  • Pay stubs from the most recent six months.
  • A letter from your employer if you believe any of these items will help you qualify.

For other sponsors there are various documents that you might need, USCIS has an extensive list depending on your situation.

According to USCIS, if you submit a document with information in a foreign language, you must also submit an English translation.

To guarantee that your I-864 is processed as quickly as possible, it helps to use a certified translator. The documents and forms mentioned above may not be a complete list.

You can order a certified translation of these documents from our online store:

Order Your Certified Translation

What Are The Financial Requirements?

  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
  • The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident.
  • The sponsor must live in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.
  • The sponsor’s income must be at least 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline. The sponsor’s income needs to be higher if more people live in their house. Form I-864P will help the sponsor determine if their income is sufficient to sign the I-864 Affidavit of support.
  • The sponsor can claim other assets such as money in savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and property if their income is not 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.
  • The sponsor can also count the income and assets of people who live with them, if they are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.
  • If the sponsor cannot meet the income requirements, they can use a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor does not need to be related to the person immigrating. The joint sponsor’s income must be at least 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.
  • The income and assets of the immigrant can also be counted under 3 conditions. First, they must be the sponsor’s relative. Second, the immigrant’s source of income must remain the same after they obtain their green card. Third, the immigrant must live with the sponsor.

What Are The Financial Obligations?

The Affidavit of Support is an agreement between the sponsor and the U.S. government. This allows the government to get its money back if the person immigrating to the U.S. becomes a public charge. If the relative who is immigrating receives any federal, state, or local public benefits after they obtain their green card, the sponsor may have to repay the government. Examples of these benefits are Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and federally funded Medicaid.

When Does The Affidavit of Support Expire?

The sponsor’s financial obligations to the immigrant will be terminated under any of these 4 conditions.

  • If the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen.
  • If the sponsored immigrant is credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work in the United States, which is usually about 10 years of work.
  • If the sponsored immigrant loses their status as a lawful permanent resident.
  • If the sponsored immigrant dies.

Does Each Family Member Need A Separate Affidavit?

A separate Affidavit of Support must be filed for every immigrant who is seeking a green card. For each person associated with a Form I-130, Form I-600, or Form I-800, there must be a separate Form I-864.

Can I File The Affidavit of Support Online?

If you are filing Form I-864 through the National Visa Center (NVC), you can file it online through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).

If you are filing Form I-864 with the USCIS, where you file it depends on which state you live in. You will either send it to a lockbox in Chicago, Illinois, or Phoenix, Arizona.

Who Can Be A Sponsor For Form I-864?

To financially sponsor someone and sign an Affidavit of Support, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
  • Live in the U.S. or a U.S. territory or,
  • Be able to prove that you have maintained a domicile in the U.S.

Which Version of I-864 Should I Use?

Usually, if you are petitioning for a relative using Form I-130 or an Alien Worker using Form I-140, you will file the normal Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.

There are other versions of Form I-864 that might work better in your situation.

Form I-864EZ is a shorter version of Form I-864, and might work for you if the person immigrating to the U.S. can prove they have adequate finances and will not become a burden on the U.S. government.

Form I-864A is a separate form that will be attached to Form I-864. It will be used if the sponsor has to count the income of their household member to meet the financial requirements. Form I-864A is a contract between the sponsor and household member. Form I-864A promises that the household member will make their income available to the sponsor.

Form I-864W can be used if the applicant is exempt from the requirements for Form I-864. For example, if the person immigrating has already worked 40 qualifying quarters in the United States, they may not need an Affidavit of Support.

When Should Form I-864 Be Filed?

If applying within the United States through Adjustment of Status:

Form I-864 should be filed when the applicant who is trying to obtain a green card is ready to submit their Form I-485. This is because Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, is one of the required documents for Form I-485.

If applying outside of the United States through Consular Processing:

Form I-864 should be filed when the applicant who is trying to obtain a green card is ready to submit their Form DS-260. This is because Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, is one of the required documents for Form DS-260.

Do I Meet The Income Requirements for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support?

The minimum amount of money a sponsor needs to make depends on three things:

  • The state the sponsor lives in. If the sponsor lives within the continental 48 continental United States, the Federal Poverty Guideline is different from Hawaii and Alaska. USCIS outlines the financial requirements depending on which state the sponsor lives in.
  • If the sponsor is active duty military.If the sponsor is active duty military, their income only needs to be 100% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline. If they are not active duty military, the sponsor’s income needs to be 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.

Where Can I Get a Certified Translation?

The documents required for Form I-864 may not be a complete list. You might also need to submit a certified translation of some documents that are not in English. Different applications require different documents. Those could include:

You can order a certified translation of these documents from our online store:

Order Your Certified Translation

It is always important to do your own research. Check the USCIS website and the National Visa Center website to see if you are eligible to file a green card application. U.S. Language Services LLC is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice. As a result, it is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need assistance submitting your paperwork, please seek out the advice of a lawyer.

U.S. Language Services LLC is not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or any other agency of the United States government.

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For orders in other language pairs, our team will review your documents and provide you with the delivery date once you place your order.

Note: Orders placed after 2 p.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) will be processed by our team on the following business day. Delivery dates exclude weekends & holidays.

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