Affidavit of Support for Immigration Petitions
What is an Affidavit of Support?
If you are petitioning for a family member to come to the U.S. permanently, you have to accept to financially support that relative. The purpose of the I-864, Affidavit of Support is to accept this financial responsibility; by completing and signing the I-864, you become your relative’s sponsor. The Affidavit pf Support is legally enforceable. The petitioner who submitted the immigrant visa petition for his or her relative is also the sponsor of the intending immigrant.
Who is required to submit an Affidavit of Support?
The following individuals need to submit a Form I-864 completed and signed by the petitioner/sponsor in order to obtain an immigrant visa or adjust their status:
- Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens: spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21;
- Relatives who are eligible to immigrate to the US based on one of the family-based preference categories:
- First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens;
- Second Preference (2A): Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of lawful permanent residents (a.k.a. green card holders);
- Second Preference (2B): Unmarried adult sons and daughters (any age) of lawful permanent residents;
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens;
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
Who is exempt from submitting an Affidavit of Support?
The following individuals do not need to submit a Form I-864:
- An individual who has earned or can be credited with 40 quarters of lawful work in the U.S. (usually 10 years);
- An individual who has an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, as a Self-Petitioning Widow or Widower or as a battered spouse or child;
- Orphans adopted by U.S. citizens abroad under certain conditions.
Who can be a sponsor?
A sponsor must be:
- A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- At least 18 years old;
- Domiciled in the U.S. which usually means that you actually live in the U.S.
The petitioner who is petitioning for his or her family member must also be the sponsor of the intending immigrant.
When do I file an Affidavit of Support?
The sponsor should complete Form I-864:
- When your relative has been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the consulate overseas, if your relative is abroad;
- When you relative is submitting his application for adjustment to permanent resident status with USCIS.
What supporting documents do I need to submit with the Affidavit of Support?
- U.S. Federal Income Tax Return or IRS Transcript for the most recent fiscal year as well as the two previous fiscal years;
- Proof of current employment;
- Paystubs for the past 3 months
What are the income requirements?
As a sponsor, you must meet certain income requirements: your household income must be equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines for your household size.
The poverty guidelines can be found here: http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-864p.pdf
What if I don’t meet the income requirements?
You can add the cash value of your assets, such as property, money in savings accounts, stocks and bonds.
Who can be a joint sponsor?
If you do not meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor can also accept to financially support your relative. The joint sponsor must meet all the same requirements as the sponsor as well as meet the U.S. poverty guidelines.
When does the sponsor’s responsibility end?
- When the relative becomes a U.S. citizen; or
- When the relative has earned or can be credited with 40 quarters of lawful work in the U.S. (usually 10 years).
The Affidavit of Support is complex; incomplete or incorrect Forms I-864 will not be accepted. You should seek the help of attorney if necessary. Please feel free to contact our Sondra Furcajg, our Staff Attorney, at (312) 949-9980 for any questions you may have.