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What is Affidavit of Support?

The Form I-864, Affidavit of Support is an immigration form submitted by the U.S. immigration petitioner, guaranteeing to provide financial support to a foreign national beneficiary.  

It is a legal contract between a sponsor or petitioner and the U.S. government. 

The sponsor promises to support the intending immigrant in case he/she is unable to support themselves.

The form is required to ensure the immigrant does not become a “public charge.”

If the sponsor fails to meet the income requirement on Form I-864, the USCIS won’t approve the intended immigrant for a green card.

If the petitioner’s income is not enough to support the intending immigrant, a joint sponsor may submit Form I-864 to sponsor the intending immigrant. 

A joint sponsor does not necessarily have to be related to the petitioning sponsor or the intending immigrant.

Affidavit of Support Checklist

The supporting documents you need to submit along with Affidavit of Support form include:

Who Should File the Form?

While applying for the adjustment of status or immigrant visa, the following immigrants are required by law to submit the Form I-864, completed by the sponsor(s):

Who Can Become a Sponsor?

Every family-based green card applicant must have a financial sponsor. 

This person files the Form I-864 to show that the intending immigrant has adequate means of financial support and is not likely to rely on the U.S. government for public benefits.

Generally, the person who files Form I-130 to petition a relative, is also the person who sponsors the relative with Form I-864. However that’s not the only possible case.

These are the eligibility requirements required to qualify as an intending sponsor:

Country of Domicile: A country of domicile is the country where you make your permanent home. If, as a sponsor, you live and work in the United States, your country of domicile is the United States.

If, as a sponsor, you live outside the United States due to temporary employment, but you have maintained a home in the U.S. and you intend to return to that home, your country of domicile is the United States.

However, if you live outside the United States but intend to reestablish domicile in the United States no later than the date of the intending immigrant’s admission or adjustment of status, you may claim U.S. domicile.

You cannot be a sponsor if you live permanently outside the United States and do not intend to return to the U.S.

Joint Sponsors

If the person who is seeking the immigration of one or more of his/her relatives cannot meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor who can meet the requirements may submit Form I-864 to sponsor all or some of the family members.

This means that if your household income is insufficient to sponsor the immigrant(s), you can seek support from an additional sponsor, called a Joint sponsor.

He/she must maintain a minimum annual income of 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the household size.

People generally get confused between a joint sponsor and a household member, in roles of a sponsor. This is where we introduce another form similar to the I-864, yet with its own unique functionality.

Difference between Joint Sponsor and Household Member

Joint Sponsor: 

Household member:

When to file the Form? 

If you are a financial sponsor, then on filling out your details, you must give the completed form and supporting documents to the immigrant you are sponsoring, to file with their Form DS-260 or Form I-485.

Affidavit of Support Checklist of Required Documents

Make sure you don’t send any original documents unless specifically requested in the instructions or applicable regulations.

Provide only photocopies of supporting documents with your Affidavit of Support.

If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying:

Tax Records for all sponsors:

For U.S. citizens or nationals sponsors: one of the following

For lawful permanent residents sponsors:

Other Supporting Documents for Specific Sponsors

If you’re a legal guardian signing the Form I-864, you must submit:

Joint Sponsor Checklist

The documents required for a joint sponsor are the same as those required of the primary sponsor:

Keep in mind that each sponsor must submit his/her properly signed I-864 form and a set of his/her supporting documents. 

Note: USCIS will deny your Form I-485 application and fees will not be refunded if your Form I-485 application lacks a signed Affidavit of Support with all required evidence.

File Your Affidavit of Support with SelfLawyer

Filing a properly prepared Affidavit of Support is crucial for your green card application success.

Get an immigration attorney review, online application and same day filing with SelfLawyer. Start preparing your Affidavit of Support now.


Related links:

Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 – Complete Guide [2021]

How to Fill Out Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 [2021]

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