- 1 What Is Form I864 and What Is It Used for? What Are Some Functions of the Form I864?
- 1.1 Who Is a Sponsor?
- 1.2 I 864 Instructions and I-864 Sample: a Step-by-step Guide on How You Can Complete This Form:
- 1.3 I-864 Sample instructions:
- 1.3.1 Part 1: Basis for Filing Affidavit of Support:
- 1.3.2 Part 2: Information About the Principal Immigrant:
- 1.3.3 Part 3: Information About the Immigrants You Are Sponsoring:
- 1.3.4 Part 4: Information About You as the Sponsor:
- 1.3.5 Part 5: Sponsor’s Household Size:
- 1.3.6 Part 6: Sponsor’s Employment and Income:
- 1.3.7 Part 7: Use of Assets to Supplement Income:
- 1.3.8 Part 8: Sponsor’s Contact Information, Statement, Declaration, Certification, and Signature:
- 1.3.9 Part 9 and 10: Interpreter and Preparer’s Contact Information:
- 1.3.10 Part 11: Additional Information:
- 1.4 Various Supporting Documents That You Need to Submit Along With the Form I864, Affidavit of Support:
- 1.5 What are some of the common mistakes people make when they are trying to fill in the affidavit of support?
- 1.5.1 Anticipated Income for “Current Individual Annual Income”:
- 1.5.2 Calculate the Size of the Household Properly:
- 1.5.3 Provide the Information of Your Assets Only if the Income if Not Meet the Poverty Guideline:
- 1.5.4 Know When to Include the Joint Sponsors:
- 1.6 Who Needs to Submit Form I864, Affidavit of Support?
- 1.7 When Should You File Form I864, Affidavit of Support? Does It Have an Expiration Date?
- 1.8 Where Should You File the Affidavit of Support?
- 1.9 Conclusion
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
What Is Form I864 and What Is It Used for? What Are Some Functions of the Form I864?
The issue of immigrants coming to the United States and becoming dependent on the government for financial aid is not new to the system. With the large number of immigrants moving in, it would be an extremely difficult situation if all of them become a burden on the system. Therefore, to prevent that and to ensure that all the people migrating to the country with prospective green card eligibility have proper financial support- USCIS needs Form i864, also known as, the Affidavit of Support as a vital part while filing for permanent residence. In this article we will be taking a closer look at what the i-864 sample is and how this i-864 sample can help you out.
Form i864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA is not for the applicants to fill but for the “Sponsor” who is a US citizen or a permanent resident, and who would support the applicants financially.
So, in simple words, this is a form that guarantees or acts as an “agreement” between the US government and the sponsor of the individual applying for the green card indicating that he or she will not become a public charge anytime in the future. This means that the Sponsor agrees to take complete financial responsibility for the applicant.
Who Is a Sponsor?
For those who are new to this- the sponsor is the person who files the green card petition for the applicant. It can be-
- The immediate relative of the applicant.
- A family member with a significant share of ownership in the company is filing the petition.
- An individual who accepts to take the responsibility jointly or accepts joint liability with the sponsor, or, someone who is ready to substitute in case of a deceased sponsor.
- Anyone who files Form i864 on behalf of the immigrant seeking to apply for permanent residence.
In the next section of the article, we will take you through a complete guide of how you can fill up form i864 properly, what are the things you need to keep in mind, i-864 sample, I 864 instructions, the various supporting documents you will need and more. Given that the main topic of this article was to give you an i-864 sample, without further delay, let’s move on…
I 864 Instructions and I-864 Sample: a Step-by-step Guide on How You Can Complete This Form:
Form i864 plays a vital role for the USCIS to decide whether your application will receive approval or not. That is why you must read all the I 864 instructions thoroughly before you start answering the question in the form. Affidavit of Support is a 10-page form that needs to be filled in carefully and with a lot of patience. Also, make sure that you fill up all the fields and do not leave any of the fields blank. USCIS may reject your green card petition application. In case, a particular field doesn’t apply to you, then instead of leaving it blank you must enter “none” or “not applicable”.
That said, let’s get started with the I 864 instructions and a guide on how you can fill this form properly. Make sure to use the latest version of the Form i864, Affidavit of Support available here because submitting an outdated form may lead to rejection of the form
Here’s an i-864 sample for you to see how the first page of the form looks like:
I-864 Sample instructions:
Part 1: Basis for Filing Affidavit of Support:
The main intention of this part of form I 864 is for the USCIS to know and understand the relationship and the basis on which you are filing this form. Remember that if you are the sponsor filing this form, then you should include proof of your citizenship or your permanent residence along with other documents required.
First, you, as a sponsor, need to write your full name in the box provided. Then, you need to select any one of the options as provided (see i-864 sample above).
If you are the main petitioner filing for a green card or visa for the intending immigrant based on family relationship only, then you will have to check box 1.a. If you are filing this petition for an immigrant based on employment and who is related to you, in that case, check the box 1.b. 1.c is for those sponsors who do not or haven’t employed the immigrant but hold a 5% or above interest in the company that has employed the applicant.
1.d and 1.e is for those who sign the Affidavit of Support agreeing to be a joint sponsor. You need to remember that even though there is an option for two joint sponsors, it is allowed only in certain cases like when the sponsor is sponsoring for more than one family member. You can also talk to a legal immigration representative to see if two sponsors will be allowed in your case.
The last option 1.f is for a substitute sponsor. A substitute sponsor is needed if the intended immigrant’s main sponsor is deceased and someone has to replace the individual as a substitute sponsor. It should also be noted that the substitute sponsor must be a relative of the immigrant.
Part 2: Information About the Principal Immigrant:
This part, as you see in the i-864 sample provided above, is pretty straightforward. Upon closer look at the i-864 sample, you can see that it requires that you fill in some basic information about the primary immigrant you are petitioning to get a green card or a visa for. You will have to provide the complete name of the intended immigrant as used in all the official documents, mailing address, phone number, and date of birth. The form also asks for USCIS online account number and the Alien Registration number (A-number) but you need to provide that only if the immigrant has one. If not, just specify not applicable.
The immigrant will have an Alien registration number if they have applied for a green card, any other visa, or immigration benefit in the past.
Part 3: Information About the Immigrants You Are Sponsoring:
In this segment, you will have to provide some more information about the immigrants that you are petitioning for. If you are sponsoring more than 1 immigrant, you will have to provide information about them in this section. Remember to read the I 864 instructions carefully before filling up this part. Check the first box of this part ‘yes’ if you are sponsoring the immigrant named in the second part above. You need to check ‘no’ if you are the second joint sponsor for the family members mentioned in this part.
Do not mention the details of any of the family members who have to be listed on a separate I-130 petition. This includes the immediate family member of the petitioner. In those cases, separate Form i864 is needed for every member of the family being petitioned for.
You will have to carefully fill up the details of all the family members including their name, relationship with the Principal Immigrant, date of birth, USCIS account number, and A-number if available. (see i-864 sample below).
Also, since the last question continues on the next page, don’t forget to answer the last question (No.29) that asks the number of immigrants you are sponsoring in their Affidavit of support including the primary immigrant. Do not include the primary immigrant if you are sponsoring for the relatives who are entering six months after the primary immigrant has.
Part 4: Information About You as the Sponsor:
Pretty self-explanatory, this part needs you to provide general information about yourself as the sponsor. The I-864 sample will show you that you need to provide information like your name, physical address, mailing address, date of birth, place of birth, and your US Social Security number. Check the ‘yes’ box if you are on active duty while filing the petition.
Other than that, remember that for you to be able to offer financial support to the applicants, your country of domicile needs to be the United States. This means that your place of residence must be the United States. Also, if you do not live in the US and are not intending to return to the country until along with the immigrant you are petitioning for, even then you will have to fill up this Affidavit of Support and sign it. You will also have to carry additional documents in that case.
Part 5: Sponsor’s Household Size:
The goal of this section is to determine if you are capable of sponsoring the intended immigrants. With the i-864 sample close to you, one can see that they need to provide the number of members in the household and the details about them so USCIS can understand the number of people you are financially responsible for. Therefore, remember to provide the correct number and do not count anyone twice because this may project your financial responsibility more.
In question 1, you need to enter the number that you have entered in Part 3- question 29 (the number of immigrants you are sponsoring). After this, the 2nd question is auto-filled. In question 3, if you are married, then you need to enter ‘1’ to count your spouse, if not, you need to enter ‘0’. In the next questions, you need to specify the number of dependents you have in your household and then the number of people you have sponsored in other Form i864 or form i864 EZ.
This section also requires you to provide the number of other individuals like your parents, adult children, and siblings who are merging their income with yours by filing form i864A.
Part 6: Sponsor’s Employment and Income:
Here, you will have to enter the details on the sponsor’s job-related details like the employee information, income, etc. Read the I 864 instructions properly and check the boxes that apply to you and provide the details as asked for. You should provide your present annual income in field number 7 and then the income information about the members in your household to see who else is merging their income to sponsor the immigrant. In this field 20, you should add the total income in the household from you and other members and enter the figure in the space provided.
Questions 23 to 25 require you to provide federal income tax returns related information. Remember that you will have to provide the photocopies and receipts of the income tax returns for the last three years. Be sure to give accurate information about the income and the tax returns because you are going to provide the supporting documents of the same.
Part 7: Use of Assets to Supplement Income:
This part is optional and applies to those whose income is insufficient to be eligible to sponsor for the applicant. If your income isn’t enough then you will have to provide the Agency with the information of your assets by adding their value to supplement your income to meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, if the total income of your household meets or exceeds the guidelines, then you do not have to fill this section.
That said, you need to calculate the value of different assets that include your assets, the assets of your household members, the assets of the immigrant you are filing the petition for.
Part 8: Sponsor’s Contact Information, Statement, Declaration, Certification, and Signature:
This section is for you as a sponsor to acknowledge and declare that all the information you have provided in this form is with complete truthfulness and honesty. Do make sure to read through the lines to understand what it implies if any information provided is misleading or incorrect.
- If you have filled the form by yourself, then you will have to check on the 1.a.
- On the chance that an interpreter has read the I 864 instructions for you in your language and you have provided the information based on what the interpreter told you, then check the box 1.b.
- If you had help from someone like a legal representative or a preparer, you need to check the box next to number 2. Add your phone number and email address and sign with a pen under the Sponsor’s signature section numbered as 6.a and 6.b.
Part 9 and 10: Interpreter and Preparer’s Contact Information:
These two parts need to be filled only if either an interpreter or a preparer fills up form i864 for you. They also need to sign the form after completing their part of the information as asked in these two parts.
Part 11: Additional Information:
You can use part 11 in the I-864 sample to feed in any additional information that you could not provide in the other parts of the form due to lack of space. You can take the print off as many pages of Part 11 as you need to provide any relevant information. Make sure to add a proper reference to the part and section you are adding the details for so it is not confusing for the USCIS to relate quickly.
Various Supporting Documents That You Need to Submit Along With the Form I864, Affidavit of Support:
Gathering the supporting documents is an important part of i864, Affidavit of Support. These documents will vary depending on individual cases and the answers that you write in the form. So make sure to provide the right information and get the supporting documents for the same as evidence. Also, remember that you will have to submit the photocopies of these documents and not the originals unless you have it mentioned in the I 864 instructions to provide the originals. In most cases, the USCIS will never ask you to submit the original copies of the documents.
In case some of your supporting documents are in a foreign language, you need to get them translated completely into English and get a certification from a professional translator stating that the documents are accurate and competent to be translated into English. Submit the copies of the actual version and the translated ones together.
List of Documents
Here’s the list of documents that you need to provide with this form
- The proof of your US Citizenship, US Nationality, or permanent residence:
- For the citizens and Nationals- you need to provide your birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, photocopy of a valid passport that has not expired.
- For green card holders- you need to submit a photocopy of both sides of your green card. If you have a passport from another country with a temporary permanent residence stamp on it, you need to provide a copy of that.
- Supporting documents related to your financial background as needed like:
- Tax transcripts of the Sponsor.
- Copies of the most current federal income tax returns of all you and the family members as mentioned in the form.
- Copies of the tax return documents of the last three years.
- W2 copies or other statements of your income.
- 1099 if applicable or any other form of income statement related.
- Evidence of all the assets and their values as stated on the form.
What are some of the common mistakes people make when they are trying to fill in the affidavit of support?
The affidavit of support needs to be filled with proper information which is why it is very important to understand what is asked in the form before filling it. Making mistakes in the form may lead to delay in the processing and even rejection of the application in some cases.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make and which you should be cautious about:
Anticipated Income for “Current Individual Annual Income”:
In many cases, it has been seen that the USCIS sends back Requests for Evidence (RFE) because of inappropriate information in this section. In Part 6 of i864, the form asks for the sponsor’s annual income. The question is pretty straightforward and means that the Agency is asking for your total current income/ earnings for the current calendar year. Now, this is pretty easy to calculate if you are in December but if you are in the middle of the year you need to make the ‘closest estimation’ of how much you are going to earn for the rest of the calendar year. This figure is without the taxes and it is only your income (sponsor’s) alone and not combined with your spouse’s or anyone else’s earnings in the household.
Calculate the Size of the Household Properly:
Oftentimes, people get confused with the number they need to put in this section which leads to misinterpretation. You need to calculate the size of your household as per the regulations. The correct way should be-
- The sponsor (yourself),
- The spouse of the sponsor (if you are/were married at the time of filing the affidavit of support,
- The dependent children who are unmarried and under the age of 21’
- Any other dependent who is listed on your federal tax returns (irrespective of whether they are your relative or not.
The income levels combined with your household must match or you might get an RFE (Request for evidence) from the USCIS.
Provide the Information of Your Assets Only if the Income if Not Meet the Poverty Guideline:
Many people think that adding the assets may help in pushing the petition up, but, unfortunately, that is not the truth. The assets are only considered if your income is not sufficient and that too, all the assets you mention should be able to be liquidated into cash within one year. This means that the options of assets limit down to bonds and stocks, real estate, savings in the bank account.
Know When to Include the Joint Sponsors:
There is often a lot of confusion about the joint sponsors, like when to put them and who can be the joint sponsors. Many people think that the joint sponsor has to be the immediate relative of the intending, but that is not the case. They can be anyone agreeing to offer financial support or sponsorship to the immigrant provided they are lawful permanent residents or US citizens. Also, their country of domicile should be the United States. If the sponsor requires two joint sponsors, then they can divide it in such a way that one sponsor can take a few and the other can take the rest.
The joint sponsor may also need to file a separate form i864 if requested by the agency. However, the correct box on the form needs to be checked to avoid any kind of confusion. Additionally, the joint sponsor needs to have a proper job and meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines to be able to support his household along with sponsoring the immigrant who is looking for a visa.
Form i864 Affidavit of Support is used by most of the family-based/ marriage-based green card applicants and some employment-based applicants as well. Remember that the responsibility of financial commitment of the sponsor remains until either the applicant gets US citizenship or has completed 40 quarters of work which is about 10 years.
Exceptions to the Marriage based – Affidavit of Support Requirements
In the case of marriage based applications, if you submit the Affidavit of Support for your spouse, and then you get divorced, your commitment for sponsorship doesn’t get terminated until:
- The above-mentioned period ends,
- The applicant or the sponsor passes away, or,
- The applicant leaves the country permanently.
This is why you need to keep an i-864 sample around, it can help you out in the worst of situations. In case the applicant or their dependents receive any public benefits (federal, state, or local), like TANF (temporary assistance for needy families, or SSI (Supplementary Insurance Income), etc., then once they become a permanent resident, the government holds the right to reimburse that from the sponsor. This means that you, as a sponsor, need to think and decide if you are ready to take this long-term responsibility or not.
It is important to note that USCIS reviews Form i864, Affidavit of Support with a keen eye which is why it is often considered one of the most complicated forms to file according to several legal professionals. If not filed properly, as per the I 864 instructions and USCIS guidelines, with all the documents and evidence to prove the sponsor’s ability to provide financial support to the applicant, even the i-864 sample cannot help you. The Agency may just reject the application for the green card or ask for additional evidence.
Who Needs to Submit Form I864, Affidavit of Support?
This is form needs to be submitted by all the immediate relatives of the US Citizen and the permanent residents like-
- Unmarried children of US Citizens who are above 21 years of age.
- Unmarried children and spouses of green cardholders.
- Married children of the US Citizen, the spouses of the married children and their unmarried and minor sons and daughters.
- The brother or sister of the US Citizen and their spouses and unmarried minor children.
- Certain immigrants who apply for a green card through an employment-based category but their application is filed by a US citizen or a permanent resident relative needs to submit the Affidavit of support. Other than that, they also need to submit this form if their relative holds a 5% or more interest/ share in the company that filed the petition.
There are some exceptional cases where the individual does not have to submit this form. They are-
- If you have already worked or have been credited with 40 quarters of work (10 years),
- If your parent is a US Citizen and you entered the country for permanent residence on or after February 27, 2001, then you would have already acquired US citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act, 2000.
When Should You File Form I864, Affidavit of Support? Does It Have an Expiration Date?
You need to submit Form i864 within one year after the sponsor signs the form. This means that if the timeline of one year lapses after it is signed, then you will need a new one as this one will no longer be accepted. But, you do need to make a note that even though you have a time of one year to file this form, the supporting documents of the sponsor’s financial background cannot be more than one year old. You will have to submit the latest federal tax return and the most recent employment letter.
Where Should You File the Affidavit of Support?
You will have to file i864 along with Form I-485 in one of the USCIS lockbox addresses given in the link depending on which category you belong to.
Remember that the chances of your petition getting approved or rejected depends on Form i864. Yes! This form is crucial which is why this Affidavit of Support needs to be perfect before filing it.
Filling out the Affidavit of Support is a lengthy process and needs to be done very carefully, so there are no mistakes that can cause a delay in the processing or denial of the application. Hope this article with the I-864 instructions helps you in filling out this form easily and submitting it successfully. Remember that evidence plays an important role in validating what you have mentioned in the form. Therefore, it is extremely important to provide proper support that can match up with the financial information you have provided.
If you are confused with any section of the form or need to know what kind of evidence you should provide, we always recommend you get the help of a legal immigration representative so you can get things done the right way.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):
If you are the sponsor and live outside the United States, then your income outside the country will not be considered for the requirements. You will either have to prove that you will have the equivalent earnings when you come to the United States or have some other job which you can meet the financial requirement as needed for the sponsorship.
A substitute sponsor is a person who replaces the main sponsor / the visa petitioner if he or she dies during the sponsorship timeframe. A substitute sponsor, however, must be a relative of the intending immigrant. People who may qualify as a substitute sponsor in terms of the relationship are spouses, adult children, parents, mother-in-law or father-in-law, legal guardians, grandchildren, etc. They also have to meet other requirements like being a US citizen or permanent resident, meeting the financial requirements, and living in the United States.