Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes when Gathering an Affidavit of Support Checklist of Documents

What is Form I-864?

Form I-864, officially titled “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is a crucial document in the immigration process for certain family-based visa applicants to the United States. The purpose of Form I-864 is to demonstrate that a sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident has the financial means to support the intending immigrant and prevent them from becoming a public charge, meaning they won’t rely on government assistance.

The form is legally binding, and the sponsor’s commitment to financially support the intending immigrant is legally enforceable. By signing Form I-864, the sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the immigrant and to reimburse any government agencies that provide means-tested public benefits to the immigrant.

Key points about Form I-864:

  • Sponsor’s Responsibility: The sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident assumes the role of a financial sponsor and commits to supporting the intending immigrant financially until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, earns 40 qualifying quarters of work (usually ten years of work), dies, or leaves the United States permanently.
  • Minimum Income Requirement: The sponsor’s income must meet or exceed 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for their household size. If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, they may use assets and the income of certain household members to meet the requirement.
  • Joint Sponsor: If the sponsor’s income is inadequate, a joint sponsor can also provide an Affidavit of Support to meet the financial requirement. The joint sponsor is typically a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who meets the income requirements.
  • Supporting Documents: The sponsor must provide documentation to prove their income, including tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and employment verification letters.
  • Form I-864A: If the sponsor’s household members are contributing to the income, they must also complete Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member.
  • Use with Immigrant Visa Applications: Form I-864 is required for certain immigrant visa applications, including family-sponsored preference categories and immediate relative categories (spouses, parents, and unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens).
  • Enforceable Obligation: Signing Form I-864 creates a legal contract between the sponsor, the immigrant, and the U.S. government. In case the sponsored immigrant receives means-tested public benefits, the government has the right to seek reimbursement from the sponsor.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and instructions for Form I-864 can change, so it’s recommended to consult the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date information and forms. Additionally, consider seeking professional guidance, such as consulting an immigration attorney, to ensure that you understand the obligations associated with the Affidavit of Support and complete the form accurately. Read more “list your business in the” “free and paid submission to the” “add your site” statistics

Affidavit of Support Checklist

Preparing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) for a family-based immigration application is a critical step in demonstrating your financial ability to support the intending immigrant and prevent them from becoming a public charge. Here’s Form I-864 checklist of documents and information you’ll need when completing the Affidavit of Support:

  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support:
    • Complete Form I-864 accurately and legibly.
    • Use the most recent version of the form available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
  • Sponsor’s Information:
    • Full legal name of the sponsor (and any joint sponsors).
    • Sponsor’s U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status.
    • Sponsor’s contact information (address, phone number, email).
  • Intending Immigrant’s Information:
    • Include the name of the intending immigrant.
    • Indicate the relationship between the sponsor and the intending immigrant.
  • Household Size and Composition:
    • Provide the number of people included in the sponsor’s household, including the intending immigrant and any dependents.
  • Income Documents:
    • Most recent federal income tax returns (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for the past three years (if applicable).
    • Any required tax transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if tax returns are not available.
  • Employment Verification:
    • Recent pay stubs or employment verification letter.
    • If self-employed, provide evidence of income and ownership of the business.
  • Assets Documentation:
    • Documentation for assets, such as bank statements, property appraisals, and other asset valuations.
  • Joint Sponsor’s Information and Documents (if applicable):
    • If using a joint sponsor, include their information and relevant income and asset documents.
  • Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member (if applicable):
    • If including the income of household members, complete and include Form I-864A along with their supporting documents.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency:
  • Copy of the sponsor’s U.S. passport, birth certificate, or green card.
  • Financial Documentation:
  • Supporting documents such as W-2 forms, pay stubs, tax transcripts, and employment verification letters.
  • Documents proving assets’ ownership and value, if applicable.
  • Translation of Documents:
  • If any documents are not in English, include certified translations.
  • Signatures:
  • Ensure all required signatures are provided on the Form I-864.
  • Check for Accuracy:
  • Double-check that all information provided is accurate and matches the supporting documents.
  • Supporting Documentation for Special Circumstances:
  • If applicable, provide any additional documentation to explain special circumstances that affect the sponsor’s financial situation.

Remember, this checklist is a general guideline, and the specific requirements can change over time. Always refer to the most current instructions on the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information. Completing the Affidavit of Support accurately is essential to avoid delays in the immigration application process.

How to fill out Form I-864

Filling out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, correctly is crucial for the immigration process. This form is used to demonstrate your financial ability to support the intending immigrant and ensure they don’t become a public charge. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out Form I-864:

  • Download and Review the Form:
    • Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to download the most recent version of Form I-864 and its instructions.
    • Carefully read the instructions before you start filling out the form.
  • Gather Information and Documents:
    • Collect information about your income, assets, and other required details.
    • Obtain supporting documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and financial records.
  • Sections of Form I-864: The form consists of several sections. Here’s a breakdown of the key sections:
    Part 1 – Information About You (the Sponsor):

    • Complete your personal information, including your name, contact details, and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency information.
  • Part 2 – Information About the Immigrant You Are Sponsoring:
    • Provide information about the intending immigrant, including their name and relationship to you.
  • Part 3 – Household Size:
    • Determine the number of people in your household, including yourself, your spouse, any dependents, and the intending immigrant.
  • Part 4 – Income:
    • Enter your income information, including your current job, employment history, and total income.
    • If you are using the income of household members or joint sponsors, provide this information as well.
  • Part 5 – Sponsor’s Contract:
    • Read the sponsor’s contract carefully and make the required certifications.
  • Part 6 – Additional Information:
    • Answer the questions in this section based on your specific circumstances.
  • Supporting Documents:
    • Attach all required supporting documents to verify your income, assets, and other information provided on the form.
    • Include copies of tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, bank statements, and other relevant financial records.
  • Form I-864A (if applicable):
    • If you’re including income from household members, complete Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, and attach it to Form I-864.
  • Signatures:
    • Ensure that you and any required joint sponsors or household members sign the form where indicated.
  • Check for Accuracy:
    • Carefully review all the information you’ve provided and double-check the accuracy of numbers and details.
  • Filing the Form:
    • Make a copy of the completed form and all attached documents for your records.
    • Follow the instructions in the USCIS guidelines to submit the form along with your application package.
  • Retain Copies:
    • Keep copies of the completed form and supporting documents for your records.

Remember that this is a general guide, and the instructions may change. Always refer to the most current version of Form I-864 and the official USCIS instructions when filling out the form. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the form or the immigration process, consider seeking professional advice from an immigration attorney or qualified expert.

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