General Information about the I-864, Affidavit of Support A Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is required for most family-based U.S. immigrants to show that they have adequate means of financial support and that they are not likely to become a public charge. A Form I-864 is a contract between the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner in a family-based immigration case and the U.S. government. A sponsor must show on the Form I-864 that he or she has enough income and/or assets to maintain the intending immigrant(s) and the rest of your household at 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. By signing Form I-864, the sponsor is agreeing to use his or her personal resources to support the intending immigrant(s) named in the form, if it becomes necessary. The submission of this form may make the sponsored immigrant ineligible for certain federal, state, or local means-tested public benefits because an agency that provides means-tested public benefits will consider the sponsor’s resources and assets as available to the sponsored immigrant in determining his or her eligibility for the program. If the immigrant(s) sponsored in this affidavit receives one of the designed federal, state or local means-tested public benefits, the agency providing the benefit may request that the sponsor repay the cost of those benefits. That agency can sue the sponsor if the cost of the benefits provided is not repaid. Requirements to be an I-864 Sponsor The petitioner in most family-based immigration applications must be the sponsor on Form I-864. The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age, live in the United States, and be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Income Requirements for the I-864 The sponsor must also demonstrate that his or her income is at least 125 percent of the current federal poverty guideline for the sponsor’s household size. The most recent federal poverty guidelines are found on Form I-864P, which is attached to this informational packet. The sponsor’s household size includes the sponsor, and the following individuals, no matter where they live: the sponsor’s spouse, any dependent children under the age of 21, any other dependents listed on the sponsor’s most recent federal income tax return, all persons being sponsored in this affidavit of support, and any immigrants previously sponsored with a Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ form whom you are still obligated to support. Documentation required for the I-864 Affidavit of Support In addition to completing Form I-864, the sponsor must provide the following documentation:
- Evidence that the sponsor is a U.S. citizen (copy of identity page of the sponsor’s U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate) or lawful permanent resident (a copy of the front and back of the sponsor’s Alien Registration Card);
- A current letter from the sponsor’s employer detailing the terms of employment (a sample letter is attached) and current paystubs;
- A copy of the sponsor’s most recent federal income tax return and W-2s;
- Copies of the sponsor’s previous two years of federal income tax returns and W-2s (not required, but encouraged).
Joint Sponsors If the petitioner does not meet the income requirements for the Form I-864, a joint sponsor may file a separate Form I-864 in addition to the petitioner’s Form I-864. A joint sponsor must meet all the requirements to be a sponsor, as well as the income requirements described above. Additionally, a joint sponsor must be willing to be held jointly liable with the petitioner for the support of the intending immigrant. The joint sponsor does not need to be related to the petitioning sponsor or the intending immigrant. The same documentation listed above is required to be filed with a joint sponsor’s Form I-864. Legal Liability of Joint Sponsors and Conflict of Interest Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. represents the petitioner and intending immigrant of this family-based immigration application. As such, Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. does not represent any joint sponsor(s) for the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This is because there is a potential conflict of interest between the petitioner and intending immigrant and any joint sponsor. If you would like information on the legal obligations and liabilities of joint sponsors beyond the general information provided in this page, then you will need to seek advice from another immigration lawyer. The information provided in this letter is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact an immigration attorney for additional information and/or legal advice about the contents of this web page.