Form I-864 Breakdown: A Step-by-Step Affidavit of Support Checklist

The Affidavit of Support is a legal document used in the context of U.S. immigration to demonstrate that a sponsor has the financial means to support a foreign national who is seeking a visa to enter the United States. The primary purpose of the Affidavit of Support is to ensure that immigrants have adequate financial support and do not become a public charge, meaning that they will not rely on government assistance for their basic needs.

Various types of visas and immigration processes may require an Affidavit of Support. Still, it is commonly associated with family-based immigration, mainly when a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsors a family member for a green card (lawful permanent residency).

The sponsor, typically a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, must complete and sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to show that they have sufficient income or assets to support the intending immigrant. By signing this document, the sponsor legally commits to providing financial support to the immigrant and ensures that they will not become a burden on public assistance programs.

The Affidavit of Support aims to strengthen the U.S. government’s confidence that the sponsored immigrant will not require public assistance and will have adequate financial support while residing in the United States. It helps ensure that the immigration process is based on the immigrant’s eligibility and the sponsor’s ability to provide financial support, fostering self-sufficiency among immigrants.

Who signs the Form I-864?

The Form I-864, officially known as the “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is typically signed by the sponsor. The sponsor is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident financially supporting the intending immigrant. The sponsor must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, or a green card holder.

It’s important to note that the sponsor is legally bound by the information provided in the Affidavit of Support, and by signing the form, they affirm their commitment to support the sponsored immigrant financially. The sponsor’s responsibility is to ensure that the immigrant has the means to avoid becoming a public charge or relying on government assistance for basic needs.

In addition to the sponsor, the intending immigrant may also be required to sign Form I-864A, the “Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member,” if a household member’s income is included to meet the financial requirements. Household members willing to use their income to support the sponsored immigrant can be included in the affidavit, and they must sign Form I-864A to confirm their commitment.

It’s important to carefully review the instructions for the specific immigration process and visa category, as requirements may vary based on the circumstances of the case. Additionally, seeking guidance from an immigration attorney can be beneficial to ensure that the forms are completed accurately and in compliance with current immigration regulations.¬†Learn more¬†about the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

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Form I-864 checklist of required documents.

When preparing Form I-864, the “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” the sponsor must include several supporting documents and pieces of evidence to demonstrate their financial eligibility. The checklist of required documents for Form I-864 may consist of the following:

  • Form I-864: The completed and signed Affidavit of Support form.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency: A copy of the sponsor’s U.S. passport, birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, or green card.
  • Proof of Income:
    • Federal Income Tax Returns: Typically, sponsors must provide the most recent three years of federal income tax returns (Form 1040). If the sponsor did not file taxes, they must explain.
    • W-2s and 1099s: Supporting documents corresponding to the income reported on the tax returns.
    • Recent Pay Stubs: Sponsors may include recent pay stubs or other current employment and income evidence.
  • Employment Verification Letter: A letter from the sponsor’s employer on company letterhead, including details about the sponsor’s position, salary, and duration of employment.
  • Proof of Assets: If the sponsor relies on assets to meet the income requirements, documentation of the support should be provided. This could include bank statements, property valuations, or other relevant documents.
  • Form I-864A (if applicable): If the sponsor uses household members’ income to meet the income requirements, each household member must complete and sign Form I-864A.
  • Supporting Documentation for Other Income Sources: If the sponsor has other sources of income, such as rental income or dividends, relevant supporting documentation should be included.
  • Divorce Decrees or Death Certificates (if applicable): If the sponsor was previously married, documents showing the termination of previous marriages through divorce or the death of a spouse.
  • Proof of Current Employment: If the sponsor is currently employed, recent pay stubs and a letter from the employer may be required.
  • Proof of Alimony or Child Support Payments (if applicable): If the sponsor pays alimony or child support, documentation of these payments may be required.

It’s important to carefully review the instructions on the most recent version of Form I-864 and consult the official USCIS website or seek legal advice to ensure compliance with the specific requirements for your case. Additionally, requirements may vary based on the visa category and the particular circumstances of the sponsor and immigrant.

You can find a detailed Form I-864 checklist of required documents here.

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