Step-By-Step Guide To Completing An Affidavit Of Support

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How to fill out Form I-864?

Filling out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, can be a detailed process, as it requires accurate financial and personal information. This form is used to sponsor an immigrant applying for a U.S. visa or green card, and it demonstrates that the sponsor has the financial means to support the intending immigrant. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you fill out Form I-864 correctly:

Note: This is a general guide, and it’s important to refer to the official USCIS instructions and the most current version of Form I-864 from the USCIS website before completing the form.

  • Download the Form: Obtain the most recent version of Form I-864 from the USCIS website.
  • Read the Instructions: Before you begin filling out the form, carefully read the instructions provided with the form. Make sure you understand the purpose of each section and the eligibility requirements.
  • Gather Required Information: Collect the necessary information and documents, including tax returns, income information, and financial records.
  • Personal Information (Part 1): Provide your name, address, date of birth, and other personal details.
  • Sponsored Immigrant’s Information (Part 2): Enter the information of the immigrant you’re sponsoring, including their name, relationship to you, and their A-Number (if applicable).
  • Household Size (Part 3): Indicate the number of people in your household, including yourself, dependents, and sponsored immigrants.
  • Income (Part 4): This section requires you to provide information about your income, assets, and employment. You’ll need to provide documentation to support your income claims, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and employment verification letters.
  • Federal Income Tax Information (Part 5): Provide information about your most recent federal income tax return, including the filing status, exemptions, and total income.
  • Household Member Information (Part 6): List the names and relationship to you of all the members in your household, including dependents and sponsored immigrants. If any household members filed a Form I-864A, list them here.
  • Contract Sponsor’s Agreement (Part 7, if applicable): If you’re using a joint sponsor (Form I-864A), they need to complete Part 7.
  • Sponsor’s Statement, Contact Information, and Signature (Part 8): Review the information you’ve provided and sign and date the form. Ensure the signature is clear and matches your other official documents.
  • Interpreter’s Contact Information (Part 9, if applicable): If you needed an interpreter to complete the form, provide their information here.
  • Preparer’s Contact Information (Part 10, if applicable): If someone else helped you fill out the form, provide their information here.
  • Review and Check for Accuracy: Carefully review the form to ensure all information is accurate and complete. Double-check calculations, spelling, and the correct entry of numbers.
  • Gather Supporting Documents: Attach all required supporting documents, which may include tax returns, pay stubs, W-2 forms, and other financial evidence.
  • Make Copies: Make copies of the completed Form I-864 and all attached documents for your records.
  • Submit the Form: Follow the submission instructions in the USCIS form instructions. This might involve submitting the form along with your immigration application or as requested in an RFE.

Remember that Form I-864 is legally binding, and providing false information or making false statements can have serious consequences. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the form, consider seeking assistance from an immigration attorney or qualified immigration consultant to ensure that you’re providing accurate and complete information.

Who needs to fill out Form I-864?

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, needs to be filled out by a U.S. citizen or a U.S. lawful permanent resident (green card holder) who is sponsoring an intending immigrant for family-based immigration or certain employment-based immigration categories. The purpose of Form I-864 is to demonstrate that the sponsor has the financial ability to support the intending immigrant and ensure that they will not become a public burden in the United States.

Here are some common scenarios where Form I-864 might need to be filled out:

  • Family-Based Immigrant Visas:
    • S. citizens or green card holders sponsoring spouses, parents, and unmarried children (under 21) for immigration.
    • S. citizens sponsoring siblings.
  • Employment-Based Immigrant Visas:
    • S. citizens or green card holders sponsoring family members of the principal beneficiary (the primary worker) for certain employment-based immigration categories.
    • This can include family members of workers with employment-based visas like EB-3 (skilled workers, professionals, and other workers) or EB-4 (special immigrants) categories.
  • Diversity Visa Lottery Winners:
    • Individuals selected in the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery program are required to have a sponsor who fills out Form I-864.
  • Certain Special Immigrant Categories:
    • Individuals applying for certain special immigrant categories, such as widows/widowers of U.S. citizens, self-petitioning battered spouses or children, and certain religious workers.

It’s important to note that not all immigrants require a Form I-864. For example, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21) usually require this form, but other family preference categories might have different requirements for financial support documentation.

Additionally, joint sponsors or co-sponsors might be needed in cases where the primary sponsor’s income doesn’t meet the necessary financial requirements. Joint sponsors also need to fill out Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, to indicate their commitment to financially support the intending immigrant.

Each situation is unique, and the specific requirements for Form I-864 can vary depending on factors such as the immigration category and the sponsor’s financial situation. If you’re unsure whether you need to fill out Form I-864 or if you need assistance with the process, consider consulting an immigration attorney or qualified immigration consultant for guidance.

What documents must be submitted with an Affidavit of Support?

When submitting Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, along with your immigration application, you need to provide supporting documents to verify your financial capacity to sponsor the intending immigrant. The required documents help demonstrate that you can financially support the immigrant without relying on government assistance. Here are the typical documents that should be submitted along with Form I-864:

  • Tax Documents:
    • Copies of your most recent federal income tax returns (Form 1040) and all applicable schedules. If you were not required to file taxes due to low income, provide an explanation.
    • W-2 forms for the most recent tax year.
  • Proof of Current Income:
    • Recent pay stubs covering the most recent six months or employment verification letters indicating your current job, salary, and length of employment.
    • If self-employed, provide proof of income such as business ownership documents, profit and loss statements, and business tax returns.
  • Proof of Assets:
    • Bank statements showing your account balances, investments, and other liquid assets.
    • Proof of ownership and valuation for real estate properties or other valuable assets.
  • Employment Letter:
    • A letter from your employer on company letterhead, confirming your job position, salary, and the length of your employment.
  • Proof of Dependents:
    • If you’re including dependents in your household size, provide evidence of their relationship to you, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates.
  • Proof of Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence:
    • A copy of your U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or green card to confirm your status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Joint Sponsor’s Documents (if applicable):
    • If you’re using a joint sponsor to meet the income requirements, they need to provide similar documents to demonstrate their financial capacity.
    • The joint sponsor also needs to submit a completed Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member.
  • Translations:
    • If any of the supporting documents are not in English, provide certified translations.
  • Other Supporting Documentation:
    • Any additional documentation that strengthens your case, such as evidence of additional income sources, bonuses, investments, or other financial resources.

Always check the latest USCIS instructions and guidelines for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the required documents to submit with Form I-864. It’s also a good idea to keep copies of all documents for your records. If you have any uncertainties about the documentation or the process, consider seeking guidance from an immigration attorney or qualified immigration consultant to ensure that you’re providing the appropriate evidence.

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