Supporting Futures: The Role of Affidavit of Support in Immigration

The Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is a crucial document in the immigration process, often required for family-sponsored immigrants and employment-based immigrants. The form is used to demonstrate that the intending immigrant has adequate financial support and will not become a public charge in the United States. Here is Form I-864 checklist to help you gather the necessary documents for the Affidavit of Support:

  • Completed Form I-864: Make sure that the form is accurately filled out, signed, and dated by the sponsor.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency: Provide a copy of the sponsor’s U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).
  • Proof of Income:
    • Tax Returns: Provide copies of the sponsor’s federal income tax returns for the most recent three years.
    • W-2 Forms: Include copies of the W-2 forms for the same three-year period.
    • Recent Pay Stubs: Attach the most recent pay stubs to demonstrate current income.
  • Employment Verification Letter: Include a letter from the sponsor’s employer on company letterhead, stating the sponsor’s position, salary, and the duration of employment.
  • Proof of Assets: If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, they can use assets to supplement their financial support. Include evidence of assets such as bank statements, property deeds, or other valuable holdings.
  • Proof of Relationship to the Immigrant: If the sponsor is a family member, provide evidence of the relationship, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or adoption decree.
  • Divorce Decrees or Death Certificates: If the sponsor has been previously married, provide divorce decrees or death certificates for any prior spouses.
  • Form I-864A (if applicable): If the sponsor’s household includes other adults contributing to the household income, they should fill out Form I-864A.
  • Proof of Current Employment: Include recent pay stubs or an employment verification letter for any additional household members contributing to income.
  • Proof of Domicile: Demonstrate that the sponsor is domiciled in the United States, often with documents such as a mortgage statement, lease agreement, or utility bills.
  • Form I-864EZ (if applicable): If the sponsor meets the criteria for using the simplified version of the affidavit (Form I-864EZ), they can use this form instead.

Ensure that all documents are copies unless specifically instructed to provide originals. It’s essential to review the most recent version of Form I-864 and the accompanying instructions on the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, as requirements may change. Additionally, consulting with an immigration attorney or seeking guidance from USCIS can help ensure accuracy and completeness in the submission of the Affidavit of Support.

How to Fill Out Affidavit of Support – Form I-864

Filling out the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, is an important step in the U.S. immigration process, particularly for family-sponsored immigrants. The form is used to demonstrate that the intending immigrant has the financial support necessary to avoid becoming a public charge. Here’s a general guide on how to fill out Form I-864:

Step-by-Step Guide for Form I-864:

1. Download the Form:

  • Obtain the latest version of Form I-864 from the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

2. Read the Instructions:

  • Before you start filling out the form, carefully read the instructions provided by USCIS. The instructions provide essential information on how to complete each section.

3. Complete Part 1: Information About You (Sponsor):

  • Provide your personal information, including your name, address, date of birth, and other details. Ensure accuracy and use the same information as on your green card or citizenship application.

4. Complete Part 2: Information About the Immigrant You Are Sponsoring:

  • Enter the intending immigrant’s information, including their name, address, and relationship to you.

5. Complete Part 3: Household Size:

  • Indicate the number of people you are sponsoring, including yourself, dependents, and the intending immigrant. USCIS uses this information to determine the minimum income requirement.

6. Complete Part 4: Income:

  • Provide details about your income, assets, and employment. If you’re relying on income from a joint sponsor, they should also complete this section.

7. Complete Part 5: Sponsor’s Contract:

  • Sign and date the form in Part 5. By signing, you are making a legally binding agreement to support the intending immigrant(s).

8. Complete Part 6: Additional Information:

  • Use this section to explain any additional information that may support your case or clarify any unusual circumstances.

9. Supporting Documents:

  • Include required supporting documents, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and evidence of income/assets. Make sure you include the necessary documents to prove your financial capability.

10. Check for Accuracy:

  • Review the completed form for accuracy and completeness. Any errors or missing information can delay the processing of your application.

11. Submission:

  • Mail the completed form along with supporting documents to the address provided in the instructions.

12. Fees:

  • Check the USCIS website or the instructions to confirm if any filing fees are required and include the payment with your application.

Additional Tips:

  • Ensure that all signatures are original and not photocopied.
  • Keep copies of the completed form and all supporting documents for your records.
  • If you’re unsure about any part of the form, seek guidance from an immigration attorney.

Form I-864 Instructions

General Form I-864 instructions:

  • Part 1 – Information About You (the sponsor):
    • Provide your full name, address, and contact information.
    • Include your date of birth, place of birth, and social security number.
    • Indicate your immigration status and Alien Registration Number (A-Number) if applicable.
    • Include your household size and the number of immigrants you are sponsoring.
  • Part 2 – Information About the Principal Immigrant You Are Sponsoring:
    • Include the immigrant’s full name, date of birth, place of birth, and A-Number (if available).
  • Part 3 – Additional Information About the Sponsor:
    • Provide information about your employment, income, and assets.
    • Attach documentation to prove your income, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and recent pay stubs.
  • Part 4 – Information About the Immigrant You Are Sponsoring:
    • Include details about the immigrant’s income, assets, and any accompanying family members.
  • Part 5 – Sponsor’s Household Size:
    • List all dependents in your household, whether or not they are immigrating with the sponsored immigrant.
  • Part 6 – Sponsor’s Contract:
    • Sign and date the form, affirming that you understand the obligations of a sponsor.
  • Part 7 – Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature (if applicable):
    • If an interpreter assisted in completing the form, provide their information and have them sign.
  • Part 8 – Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Affidavit, if Other Than the Sponsor (if applicable):
    • If someone else prepared the form on your behalf, provide their information and have them sign.

Remember that it’s crucial to read the specific instructions provided with the form, as they may contain important details, updates, and requirements. Additionally, USCIS may update forms and instructions, so always check for the latest version on their official website. If in doubt or if you encounter any difficulties, consider seeking advice from an immigration professional or legal counsel.

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