Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

USCIS Form I-864

Joe October 2, 2020

With questions please contact us at: class_question@1stchoicealliance.com

With questions please contact us at: class_question@1stchoicealliance.com

Form I-864 is referred to as the Affidavit of Support and is required for a majority of family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants. Part of a sponsor’s responsibilities includes a promise to the U.S. government, and to the immigrating relative, that the sponsor will financially support the relative if necessary. Immigration law says that immigrating relatives cannot become public charges dependent on public assistance.

So if your client is sponsoring a relative for permanent residence, they will have to file Form I-864 with or after the I-130 to fulfill this financial promise.

Form I-864 is not just a formality. This form is a legally binding contract between your client, their relative, and the United States. If for some reason the relative does acquire permanent residence but is not able to support himself or herself financially in the U.S., your client can be held liable for providing financial support.

If your client is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and is sponsoring a family member to immigrate to the United States, they will likely need to file one or more of the I-864 Affidavit of Support forms with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose is to show that the client’s immigrating relative will not become a public charge, because they will either support him or her, or reimburse any government agency from which the relative claims need-based assistance.

Who Should Use Form I-864?

Your client will likely need to file an I-864 if they have filed (or intend to file) any of the following petitions to sponsor an immigrant for U.S. residence:

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative; perhaps for a spouse, child, sibling, or parent, or

Form I-140, if your client has a 5% or more interest in a business that filed an employment-based immigrant visa petition for your spouse, parent, son, daughter, or sibling to immigrate and work for that business.

Unless they qualify for one of the exemptions described under the discussion of Form I-864W below, your client must submit Form I-864 even if the income is NOT sufficient to sponsor the immigrant. In that situation, however, one of the options to make sure the immigrant’s green card application is successful is to look for a joint sponsor, living in the U.S., whose income and/or assets equal at least 125% of the Poverty Guidelines, taking into account both the number of people in the joint sponsor’s household and the number of incoming immigrants. The joint sponsor would also sign a Form I-864, thereby promising to provide any and all financial support necessary to assist you in supporting the immigrant(s).