Immigrant Affidavit of Support Package

Citizen Concierge web-based assistance assists you with effectively getting ready Structure I-864 (Affidavit of Support). Get the inner harmony that everything is done accurately or your cash back.

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  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
  • Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
    (additional $25 per I-864A if needed)
  • Form G-1145, e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Personalized instructions with a supporting document checklist

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Form I-864 Guide (Affidavit of Support) – How To Fill Out These Forms Correctly

Form I864 is a document that people who want to be sponsored by friends or relatives to come to the United States need to fill out. The form indicates that the sponsor or joint sponsors can financially support the intending immigrant.

The United States Government is trying to avoid using its funds to provide financial support to immigrants. This form I864 Affidavit of Support guarantees to the authorities that the immigrant has sturdy enough financial backing to be allowed in the country.

If a person fills out the form correctly, will they be granted a visa and legal access to the United States?

Form I864, or I-864, is part of a longer process that can effectively conclude with a person being granted a visa to enter the country. Filling out the form correctly is not the only step that people wanting to be part of this process must complete. It is, however, one of the more important ones.

Checking the Requirements for Each Specific Visa Type

Before stressing out about having to file a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, it’s important to check with the National Visa Center if the visa type that a person is soliciting requires this document.

People who are offered a job in the United States may have to apply for a different type of visa, which means they may not use this particular form as people getting help from family members to immigrate would.

It wouldn’t be a big deal to complete a form that’s not needed for the process. However, investing time and effort into something unnecessary is not ideal in any situation. It’s also worth noting that presenting the wrong documents when applying for a visa can slow down the process.

Top 8 Questions about Form I-864 Affidavit of Support

People often have plenty of questions about Form I-864. Here are a few of the most common. Hopefully, these can help give readers a better sense of when the form is required and who qualifies as a joint sponsor.

Who Needs to Fill out Form I-864?

There are usually two types of immigrants who are going to be required to fill out this form as part of their immigrant visa application process.

The spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident may need to fill out this form to apply for a visa, for example. Other family members of lawful permanent residents may also need to fill out Form I-864.

Overall, family-based visa applications tend to cover most people who will need to fill out this form. There are instances, though, where a person applying for a work permit as a sponsored immigrant backed by a company may also need to meet this requirement.

Who Can Serve as a Financial Sponsor?

Any financial sponsor must have lawful permanent resident status in the United States. They must also be at least 18 years old to qualify. The sponsor doesn’t need to be a direct relative of the person that they want to sponsor. What they must prove is that they have the financial resources to support the intending immigrants.

The only exception to that rule of people not being related is when a spouse applies to be the financial sponsor for their significant other. There are unique specifications in these cases, but sponsors don’t need to be related in other situations.

What Does the Sponsor’s Income Need to be To Qualify?

The first requirement that a sponsor must provide evidence of is having an income of at least 125 percent above the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This is not a set number; it depends on the sponsor’s household size. If more household members already rely on one income, that person may need to show they have other financial assets to reach the threshold.

Suppose a sponsor owns stocks, bonds, or even property assets. In that case, those can also be considered to ensure that the total value is enough to provide the necessary financial support.

What Are the Federal Poverty Guidelines?

Federal Poverty Guidelines are basically an income threshold to represent where the poverty line is in every state. That means the amount of money a sponsor must prove they have varies not only due to their household size; the state that the sponsor lives in will also dictate the financial terms.

In California, the poverty guidelines for one household member currently sit at around 14,000 dollars of annual income. If the sponsor’s household features four people, that number can go up to 30,000 dollars. That’s why people with a large household may need to look for a joint sponsor if another family member wants to immigrate to the United States.

Are the Income Requirements for Sponsoring a Spouse Lower?

It’s not necessarily that the income requirements are going to be lower for people looking to sponsor a spouse. The national average income requirement to sponsor a spouse is around 24,000 dollars. What can make it easier, though, is that the spouses can contribute with part of the income.

Spouses who can provide proof that they own property in the United States could make the immigration process easier on themselves. Ideally, in these situations, one spouse will be the primary sponsor. That could help make the household member situation lighter, especially for a pair of newlyweds.

However, the spouse can only serve as the primary sponsor if they are a lawful permanent resident of the country. When that’s not the case, even if a person is married, they’d need to find another sponsor.

Can Someone File an Affidavit of Support Form After Receiving a Job Offer?

This is one of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re not familiar with the process, and they’re not getting help from a specialized agency providing legal counsel. Filling out Form I-864 directly after getting a job offer in the United States will probably not get that person closer to obtaining an immigrant visa.

The process of getting sponsored by a company to work in the United States is usually completely different from the family-based options that typically need to submit a Form I-864. Companies will usually hire an agency for this type of procedure. It’s a good idea to wait for the signal from them before submitting any forms.

Can a person submit a separate visa petition just based on a job offer? The short answer here is no; the company will usually be the one to contact the National Visa Center in these situations. There are different requirements in that sponsoring process, as was just stated.

Are All Visa Applicants Required to Fill Out Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

Again, not every visa applicant will have to submit Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. The good news in some cases is that an intending immigrant doesn’t need to have family in the United States to apply for some visas. Getting sponsored by a company is a perfect example for these employment-based immigrants.

That’s why it’s important to not stress out about any forms until the person knows that they must fill out a specific request.

It’s also essential to point out that Form I-864 is not the only form with a similar name that applies to citizenship and immigration services. Intending immigrants should truly double-check which immigration form they need for their specific process.

Can These Forms Be Filled Out Without the Help of a Lawyer?

Form I-864 Affidavit of Support is one of the more complex forms to fill out. This is particularly due to the different financial elements and the need for supporting documents that typically accompany the form. That doesn’t mean that only a lawyer or a special immigration agency is capable of filling out these forms.

There are great tools that individuals without a ton of experience with these forms can use to help them along the way. That’s the case for the Affidavit of Support form, form I-130, and other options.

How Does the Process Work for Joint Sponsor Cases?

In these situations, each petitioner will have to file their own form. Within the form, they must indicate if they are a joint sponsor of the intending immigrant. The reason why each joint sponsor needs to file a form is because all of them need to provide proof that they are a U.S. Citizen or otherwise lawful permanent resident.

Each person may also need to present supporting documentation to justify their income. Proof of the salary that they perceived through valid balance sheets from a banking institution can serve as supporting documents. There are other ways to prove ownership of different assets as well, but in any case, all of these will be part of the necessary documentation.

Filling out Form I864 – Items to Avoid on the Document

It can be really intimidating to try to fill out Form I-864 with all of the different boxes that need to be checked. Perhaps the most important element in this entire process, though, is making sure to not make any marks on the boxes that have the legend “For USCIS Use Only.”

Another one of the boxes that intimidate people is located right at the top and asks for the personal information of the attorney who’s filling out the form. There’s no need for an attorney to sign this Affidavit of Support document unless it is, in fact, an attorney who’s completing the form.

There’s another element at the very end of Form I-864 that asks for the personal information of the person who filed the form. Those details need to be filled out when it wasn’t, in fact, the intending immigrant who filled out the form. Otherwise, all of those boxes need to be left blank.

What Can Happen If These Forms Get Filled out Incorrectly?

It depends on the severity of the issue. It’s one thing to have a typo or to accidentally fill out one of those boxes that are meant to be used by government officials. The forms are likely going to get sent back in these cases. This means it will take more time to obtain the immigrant visa.

The intending immigrant will likely be frustrated by the slow process, but as long as the documents are returned for revision before the appointment at the consulate, the consequences won’t be as severe. When the form gets sent back over a technicality, and applicants have already attended their appointment at the consular offices, the setback can be considerably more severe.

In those situations, consular officers can look unfavourably at the request, even if the intending immigrant returns with the right information a second time around. These issues could emerge not only while filling out Form I-864 but also other documents that are part of the process.

Each document needs to be filled out carefully to avoid setbacks in the process.

Lying on an Affidavit of Support Form

This is something that should never be done. People who lie on these forms can be hit with perjury charges. In these situations, not only will the sponsored immigrant never get a visa, but the financial sponsor will also be in court facing charges.

It’s important to ensure that the sponsor’s income stated in the Form I-864 document is backed by supporting documents. Assets such as cryptocurrency holdings may not look great on these forms unless the sponsor has paid a federal income tax on them.

Anything that’s claimed as an asset in the Form 1-864 form needs to appear in the financial sponsor’s income tax return documents. Otherwise, that financial sponsor could get themselves in trouble with the IRS.

Ways to Get Help Filling Out These Documents

Traditionally, hiring a law firm to oversee these cases was the only way to get help filling out these forms. In some situations, these law firms ended up charging large amounts of money just because they had people who knew the proper way to apply for these visas.

The correct form to solicit these visas comes down to knowing what to write down on the Form I-864 document. These days, sites such as this one can provide support forms to give people a sense of what they must do to complete the form.

People don’t need to pay for overly expensive immigration services, especially when there’s a family-based sponsor who has the necessary assets to accept financial responsibility for their family member.

When Do Supporting Documents Get Added to the Application?

The Form I-864 document has been properly completed at this point in the process. What happens with the rest of the supporting documentation? When does that need to be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC)?

In the past, many of these documents needed to be presented directly to the consular officers when an appointment was set. Since the pandemic, some of these requirements have changed. Many supporting documents are now sent along with the initial request, that is Form I-864.

Regardless of when each document must be presented to the U.S. government, it’s a good idea to keep everything on file and have it ready on the day of the appointment. Consular officers may request very specific information during the interview process. Arriving at that interview fully prepared is a must.

Things Sponsors Should Know about Family-based Immigrants

There’s a good reason why most financial sponsors who would like to file Form I-864 are family members of the intending immigrant listed on the form. The petitioning sponsor becomes responsible for the impending immigrant for a long time.

That’s why most companies who want to sponsor immigrant workers will look into other visa options. The financial sponsor is expected to provide that financial support for more than 10 years in some cases. In fact, the commitment is so serious that divorce doesn’t remove the spouse from their sponsor duties if that’s how the other half of the couple obtained an immigrant visa.

When Do the Responsibilities of the Sponsor End?

Form I-864 does not expire unless the intending immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen or has worked 40 quarters of work in the country. Those 40 qualifying quarters can take up to 10 years to complete.

The only other reason that the form will expire is if the immigrant decides to leave the country.

Until any of these instances are met, the sponsor has a financial responsibility over the family member they helped immigrate to the United States. Due to the level of commitment that this immigration method requires, some people are unwilling to go through with the process.

Can an Intending Immigrant Self-Sponsor Their Visa?

If an intending immigrant can’t find financial support from family members, what can they do to obtain a visa? There are a couple of avenues that allow immigrants to self-sponsor their US visas. The E1 visa is a popular way for investors to live and work within the United States without having a formal job offer from a local company.

This visa is only available to foreign nationals from a limited set of countries that have trade treaties in place with the United States. It also requires people to show proof of having or planning large investments within the country.

Another option would be to apply for an EB1A visa, which is a “special immigrant” visa. The person who applies for this visa needs to prove that they are a gifted individual within their line of work. World-class athletes, scientists, and movie stars are some foreign nationals who can apply for this type of visa.

Exploring Options for Employment-Based Immigrants

As previously stated, not all employment-based immigrants will use the I-864 Affidavit of Support option to solicit entry into the country.

The trouble with many of these employment-based visa options is that the company sponsoring the immigrant has to prove the person has skills that are rare amongst US-based workers.

It’s not that the applicant must have a gold medal or an Academy Award, as may be the case with the EB1A visa. The process can still be complex and taxing, though. That’s why many companies will avoid it altogether if they can.

Situations Where a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support Application Makes Sense

There tend to be popular scenarios where family-based immigrants will heavily benefit from this type of visa application. Mothers of foreign workers who still live in their country of origin typically make their way to the United States after one of their offspring becomes a U.S. citizen.

The spouse or child of someone who’s been offered a job in the country will also benefit from this immigration method.

There are two issues that typically make this immigration method complicated. One of them is the minimum income requirement. That can be fixed through a joint sponsor alternative.

What could make this immigration method potentially unviable for larger families is the household member rules. The more people that live in the house, the more money and assets a sponsor needs to help their family member immigrate to the U.S.

Final Thoughts on Form I-864 Affidavit of Support

This Form I-864 Affidavit of Support migration option can be a very effective way for families to reunite in the United States. The process for applying to sponsor a family member isn’t as complex as many people would’ve imagined. Perhaps the biggest issue is the responsibility that the petitioning sponsor will take on.

It’s important for the petitioning sponsor to have everything set up the right way before sending any of the papers in. In fact, it could be a good idea to ensure that they can provide financial support well beyond the required 125 percent above the poverty guidelines when they send the petition.

Having everything ready once the documentation is sent to the U.S. government will make not only approval more likely, but the process will definitely be much smoother.