I-864 Affidavit of Support for Green Card Application
Updated on 11/02/2020
As you probably know, there are many steps involved in getting a green card. Besides completing an immigration application, for many green cards, you will need to get someone to sponsor you. The I-864 Affidavit of Support is the form in which a person declares that they will be able to support an immigrant financially if such immigrant cannot support himself or herself after becoming a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Acquiring an I-864 sponsor helps to ensure that immigrants will not be subject to the public charge, such as welfare or food stamps.
At DYgreencard, we can help you prepare an I-864 Affidavit of Support with all supporting documents that meet USCIS (or NVC if applicable)’s requirements. It will be fully reviewed by an immigration attorney to make sure its accuracy and completeness. Learn more about what we can do for you.
1. What is an I-864 Affidavit of Support?
An I-864 affidavit of support is a signed promise to financially back a green card applicant should they be unable to support themselves. It is executed by completing immigration Form I-864.
A United States citizen (USC) or lawful permanent resident (LPR) needs to think seriously before pledging to sponsor a green card applicant, as the signed contract is legally binding. Moreover, an affidavit of support sponsor will usually need to be a green card holder’s financial backup for many years.
2. Who needs an I-864 Affidavit of Support?
There are several immigration categories that require an I-864 affidavit of support. However, not all groups of intending immigrants need an I-864.
Green card applicants who do not need an Affidavit of Support
Green card applicants who should get an Affidavit of Support
3. Who can be an I-864 sponsor?
To be an I-864 sponsor, one must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is at least 18 years of age and domiciles in the U.S. Moreover, a sponsor must also maintain an annual income equal to or greater than 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. Check our article Income or Asset Requirements for I-864 Affidavit of Support to determine whether your income or assets meet the sponsorship requirement.
Intending immigrants who are family-based green card applicants generally have their petitioning family member in the United States serve as their sponsor. As such, this petitioner (the person who submits the Form I-130 or I-129F) must complete the Form I-864. If their income or assets do not exceed 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for their household, a joint sponsor may be required. A joint sponsor is someone who declares that they will accept legal responsibility for supporting the intending immigrants along with the original affidavit of support sponsor. Click here to learn about an I-864 joint sponsor.
Not sure if you are eligible to be an I-864 sponsor or joint sponsor? Schedule a consultation with a skilled immigration attorney for $100 only!
4. What are the sponsorship obligations under I-864?
Signing a Form I-864 affidavit of support should not be taken lightly, as immigration sponsors do have important obligations. Specifically, if the sponsored immigrant receives federal, state or local means-tested public benefits, the agency providing the benefit may ask the sponsor (and household member, if applicable) to repay the cost of those benefits. If the sponsor (or household member) does not repay the cost, the agency can sue the sponsor (and household member) and obtain a court order for repayment.
5. When will the sponsorship obligations under I-864 end?
A sponsor’s sponsorship obligations under I-864 will be released if one of the following situations happens:
Please note divorce does NOT end the sponsorship obligation.
6. Penalties for filing a false I-864 Affidavit of Support
Persons who intentionally provide information that they know is untrue on a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, can be criminally prosecuted. This includes knowingly concealing facts that the sponsor thinks might hurt the case. Additionally, the green card petition will be denied by the USCIS adjudicator in such situations.
It is not wise to assume that the USCIS will not verify all of the information that you include in the affidavit. The U.S. government does indeed check with a sponsor’s employer and banking institution to make sure that their earnings and savings are accurate. The USCIS may also check with the IRS to ensure that the I-864 sponsor’s tax forms are valid and unchanged.
7. Can a sponsor withdraw I-864 sponsorship?
A sponsor can withdraw the I-864 sponsorship by writing to USCIS (or NVC if applicable) before the sponsored immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident. As long as the sponsored immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident, the sponsor cannot withdraw the I-864 sponsorship.