frequently asked questions on I-864 Affidavit of Support Affidavit of Support
Here at The Ranchod Law Group, we assist our clients in preparing and filing form I-864, Affidavit of Support, on their behalf or on behalf of their family member. In doing so, we field an array of questions; the most common ones and their answers are as follows.
- Does my income qualify to serve as my family member’s sponsor?
- What is the difference between a joint sponsor and a substitute sponsor?
- My income is below the requirement for my household, what can I do?
- I have obtained a joint sponsor, do I (the petitioner) still have to submit an I-864 form for my relative?
- Does the joint sponsor have to be related to petitioner or the beneficiary?
- I am sponsoring my relative, what documents do I need to provide?
- What documents will my joint sponsor need to provide?
- I am sponsoring my relative, but I did not file taxes last year. What should I do?
- I filed for an extension on my federal tax return last year, but have not received the tax return statement yet, what should I do?
- I am sponsoring my relative and am self-employed. Will this affect my relative’s application?
Does my income qualify to serve as my family member’s sponsor?
What is the difference between a joint sponsor and a substitute sponsor?
The joint sponsor must be able to meet the guideline without combining income or assets with the petitioning sponsor or a second joint sponsor. However, there can be no more than two joint sponsors. A joint sponsor must be at least 18 years old and must either be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident, and domiciled in the U.S.
A substitute sponsor is a term used to describe a person that is taking the place of a petitioning sponsor who died after the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative was approved, but before the applicant obtained a green card. There are more specific requirements for substitute sponsors, including that the substitute sponsor must either be a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen and there must be a certain familial tie to the immigrant. These relations are listed on the I-864 form instructions.
My income is below the requirement for my household, what can I do?
One option is to obtain a joint sponsor. Alternatively, you may use your assets to meet the requirement. Assets that can be
converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner may be included
Examples of assets can include the net value of your home, savings, and checking account balances. An automobile may not be included as an asset unless it can be shown that the sponsor has more than one working automobile that is not included as an asset already.
When using assets to qualify if sponsoring your spouse or child under 18, the “total value of assets must be equal to at least three times the difference” between your income and the guidelines. For example, if the gap between your income amount and the guidelines minimum is $2,000, then the total value of your assets must be equal to or exceed (3 x $2,000), which equal $6,000.
I have obtained a joint sponsor, do I (the petitioner) still have to submit an I-864 Affidavit of Support for my relative?
Does the joint sponsor have to be related to petitioner or the beneficiary?
I am sponsoring my relative, what documents do I need to provide?
In addition, you must also provide your Federal Tax Return statement for the last year, and copies of your Form W-2‘s. It is optional to provide a letter from your current employer showing wage/salary and position.