What is an Affidavit of Support?


An affidavit of support is filed by anyone who wants to sponsor an immigrant. They apply both to employment-based sponsorships and family sponsorships. 

The form used is Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support.

How does the affidavit of support work?

The affidavit of support shows our government that the immigrant you are trying to sponsor into the United States will not become a public charge. The sponsor’s application is scrutinized almost as closely as the immigrant’s is. 

Once you fill out the Affidavit you are essentially making a contract with the United States government that says you will pay for that person’s food, shelter, water, clothing, medical care, and other needs until they become a US citizen, have received 40 quarters of coverage, departs the United States, or dies. 

The I-864 is prepared and submitted with your I-130 or form I-140. You must include proof that you meet all the requirements, including proof of resources. 

Who can be a sponsor? 

You can be a sponsor if you are a United States Citizen or permanent resident who is 18 years old or older. Your income must be more than 125% of the federal poverty line. You also need to prove that you live in the United States. 

If you are in the armed forces there are some modifications to your requirements. There are also times when you can add the income of other members of your household, obtain a joint sponsor, or use assets to meet the requirements. 

Who does not need an affidavit of support?

Some immigrants do not require an affidavit of support.

  • Those who have already earned 40 qualifying credits of work in the United States.
  • Those who can be credited with quarters worked by one’s spouse during the marriage, or a parent if under 18 years of age. May only be claimed if you are still married to that spouse, or if that spouse has died, and only for quarters worked during the marriage.
  • A child who will become a US Citizen upon admission to the US under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. 
  • Self-petitioning widows or widowers, or battered spouses or children of a US Citizen, with an approved Form I-360 Petition.

As you can see even determining whether you need an Affidavit of Support is extremely complicated. The form is more complex still. 

Don’t try to sponsor an immigrant alone. Even small mistakes on the Affidavit could end the immigrants chance at achieving lawful permanent residence status. Instead, reach out to Hykel Law to ensure that the entire application package is correct the first time, and that you have submitted sufficient evidence to make the entire process run smoothly.

See also:

What is Conditional Permanent Residence? 

Is My Family Member Eligible For Immigration?

7 Ways to Get a Green Card

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