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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT FOR FAMILY IMMIGRATION

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: My parents are applying for permanent residence. As their Petitioner, which form do I have to use for the Affidavit of Support?
A: You can use the short form Affidavit of Support known as Form I-864EZ if you, the Petitioner will be the only sponsor, the immigrant sponsored is the only one in the underlying petition and you are depending only upon your income from employment to satisfy the requirements under the affidavit of support. If you need a joint sponsor as your income is insufficient or you are relying on other sources of income in addition to income from your employment and there are several intending immigrants, then you must use Form I-864 Affidavit of Support.
Q: How do I determine if my income is sufficient to meet the affidavit of support requirements?
A: You will need to look at most recent Poverty Guidelines. This can be found under Form I-864P at www.uscis.gov, under “Forms”. The I-864P lists the respective amounts of minimum income based on the number of people in the sponsor’s household and the number of family members immigrating. You must be able to show that your income or assets are at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines level for the appropriate size of household members and the intending immigrant(s). For sponsors on active duty in the Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child under 21 years old, their income or assets must be at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. For example, if a Petitioner (not on active duty in the Armed Forces) has a spouse and two dependent children in his or her household and with one intending immigrant, the calculation will be like this – look at Form I-864P for 2018 HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support. Assuming you do not live in Alaska or Hawaii, you will look at the top half of the I-864P covering the 48 contiguous states. Look under the column marked 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines (for all other sponsors). Here, the income to meet the affidavit of support requirements for say 5 persons ie. 4 household members and 1 intending immigrant will be $36,775.00.
Q: What documents do I need to include with the I-864 Affidavit of Support?
A: Together with the completed and signed Affidavit of Support demonstrating that your income is sufficient to meet the income requirements, you will need to submit your Federal Tax Returns for the most recent tax year including the Form(s) W-2 for that year, evidence of your current employment and proof of your US Citizenship or permanent residence.
Q: My income alone is insufficient to satisfy the affidavit of support requirements to sponsor my mother, so I need to include my husband’s income. We both file joint tax returns every year. How do we do the affidavit of support to include his income?
A: In your Form I-864, you will include information that you are including the income of your household member, specifically, your spouse. To be a household member, your spouse must be at least 18 years old and his income must be the result of lawful employment or derived from lawful sources. You will both also sign Form I-864A Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member and submit it with your I-864 and all supporting documents.
Q: My wife has worked in the US for many years and accumulated more than 10 years of Social Security as she had TN visa. Do I, the Petitioner still need to provide an affidavit of support for her permanent residence application? She is adjusting status based on marriage to me, a US Citizen?
A: If she has accumulated at least 40 Quarters of earnings, she is exempt from Affidavit of Support requirements. She just needs to submit Form I-864W with her permanent residency application to claim this exemption from the Affidavit of Support requirements.
Q: What other sources of income qualify for the Affidavit of Support?
A: Apart from income from employment, you may use income from other sources such as alimony, child support, interest or dividend income and income from retirement such as pension and Social Security income.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration Lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. If you require advice or assistance, you may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.


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