I-864, Affidavit of Support:
Federal Tax Returns; Other Supporting Documents; and Multiple Sponsors
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is a contract between the Government and an Individual in which the Individual sponsors the immigrant who is coming to the United States. The purpose of this Affidavit is to “show that [the intending immigrant] has adequate means of financial support and are not likely to become a public charge.” (See Instructions for Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA).
What happens if it is time to submit a case to USCIS sometime between January 1 and tax day, and the sponsor is yet to file their Federal Tax Return?
While filling the Form I-864, the sponsor will be asked to provide information regarding their adjusted gross income for the past three years. Additionally, sponsors are required to submit at least their most recent Federal Tax Return. Best practice is to always submit the past three years of Federal Tax Returns.
Because the intending immigrant’s interview date will likely be post-tax day, the sponsor will have to submit an updated Form I-864 and their newest Federal Tax Return before the intending immigrant’s interview. Even if the sponsor files for a tax extension, sponsors will have to submit proof of such extension. Bottom line, when considering sponsorship, it is best to file Federal Tax Return’s before the initial filing to USCIS to prevent slow processing times at the National Visa Center, a U.S. Consulate abroad, and Interviews being held at Local USCIS Offices.
Is there any additional supporting evidence which ought to be submitted to ensure adequate sponsorship?
Most Recent three years’ worth of W-2’s
Most recent 6 months’ worth of pay stubs: These pay stubs will help Immigration Officials to determine current annual income of the sponsor. Keep in mind, it is highly likely these pay stubs will have to be updated between USCIS processing and the interview.
Assets: (Bank Statement, Stocks, Mortgage Documents) Assets should only be used when the sponsor’s income is insufficient. (“Only assets that can be converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner may be included.” See Instructions for Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA.)
How can Income be combined between Multiple Sponsors?
More than one sponsor can combine income (and assets) with another sponsor only if they are members of the same household. The Household Member and Primary Sponsor must complete Form I-864A, Contract between Sponsor and Household Member, in order to do so.
The Form I-864A is an attachment to Form I-864. The Primary Sponsor will still have to complete Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The combined signing of Form I-864A “constitutes an agreement that the household member is responsible along with the sponsor for the support of the [intending immigrant].” (See Instructions for Contract between Sponsor and Household Member)
Can multiple sponsors exist in the same case if they are not members of the same household?
Yes, however each co-sponsor must fill out their own Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The income (and assets) between co-sponsors not from the same household will not be combined. In this instance, at least one of the sponsors filing a Form I-864 must satisfy the income requirement on their own.
Where does the Income Requirement come from?
The income requirement necessary for sponsorship is outlined by the 2016 HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support. The requirements can be found at the following link: https://www.uscis.gov/i-864p