Overview on USCIS Affidavit of support form

You must accept legal responsibility of the financial requirements of the family member you bring into the US to live permanently with you.  By completing and signing a document, namely the Form I-864, called the affidavit of support you accept this responsibility and become the relative’s sponsor. Until that relative becomes a US citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work this legally enforced responsibility lasts on you.

Affidavit of Support for whom?

If you are bringing a relative to the US this USCIS Form I-864, the affidavit of support must be completed and submitted by you. Filing the Petition for Alien Relative, an USCIS Form I-130 or Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative, the USCIS Form I-600 is part of the process completion.

For all immediate relatives of US citizens who include parents, spouses and unmarried children under age 21, including orphans this affidavit of support is required.  Under any one of the following family-based preferences the relative needs to qualify for immigration to the United States:

  • First Preference: Adult meaning 21 years or older sons and daughters who are unmarried.
  • Second Preference: The lawful permanent resident’s spouses and sons and daughters who are unmarried, regardless of age and their children who are not married.
  • Third Preference: The US citizen’s married sons and daughters, their spouses and their minor children who are not married.
  • Fourth Preference: Adult US citizen’s brothers and sisters, their spouses and their minor children who are not married.

For a relative you must complete a Form I-864 if you are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and filed an employment-based immigration petition namely USCIS Form I-140. The affidavit of support needs to be completed if you have a significant ownership interest say 5% or more in a business your relative works for and which filed an employment-based immigrant petition.

Self-petitioning widows or widowers or battered spouses and children after USCIS approval do not require this. Instead Form I-360, the Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant needs to be filed. Affidavit of support is not required for relatives who entered as refugees or asylees also.

A original affidavit of support and accompanying documents are required for all relatives for whom you file a separate I-130 or I-140 petition. For any spouse or children immigrating along with your relative and listed on the petition you may submit photocopies of the completed affidavit of support. In the case of these family members photocopy of the accompanying documentation is not required. For parolees, students and diversity immigrants type of aliens the Form I-864 is not used for sponsoring. If an immigration or consular officer insists a different affidavit of support Form I-134 is used. The Department of State does charge a fee when the Affidavit of Support is reviewed domestically, although USCIS does not charge a fee for this form.

In title II of the Social Security Act there is no need to submit a Form I-864 if the immigrant can show either that he/she has already worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters as defined. As amended by the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, the immigrant is the child of a citizen and that the immigrant, if admitted for permanent residence on or after February 27, 2001, would automatically acquire citizenship under Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and needn’t Apply for US citizenship.

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