Definitions

I-864 Affidavit of Support: a form that the American petitioner files with the USCIS to establish that the visa applicant (wife) will not become a public charge. The law requires that the sponsor document that he has sufficient income to support the beneficiary. The income requirements are determined yearly and can be seen on form I-864P and below in this article.

Public Charge: A person who is likely to primarily depend upon the government for financial support and subsistence.

 

Governing Law

INA Section 212(a)(4)

Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), states that an individual seeking a Fiance visa or Marriage visa will not be issued a visa unless the applicant establishes that she will not be or become a “public charge.”
INA Section 213(a)

Marriage visa applicants can satisfy the public charge provision of INA 212(a)(4) by submitting an I-864 Affidavit of Support from their American petitioner. INA rules require that the sponsor document that he has income that is at least 125% of the poverty guideline for the current year.

 

Introduction

The I-864 Affidavit of Support is integral part of the Marriage visa process. The American petitioner must execute and file this affidavit with the U.S. government. This is a precondition to
the marriage visa being issued. The purpose of the I-864 is to ensure that the marriage visa applicant will not be dependant on the U.S. government for financial support. The I-864 sponsor must document that he has sufficient income, as outlined in form I-864P. If the sponsor does not have sufficient income the I-864 will not be considered effective.

 

Affidavit of Support Requirements

U.S. Based earnings

The income used to satisfy the affidavit of support must be from U.S. based employment or self employment. An exception is available for U.S. Military and employees of Department of Defense Contractors.

Assets Instead Of Earnings

For Marriage visas and Adjustment of Status cases it is possible to document enough liquid assets and home equity as a substitute for earnings. The sponsor must document $3.00 of Assets for each $1.00 of Income he seeking to replace with assets.

Affidavit of Support Joint Sponsorship

A joint financial sponsor is authorized for all Marriage visa cases in which the primary sponsor does not have sufficient income.

Sufficient and Stable Income as determined by the tables below

The American sponsor must document that he has sufficient income as determined by the Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines. For purposes of the Affidavit of Support, income is defined as: gross earnings after all business deductions as reported on the sponsor’s federal income tax return. Unemployment income is counted as income, however, the USCIS is not enthusiastic about that income due to its lack of stability. The best income for the affidavit of support comes from the following sources:

  • Employment Income
  • Self-Employment Income
  • Investment Income
  • Pensions
  • Other Retirement Income
  • V.A. Benefits
  • Social Security Benefits

 

Affidavit of Support Income Guidelines

2017 Fiancé Visa HHS Poverty Guidelines
For the 48 Contiguous States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $16,240 $20,300
3 $20,420 $25,525
4 $24,600 $30,750
5 $28,780 $35,975
6 $32,960 $41,200
7 $37,140 $46,425
8 $41,320 $51,650
Add $4,180 for each additional person. Add $5,225 for each additional person.

For Alaska:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $20,290 $25,362
3 $25,520 $31,900
4 $30,750 $38,437
5 $35,980 $44,975
6 $41,210 $51,512
7 $46,440 $58,050
8 $51,670 $64,587
Add $5,230 for each additional person. Add $6,537 for each additional person.

For Hawaii:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $18,670 $23,337
3 $23,480 $29,350
4 $28,290 $35,362
5 $33,100 $41,375
6 $37,910 $47,387
7 $42,720 $53,400
8 $47,530 $59,412
Add $4,810 for each additional person. Add $6,012 for each additional person.


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