GUIDANCE FOR PREPARING AND SUBMITTING USCISFORM I-864A & SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
Last Updated June 13, 2023
Official USCIS Instructions: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-864ainstr.pdf
WHY DOES A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER COMPLETE FORM I-864A?
A household member completes this contract if the household member’s income and/or assets will be used to demonstrate the sponsor’s ability to meet the income requirements and to maintain the sponsored immigrant at an annual income at the level specified in INA section 213A(f)(l)(E) or section 213A(f)(3).
If the Intending Immigrant Is a Household Member, Must He or She Complete This Contract?
If you are the intending immigrant and the sponsor is including your income on Form I-864 to meet the eligibility requirements, you need to complete this contract only if you have accompanying dependents. If you are the intending immigrant and the sponsor is including only your assets on Form I-864, you do not need to complete this contract, even if you have accompanying dependents.
Filing Fee: There is no filing fee to file Form I-864A with USCIS.
Where do I file? This contract MUST be filed with Form I-864.
WHO COMPLETES THIS FORM?
The sponsor and a household member complete and sign this form. If either the sponsor or the household member is under guardianship, the guardian of that individual’s estate (financial affairs) may sign the form.
- In most cases, the sponsor must be the individual who filed the visa petition for the intending immigrant. By signing this form, the sponsor agrees to financially support the intending immigrant who is applying for either an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.
- If the individual who filed the visa petition has died, a substitute sponsor may sign this form along with a household member.
- If there is a joint sponsor, the joint sponsor may sign this form along with a household member.
- By signing this form, a household member agrees to help the sponsor, substitute sponsor or joint sponsor financially support the intending immigrant because the sponsor, substitute sponsor or joint sponsor does not meet the income requirements to financially support the intending immigrant on his or her own.
- If the sponsor alone is unable to provide full financial support to the principal immigrant and his or her family members, the sponsor may include income from a household member by filing Form I-864A. The sponsor needs to submit taxes and W2’s if he or she is not using an IRS printout, or provide a reason for not filing taxes.
Supporting Documents Checklist
The following items must be submitted with Form I-864A:
For ALL sponsors:
- A copy of your individual Federal income tax return, including W-2s for the most recent tax year, or a statement and/or evidence describing why you were not required to file. Also include a copy of each and every Form 1099, Schedule, and any other evidence of reported income. You may submit this information for the most recent three tax years, pay stubs from the most recent six months, and/or a letter from your employer if you believe any of these items will help you qualify.
For SOME sponsors:
- If your legal guardian is signing this Form I-864A for you, the legal guardian must present:
- Proof of the appointment as legal guardian of your estate; and
- A copy of an order from the appointing court or agency specifically permitting the legal guardian to make your income and assets available for the support of the sponsored immigrant
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I CALCULATE MY HOUSEHOLD SIZE?
The Form I-864 asks for the financial sponsor’s household size. When calculating their household size, sponsors must include:
- Their spouse,
- Any children by birth, marriage, or adoption living in the sponsor’s residence,
- Anyone else claimed as a dependent on the sponsor’s tax return for the most recent year, regardless of whether they are related to the sponsor or have the same principal address as the sponsor,
- The principal visa applicant,
- Any derivative applicants who plan to immigrate within six months,
- Any other people in the United States whom the sponsor is supporting on a different Form I-864, if the obligation has not terminated, and
- Any nondependent siblings, parents, or adult children who reside in the sponsor’s household who are not dependents, if they complete a Form I-864A.
A sponsor does not have to include people on other I-864s who have not yet immigrated to the United States.
A financial sponsor, including a petitioner, must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The sponsor must also have a domicile (residence) in the United States.
Petitioners must meet a minimum income level, called the Federal Poverty Guidelines, in order to financially sponsor a visa applicant. The Poverty Guidelines in effect on the filing date of an Affidavit of Support are used to determine whether the income requirement is met. You can find these guidelines on USCIS’ website or below.
Petitioners who cannot meet this level have two choices: 1) find a “joint sponsor” who will agree to also financially support the visa applicant, or 2) use the income of a household member to meet the Poverty Guidelines. These additional financial sponsors also have to submit an Affidavit of Support, proof of their income, and proof of their legal status in the United States. Remember: Even if a petitioner finds a joint sponsor or uses the income of a household member to financially sponsor a visa applicant, that petitioner must still submit an Affidavit of Support.
For more information see our Guide to Completing Form I-864A
You can download the guide here