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Navigating the Affidavit of Support Checklist: Form I-864 Essentials

An Affidavit of Support is a document often required as part of the U.S. immigration process, particularly for family-sponsored or employment-based immigrants. The Form I-864 is used to provide this affidavit, and it is typically submitted by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is willing to sponsor an immigrant and financially support them.

Here is Form I-864 checklist to help you ensure that you have all the necessary documents and information when completing the Affidavit of Support:

  • Form I-864: Download the most current version of Form I-864 from the official USCIS website.
  • Personal Information: Make sure you have all the necessary personal information for both the sponsor and the intending immigrant, including full names, addresses, dates of birth, and A-numbers (if applicable).
  • Proof of Status: If you are a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to provide a copy of your U.S. passport, certificate of citizenship, or naturalization certificate. If you are a permanent resident, provide a copy of your green card (Form I-551).
  • Proof of Income: This is one of the most crucial aspects of the I-864. You must provide evidence of your income and the ability to financially support the immigrant. This may include:
    • Tax returns (Form 1040) for the most recent year.
    • W-2s or 1099s for the most recent year.
    • Pay stubs or employment letters.
    • Any additional evidence of income sources (e.g., business ownership, assets, pensions).
  • Employment Verification: If you are employed, you will need to provide a letter from your employer on company letterhead, verifying your current employment, position, and income. The letter should be signed by an authorized representative of the company.
  • IRS Transcript: You may need to include a copy of your IRS tax return transcript or a signed copy of your federal income tax return from the most recent year.
  • Assets: If your income is not sufficient to meet the income requirements, you can include information about your assets, such as bank account statements, property deeds, and other financial resources.
  • Sponsor’s Dependents: If you are sponsoring more than one immigrant or if you have dependents, be prepared to provide proof of financial support for all of them.
  • Intending Immigrant’s Documents: Gather the intending immigrant’s financial documents, such as employment letters, bank statements, or any other financial assets they may have.
  • Supporting Documents: Any supporting documents that demonstrate your financial ability to support the intending immigrant, such as proof of residence, birth certificates, and marriage certificates.
  • Translations: If any of the documents are in a language other than English, you may need to provide certified translations.
  • Filing Fee: Ensure that you include the correct filing fee with your Form I-864. The fee amount can change, so check the USCIS website for the latest information.
  • Photocopies: Make clear, legible photocopies of all the necessary documents.
  • Review and Sign: Review the completed Form I-864 and all accompanying documents for accuracy and completeness. Sign the form where required.
  • Mail the Affidavit of Support: Follow the instructions on the USCIS website to determine where to mail the Form I-864, as the mailing address may vary depending on the sponsoring family member’s location.

How to fill out Form I-864 step-by-step

Filling out Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support, is an important step in the U.S. immigration process, particularly for family-sponsored immigrants. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you complete Form I-864 correctly:

Step 1: Download the Form You can download the most current version of Form I-864 from the official USCIS website. Make sure you have the latest version, as the form may change over time.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Documents Before you start filling out the form, gather all the necessary documents and information. This includes your financial information, proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, and any supporting documentation for the intending immigrant.

Step 3: Section 1 – Information About You (the Sponsor) Fill in your personal information in this section, including your full name, address, date of birth, and contact details. Make sure to use your legal name and provide accurate information.

Step 4: Section 2 – Information About the Immigrant You Are Sponsoring Provide the intending immigrant’s information, including their full name, A-number (if available), and relationship to you.

Step 5: Section 3 – Information About the Sponsor’s Household Size List the number of people in your household, including yourself, your dependents, and the intending immigrant.

Step 6: Section 4 – Information About the Immigrant’s Assets If the immigrant has assets they intend to use to support themselves, provide details here. This may include information about the immigrant’s property, bank accounts, or other financial assets.

Step 7: Section 5 – Sponsor’s Employment and Income In this section, provide detailed information about your employment, income, and tax history. Include:

  • Your current employer’s name and address.
  • Your job title.
  • Your gross income from the most recent tax year.
  • Information about other sources of income (if applicable).

Step 8: Section 6 – Sponsors Contract Sign and date the form in this section. By signing, you are attesting to the accuracy of the information provided.

Step 9: Section 7 – Sponsor’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature Complete this section with your contact information and a declaration of your intent to provide financial support. Sign and date this section as well.

Step 10: Supporting Documents Attach the required supporting documents, including tax returns, W-2s or 1099s, employment verification letter, proof of citizenship or permanent resident status, and any additional evidence of assets or income.

Step 11: Review Carefully review the completed Form I-864 and all attached documents to ensure accuracy and completeness. Make sure that you have signed all the necessary sections.

Step 12: Make Copies Make clear, legible photocopies of the entire form and all supporting documents for your records.

Step 13: Mail the Form Refer to the USCIS website or the specific immigration instructions for the correct mailing address and any associated filing fee. Verify the latest filing fee amount before submitting your application.

Step 14: Keep Copies Keep a copy of the entire application package and any receipts or notices you receive from USCIS for your records.

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