Top Questions on form I-864

What is Form I-864?

The Affidavit of Support is the form used by most family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants to show that their coming to the United States will not create a public charge on the government. 

There are many questions about Form I-864. The Affidavit of Support, which is among the most complicated applications.  The instructions are about 20 pages. Foreigners need lawyers to help fill out the Affidavit of Support. Those who make a mistake on the Affidavit of Support can get a rejected residency or denied Green Card.

Do Do I Need to File Form I-864?

In most family-based cases, a Petitioner has a responsibility to file an application known as the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864.  The Petitioner is the person sponsoring the foreigner, filing a petition for the foreigner to come to the US. They must file the Affidavit of Support even if they are unemployed, studying and not receiving income, or receiving very little income. 

One of the top questions is whether an Affidavit of Support is needed at all, because filing one is a time investment. If the Petitioner has died or it is a self-petition Green Card, such as asylum or the Violence Against Women Act, an Affidavit of Support is not required.

How Much Money Do I Need to Make?

The Petitioner’s Household Income needs to be 125% more than the poverty guidelines unless the Petitioner is an active duty armed forces petitioning for spouse or child.  

This amount changes depending on the size of the household.  A larger household needs more money to stay out of poverty.  In addition, the amount required changes year to year.  While $20,000 might have been enough to keep a household of four out of poverty in 2015, it will not be enough in 2025.

The updated chart is available on the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service here.

If you do not make enough money for Form I-864, your Blandon Law attorney will work with you on several other options. These include using the Petitioner’s assets, using the income of the Beneficiary, or using the income of another member of the household.  The simplest option is sometimes to prepare an Affidavit of Support to be signed by any U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.  This person is known as a Joint Sponsor.

Fortunately, Blandon Law attorneys are experienced in preparing Immigration applications. We do not charge additional fees to answer our clients’ questions.  If you are trying to learn how to fill out Form I-864, call for a consultation. We will explain our process and let you know how reasonable our full-case, flat legal fees are.