Form I-864a Complete Guide

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 29, 2022

Filling out a visa or green card form can be stressful, which is why most people dread it. Form I-864a can be quite challenging to fill out. It can trigger a lot of questions and confusion, namely because there are two similar forms – I-864 and I-864a. Each of them is designated for a specific purpose. If you have questions regarding the process per se, or you’re simply looking for some guidance in this direction, we hope that this article will clarify things a bit.

What Is Form I-864a?

Form I-864A, Contract between Sponsor and Household Member, is an attachment to Form I-864 that serves as an agreement between the sponsor of an immigrant to the U.S. and a member who lives in the same household who is willing to provide financial support for the immigrant. 

Form I-864A is used when the primary sponsor does not have sufficient income and/or assets to prove that the household is capable of living at or above 125% of the U.S. poverty line. By completing Form I-864A, the member of the household or dependent allows his or her income to be used by the immigrant’s primary sponsor to meet the financial requirement.

Who Qualifies to Serve as an I-864a Sponsor?

To qualify as a sponsor, the applicant has to:

  • be a family member or dependent
  • be at least 18 years old

How to Fill out Form I-864a?

Form I-864a has 6 parts the need to be filled out to complete the applications.

Part 1: Information About the Household Member

  • Item 1 – Your full name.
  • Item 2 – Your current mailing address
  • Item 3 – If this address is the same as your physical address, select “yes”
  • Item 4 – If you selected “no” in item 3, input your physical address
  • Item 5 – Your birth date in mm/dd/yyyy format
  • Item 6 – Your place of birth
  • Item 7 – Your Social Security number, if you have one

For Item 8, if you have a USCIS online account number, enter it here. If you have previously submitted an immigration form through the USCIS website, you would have typically been issued an online account number. This number can be located by logging into your USCIS account and accessing the profile page, where your online account number will be displayed. 

Part 2: Household Member’s Relationship to the Sponsor

Select the item that best describes your relationship with the sponsor, such as whether you’re married to him or her, are a dependent, or someone residing within the same household.

Note that if you select “other dependent,” the sponsor should ideally list you as a dependent on his or her most recent federal income tax return. If you select that you are a relative of the sponsor yet not his or her spouse, you may also be required to provide proof of your relationship with the sponsor and that you reside at the same principal address.

Part 3: Supply Information About the Household Member’s Employment and Income

In this section, you should provide information about your employment status such as your current job title, the name of your employer, and whether or not you are self-employed, retired, or unemployed. 

Part 4: Include Household Member’s Federal Income Tax Information and Assets

Provide information about your total adjusted gross income from your three most recent federal income tax returns with the corresponding tax years noted. You may also provide the total value of any assets, such as bank account balances, cash value of any real estate you own, cash value of stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and any other assets. 

Part 5: Provide Sponsor’s Promise, Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature

Here, the government will request that the sponsor provide information such as the number of intending immigrants he or she is sponsoring, their names, birth dates, Alien Registration numbers, Social Security numbers, and USCIS online account numbers, contact information, his or her signature, and the date.

Part 6: Provide Household Member’s Promise, Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature

This section should include information such as the household member’s name, the names of the intending immigrants that were listed in Part 5 of the form, contact information, signature (or signature of a parent or legal guardian, if applicable), and details on whether or not an interpreter assisted with the for

Form I-864A Cost

There is no fee for submitting Form I-864A to USCIS.

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When Can the Intending Immigrant Serve as a Household Member?

This is another common question on the topic of I-864a. You should know that there are circumstances in which the intending immigrant might utilize his/her own income to meet the requirements imposed by the law. How is this possible? Or better said, what sense does this make?

There are many cases in which the main sponsor doesn’t meet the financial requirements imposed to file the petition in the first place. In this condition, finding someone that can help is possible and advisable.

Meanwhile, in case the intending immigrant works and earns an income, including the immigrant’s income is an option. Even so, there are still some conditions one has to meet. Essentially, the intending immigrant should live in the same household as the main sponsor. Simultaneously, the intending immigrant should demonstrate that the source of income will remain unchanged even after getting a permanent residence.

Another typical scenario would be if the intending immigrant is the spouse of the main sponsor. The same condition outlined above applies in this case as well. However, note that the income should derive from lawful employment. In case the immigrant spouse has lived in the US for some time, the petitioner doesn’t need to complete form I-864 in the first place. This is applicable in the situation in which the immigrant has already earned 40 quarters of Social Security coverage. What does this mean?

Well, this indicates that the immigrant has worked for roughly ten years or so in the US. There is also the scenario of being married to a person that worked in the US for at least 10 years. This is an extraordinary scenario in which the immigrant should fill out a different form – namely the Form I-864W, in order to request an exemption.

In the case in which the intending immigrant is considered a sponsor as well in the application process, one doesn’t have to sign the form I-864a, as is the case for other household members.

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