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In this article, we will talk about two important forms – Form I-864, and Form I-864EZ. Without beating around the bush, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Form I-864 is referred to as the “Affidavit of Support” under the INA Act. This basically means that you’re taking complete financial responsibility of the person you’re intending to help immigrate into the U.S.
In accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, this form shows that you, as a sponsor or petitioner, have adequate financial measures to take care of the beneficiary. The main purpose, as far as the US government is concerned, is that the immigrant will not rely on the government financially and thus become a public charge.
When sponsoring a person or more than one person, you can sponsor solely, as a co-sponsor, or as a joint-sponsor. This form needs to be submitted along with other immigration forms, like the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
Once you sign the form, you (along with your co-sponsors, if any) agree to all the terms and conditions. The most important one of which is that you’ll take care of the beneficiary if they’re not able to do so. However, you can be relieved of these responsibilities once the immigrant becomes a US citizen or gets credited with at least 40 quarters of work.
Besides family-based immigration, this form is also used for few employment-related immigration purposes.
Form I-864EZ is dubbed as a smaller or easier version of the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form is desired when there’s only one person listed on the Form I-864 petition. So you’re only sponsoring a single person. This is applicable for immediate relative petitions too.
If you’re using this form, you will be restricted from co-sponsoring. So you need to take the sole responsibility of the beneficiary.
The current edition date is 3/6/18. This can be found on the bottom of the instructions page.
The new edition was brought about by the USIC on August 14th, 2019 was made effective on Oct. 15, 2019. Some minor changes were made to the format. Note that the USCIS will accept the new updated edition if it is postmarked on or before October 14. However, if the postmarked date is on or beyond the 15th of October, then it will be rejected.
In order to file the I-864EZ, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria laid out by the USIC. Those are:
Getting approvals on any immigration form is a tough task. There are many things you need to consider before you submit the I-864EZ. But your petition will instantly be rejected for the following terms:
It’s better to check against the above terms before filing the Form I-864EZ.
The form I-864EZ consists of a total of 10 pages. In addition to that, you’ll receive a 17-page instruction booklet. In this section, we’ll briefly cover the instructions presented in the same booklet. Here are the main steps involved:
This form can be downloaded from the official website free of charge. Alternatively, you can obtain it via mail by requesting USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
All of the affidavits must be signed and filed properly. Any typewriting work or stamp instead of the signature will not be accepted. At the time of signing, you must be 18 years old and above. If not, you should be accompanied by a legal guardian.
There are no filing fees involved for form I-864EZ. However, there are processing and reviewing fees of $120. For more information, visit travel.state.gov.
Along with filing the form, you need to submit all the supporting evidence mentioned in the form. This should be listed specifically for each category on the form itself.
After you’ve done with the documentation work, you’ve appeared for a face-to-face interview and afterward provide fingerprints. This will be scheduled at a convenient time at a designated USCIS Application Support Center.
Most of the work is done and after that, you’ll have to provide photocopies and translated work, if any.
The form itself consists of 9 parts. Here’s what each part consists of:
This part has three items which deals with qualifying you and the sponsor for applying the I-864EZ. There are just yes or no questions.
This part has six items and will ask basic identifiable question about the green card aspirant. All are self-explanatory.
This section deals with you and consists of 15 fields. Again, all are self-explanatory.
It consists of only one section and five sub-sections. You need to mention all the people currently dependable on you.
This part has 5 fields which ask your current and past employment details. You might be required to obtain tax transcripts.
This part deals with the contract specifically. You’re requested to read and understand all the terms and conditions.
This section needs to be filled if you’re using an interpreter to fill out the form I-864EZ.
If anyone other than the sponsor has prepared the affidavit, then he/she is required to fill out this section. Everything is self-explanatory.
Any additional document which might be required or requested for.
If you’re sponsoring a child who’s under 18 years of age, or a self-petitioning widow, or a self-petitioning battered child, or a child who’ll immediately be granted American citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, then you can use the I-864W form. If the applicant has already earned the required 40 quarters of work, then this form is used too.
Any US citizen or permanent lawful resident can complete the form.
Must be 125% higher than the federal poverty line. For military personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, this is 100%.
You, your spouse (if any), and your children even if you don’t have their legal custody.
Until the person you’ve sponsored becomes an American citizen or completes 40 quarters of work.
This brings us to the end of this article. As is evident, there is a subtle but important difference between Form I-864 and Form I-864EZ. In case of any queries, write to us in the comments below.
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