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.
What is Form I-864?
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.
What is Form I-864EZ?
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.
Who is Eligible for Form I-864EZ?
In order to file the I-864EZ, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria laid out by the USIC. Those are:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident residing in the U.S.
- Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of filing the petition.
- Must have an income which is 125% above the federal poverty line. For active military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces, this is 100%.
- You must not be sponsoring more than one person. If you are, then file the I-864 instead.
- As you’re the sole sponsor in this form, the financial condition is based entirely on your salary, pension. The income you show should reflect accordingly in IRS Form W-2 supplied by your employer.
- You, as a sponsor, must prove that the U.S. is your country of domicile.
- By marriage, both spouses need to be physically present in the U.S.
Who is Ineligible for Form I-864EZ?
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:
- The person/relative you’re sponsoring isn’t the only person immigrating and there are more than one people. These may or may not be dependents or derivative members.
- You’ve already filed a Form I-140 or are planning to do it for the immigrant you’re sponsoring. The Form I-140 is called Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.
- You’re applying as a co-sponsor or joint sponsor.
- You’re classified as a substitute sponsor, in which case you’re filing the petition on behalf of someone who has died.
- Part of the income you’ve mentioned in the form comes from business or any joint venture which is not stable.
It’s better to check against the above terms before filing the Form I-864EZ.
How to Fill Out 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:
Getting the Form
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.
Form I-864EZ Instructions
The form itself consists of 9 parts. Here’s what each part consists of:
Part 1: Qualification
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.
Part 2: Information on the person you’re sponsoring
This part has six items and will ask basic identifiable question about the green card aspirant. All are self-explanatory.
Part 3: Information about you
This section deals with you and consists of 15 fields. Again, all are self-explanatory.
Part 4: Information on your household
It consists of only one section and five sub-sections. You need to mention all the people currently dependable on you.
Part 5: Sponsor’s employment information
This part has 5 fields which ask your current and past employment details. You might be required to obtain tax transcripts.
Part 6: Sponsor’s contract, statement, declaration, and certification
This part deals with the contract specifically. You’re requested to read and understand all the terms and conditions.
Part 7: Interpreter’s information and affirmation
This section needs to be filled if you’re using an interpreter to fill out the form I-864EZ.
Part 8: Contract Information and Declaration
If anyone other than the sponsor has prepared the affidavit, then he/she is required to fill out this section. Everything is self-explanatory.
Part 9: Additional Information
Any additional document which might be required or requested for.
Form I-864EZ FAQ
Who Is Required to File Form I-864W Instead of Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ?
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.
Who Completes Form I-864EZ?
Any US citizen or permanent lawful resident can complete the form.
What Are the Income Requirements?
Must be 125% higher than the federal poverty line. For military personnel serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, this is 100%.
How Do I Count Household Size?
You, your spouse (if any), and your children even if you don’t have their legal custody.
How Long Does My Obligation as a Sponsor Continue?
Until the person you’ve sponsored becomes an American citizen or completes 40 quarters of work.
The Wrap Up
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.