I-864 Instructions: How to Complete Form I-864

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • I-864 instructions provide guidance for accurate form completion.
  • Covered sections include relationship details, immigrant and family information, sponsor details, household size, employment, income, asset use, contact information, certifications, and signatures.
  • Sections for interpreters and preparers are included.
  • Additional information can be added in Part 11 if necessary; careful adherence to instructions is crucial.

Form I-864 is very useful for people who are family-based immigrants, as well as employment-based immigrants in some situations. The purpose is to show that you have enough financial support to prevent you from becoming a public charge.

Being a public charge would not be beneficial for you, which is why it’s important to prove you will have the support you need. Having said that, if you want to make sure you complete this form properly, below you can find the I-864 instructions you need.

I-864 Instructions

Here are the I-864 instructions necessary in helping you complete the form correctly.

Part 1: Relationship

Did you petition to get the immigrant a green card or visa based on the family relationship? If that’s the case, box 1.a should be checked. If you petitioned to get the immigrant a green card or visa based on a job or you’re related to the person you’re petitioning for, you should check box 1.b. Box 1.c is for people who don’t personally employ the relative but are in charge of over 5% of the company that employs the relative.

On the other hand, you should make sure to check box 1.d or 1.e if you made an agreement to fill the form as a joint sponsor. Keep in mind that two joint sponsors are only allowed in certain situations, such as when additional family members are sponsored. If you’re not too sure, then talk to an immigration lawyer and find out if it’s allowed to have two joint sponsors.

Box 1.f is for substitute sponsors, who can sponsor someone when the petitioner died, and a replacement is needed. However, the substitute sponsor should be related to the immigrant.

Part 2: Information About the Principal Immigrant

In part 2, you should offer some information about the immigrant you are petitioning for. This means you need to include the full name, mailing address, telephone number, date of birth, and country of citizenship or nationality of the immigrant. Then, you’ll be asked for a USCIS online account number or alien registration number of the immigrant only if these are available.

The alien registration number will only exist if the immigrant has applied for a green card or any immigration benefit in the past. If the immigrant has created a USCIS online account, then he/she will have the account number as well.

Part 3: Information About the Immigrants You Are Sponsoring

You now have to offer some information about the family members you are sponsoring with this form. Check “no” in the first question in case you’re the second of two joint sponsors. If appropriate, check the box in the second question and list your family members. Also, make sure you don’t include any family member who has to be listed on a separate I-130 petition.

Don’t forget question 29 either – this is where you will have to mention how many immigrants you are sponsoring on the affidavit.

Part 4: Information About You (Sponsor)

Now, it’s time to offer information about yourself, aka the sponsor. If you want to be able to become financial support for immigrants, your country of domicile must be the U.S., so make sure that’s what you write in question 5 if you live in the U.S. If you don’t live in the U.S., you will have to bring certain documents to meet the eligibility criteria for being a sponsor.

Other than that, you will have to provide information such as your full name, mailing address, and your physical address. Your location and date of birth will be given too, as well as your residency or citizenship and your Social Security Number. Make sure you mention whether you are part of the Military Service as well.

If you have a Sponsor’s alien registration number or a USCIS online account number, you will also have to include them.

Part 5: Sponsor’s Household Size

This part is pretty self-explanatory. You will have to talk about your household size to make sure you will be able to sponsor immigrants. This is relevant to the number of people you will be financially responsible for. Don’t count anyone twice – be careful when giving the data.

And don’t feel bad if you’re confused when you get to this part, because it is tricky. Mention the number you entered in question 29 of part 3. The second field will be auto-populated to “1”, and for the 3rd, you will have to print “1” if you are married and “0” if you’re not married.

In the other item numbers you’ll have to talk about the number of any other dependents, and the number of lawful permanent residents you will have to support based on your previous Form I-864 submission. The number of unmarried children you have and are under 21 years old will be required too, even if you have no legal custody of them. Including other non-dependent relatives who may live in the household is necessary too.

Lastly, you will have to add everything together and mention the household size.

Part 6: Sponsor’s Employment and Income

From question 1 to 6, you will have to check one or more boxes, depending on which ones apply to you. In item number 7, you’ll be required to type your current individual annual income, and in the next sections, you will be asked about your current annual household income. From items number 23 to 25, you will have to write about the federal income tax return information and provide an IRS transcript and a photocopy of the Federal individual income tax return for the most recent tax year.

Part 7: Use of Assets to Supplement Income

When you get to part 7, you will only have to complete it if your income is not enough to meet the Poverty Guidelines minimum requirements. Add all your assets, the household member’s assets, the assets of the intending immigrant, and the total value of the assets.

Part 8: Sponsor’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If someone else filed the form with the indications given by you, check the second box. You will also have to mention if the person is an accredited representative or a lawyer. Also, sign the paper and write the date in boxes 6.a and 6.b. Use a pen to sign the paper.

Part 9: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

The interpreter has to complete part 9 if you checked box 1.b.

Part 10: Preparer’s Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature

Have your preparer complete part 10 if you checked the second box in part 8. In question 7.b, accredited representatives and attorneys will have to mention if they are representing the sponsor to help file the affidavit of support, or for any other things related to the immigration case.

Part 11: Additional Information

Here, you can add any information for which you didn’t have enough space in the rest of the form.

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If you’re going to complete Form I-864, you need to do it correctly. This is why these I-864 instructions will be more than helpful in getting you to complete this form and submit it. Hopefully, the instructions were easy to follow and you know what to expect from this form now. Make sure to pay attention and only write correct information. If you want more details, visit Stilt for guides on how to complete I-864W, I-864ez, and I-864P.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What Is Form I-864?

Form I-864, also known as the “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is a document required by the U.S. government for certain family-based and employment-based immigrant visa applicants. It is used to demonstrate that the intending immigrant has adequate financial support and will not become a public charge in the United States.

2. Who Needs to Complete Form I-864?

Form I-864 is typically completed by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is sponsoring an immigrant family member or relative for an immigrant visa (green card) or adjustment of status. The sponsor is responsible for providing financial support to the immigrant and must meet certain income requirements.

3. What Information Is Required on Form I-864?

Form I-864 requires information about the sponsor’s financial status, including income, assets, and household size. It also requires details about the intending immigrant, the petitioner, and the sponsor’s relationship with the immigrant. Supporting documentation, such as tax returns and financial statements, may also be required.

4. How Do I Complete Form I-864?

To complete Form I-864, follow the instructions provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Fill out the form accurately, providing all required information. Be sure to include any supporting documents, such as tax returns and evidence of income.

5. What Are the Income Requirements for Form I-864?

The income requirements for Form I-864 vary depending on the household size of the sponsor and the number of immigrants being sponsored. The sponsor’s income must be at or above the minimum required income level as determined by the U.S. poverty guidelines.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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