For the sponsor, the primary objective of Form I-864 is to prove to the U.S. government that you have the income necessary to support the intending immigrant, most likely your relative. If the I-864 is not approved, USCIS will refuse to issue a green card to the intending immigrant. So, success is vital to the entire immigration process. We will help ensure you correctly complete the Affidavit of Support and meet the requirements.
Determining Affidavit of Support Household Size
Before determining if your income is sufficient to sponsor the intending immigrant, it’s necessary to calculate your household size. In addition to yourself, the household includes any existing dependents plus any immigrants that you intend to sponsor. Take into consideration your existing children as well as any other dependent in the household. Essentially anyone that you can claim as a dependent on your income tax return should be included in your I-864 household size.
Depending if you want to include their income, you may also have to calculate non-dependent relatives who are living with you. Examples of non-dependents that live with you include your:
- Siblings or
- Adult children (age 21 or older)
Each household member will need to consent by filing Form I-864A in most cases. Note that I-864A is a different form.
But the only reason to include non-dependent relatives is if you want to count their income for the purposes of meeting the income requirements. We’ll help you make that determination when you get to calculating Affidavit of Support income.
Income Requirements for Form I-864
Next, you’ll need to determine if your household income is at least 125 percent of the federal poverty level based on the household size Using Form I-864P
Form I-864P includes several tables. The amount of income necessary to be above the poverty income level depends on where the sponsor resides (either in any of the 48 contiguous states, in Alaska, or in Hawaii) and the size of the sponsor’s family. Active military service may also affect the income level.
You must be able to calculate your own current income. Meeting the requirement is based on your current year income. If you have a single job this is more straightforward. Enter the amount you expect to make by the end of the year. Include any bonuses or salary increases that you can reasonably expect to earn. The following types of income count towards your current income:
- Wages, salaries, tips
- Taxable interest
- Ordinary dividends
- Alimony and/or child support
- Business income
- Capital gains
- Taxable IRA distributions
- Taxable pensions and annuities
- Rental income
- Unemployment compensation
- Workers compensation and disability
- Taxable Social Security benefits
- Ordinary dividends
Of course, any means-tested public benefits such as food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, TANF and CHIP should not be included in your income.