The I-864 Explained: Affidavit of Support

The I-864, also known as the affidavit of support, is a “4-Part” form in the Green Card Process, whether Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing. The I-864 concerns the financial state of the sponsor.

This form should be easy, except it requires numerous supporting documents and the Sponsor has to determine which “affidavit of support” is required for a green card process. Moreover, the sponsor must determine whether joint sponsors are required, and how to choose the joint sponsors.

The I-864 has other utilities, but this article will focus more on the four main aspects of the Affidavit of Support. The following is a chart of the Four Parts of the Affidavit of Support.


The I-864P, also know as the Poverty Guideline, is the starting point of determining which I-864 path to take, the general I-864 or the very streamlined I-864EZ. The Poverty Guideline differentiate Civilian and Military poverty levels, as well as recognizing the higher levels of poverty in states like Alaska and Hawaii. A rule of thumb, if your W-2 is close to or below the poverty level, the I-864 is required, and if you are well above the poverty level, the I-864EZ is a reduced form.



Form I-864 is required to obtain an immigrant visa overseas or to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident in the United States when:

1.     Spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children of U.S. citizens under 21 years of age, and parents of U.S. citizens 21 years of age and older);

2.     All family-based preference immigrants; and

3.     Employment-based preference immigrants where there is a significant ownership interest (five percent or more) in the entity that filed the petition.

You may use Form I-864EZ if ALL the following conditions apply:

1.     You are the person who filed or is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a relative being sponsored;

2.     The relative you are sponsoring is the only person listed on Form I-130; and

3.     The income you are using to qualify is based entirely on your salary or pension and is shown on one or more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2s provided by your employers or former employers.



Form I-864A establishes a “Household member-Sponsor” relationship. The I-864 Sponsor can join his income to that of the I-864A Household member in order to exceed the I-864P requirement.

A Household member must be:

1.     A U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national relative who has the same principal residence as the sponsor and is related to the sponsor as a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling;

2.     A U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national relative or other person whom the sponsor has lawfully claimed as a dependent on the sponsor’s most recent Federal income tax return even if that person does not live at the same residence as the sponsor; or

3.     The intending immigrant, in certain circumstances.


Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C. is an immigration and naturalization law firm serving Eastern North Carolina. We strive to make sure you understand the immigration laws that pertain to your specific circumstances. We frequently file with USCIS, NVC and DOS, and we can use this experience to better serve you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Fickey Martinez Law Firm at (910) 526-0066, email us at, or explore our website at


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