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  • I-864

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    An I-864 is an affidavit of support.


    If an intending immigrant becomes a permanent resident in the United States based on a Form I-864 that you have signed, then until your obligations under the Form I-864 terminate, your income and assets may be considered ("deemed") to be available to that person, in determining whether he or she is eligible for certain Federal means-tested public benefits and also for State or local means-tested public benefits, if the State or local government's rules provide for consideration ("deeming”) of your income and assets as available to the person.


    This provision does not apply to public benefits specified in section 403(c) of the Welfare Reform Act such as, but not limited to, emergency Medicaid, short-term, non-cash emergency relief; services provided under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts; immunizations and testing and treatment for communicable diseases; and means-tested programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


    Step by Step Instruction

    The I-864 known as "Affidavit of Support" sometimes abbreviated "AOS" is to document that you are capable of supporting your loved one. The petitioner should be able to fulfill the requirements of the poverty guidelines (listed in link above) set by the government for where you live. If the petitioner is not capable of meeting these requirements then they may meet the requirements by using other petitioners to help.


    See Example Forms for an example filled-out I-864 form.

    [Instructions to fill I-864 go here]

    Assets to supplement income

    Assets may supplement income if the consular or immigration officer is convinced that the monetary value of the asset could reasonably be made available to support the sponsored immigrant and converted to cash within one year without undue harm to the sponsor or his or her family members. You may not include an automobile unless you show that you own at least one working automobile that you have not included.


    In order to qualify based on the value of your assets, the total value of your assets must equal at least five times the difference between your total household income and the current poverty guidelines for your household size. However, if you are a U.S. citizen and you are sponsoring your spouse or minor child, the total value of your assets must only be equal to at least three times the difference. If the intending immigrant is an alien orphan who will be adopted in the United States after the alien orphan acquires permanent residence, and who will, as a result, acquire citizenship under section 320 of the Act, the total value of your assets need only equal the difference.

    The Settlement Agreement and Third-party Claims

    Parties may desire to settle a claim for support obligations under the I-864 by entering into a settlement agreement whereby the plaintiff agrees to waive any past, present, or future claims under the I-864, affidavit of support. Settlement, however, raises a host of other, thorny issues. First, it must be remembered that the obligations imposed under the I-864 are between the petitioner-sponsor and the federal government. The fact that the government is a party to the I-864 contract means that any settlement will have to take into consideration that the government may still bring a claim for reimbursement against the sponsor, even where the beneficiary agrees to waive future claims. As the statute makes clear, "pon notification that a sponsored alien has received any means-tested public benefit, the appropriate nongovernmental entity. . .or the appropriate entity of the [f]ederal [g]overnment, a tate, or any political subdivision of a tate shall request reimbursement by the sponsor in an amount which is equal to the unreimbursed costs of such benefit." The statute further provides for "actions to compel reimbursement" within 45 days after a request for reimbursement.

    One possible solution to the sponsor's liability to the government or even nongovernmental entities concerning payments made to the beneficiary would be an agreement by the immigrant to hold harmless or indemnify the sponsor in the event such entities seek reimbursement for such means-tested public benefits. Such a solution may have limited practical utility in the event the immigrant has no assets and is, thus, unable to cover the costs of any reimbursement. If the immigrant is solvent, working, or capable of future employment, then a clause in the settlement agreement providing for indemnification may be an effective way to resolve the case.


    Second is the issue of whether the immigrant can ever modify the sponsor's obligations to the government or nongovernmental agencies who have paid out means-tested public benefits. The commentary to the I-864 provisions suggests that the "sponsored immigrant and the sponsor (or joint sponsor) may not. . .alter the sponsor's obligations to [the Department of Homeland Security] and to benefit-granting agency." Even so, the commentary further provides that "f the sponsored immigrant is an adult, he or she probably can, in a divorce settlement, surrender his or her right to sue the sponsor to enforce an affidavit of support." From these authorities, there is no question that the immigrant may waive his or her right to receive support from the sponsor under the affidavit of support.

    Household members and joint sponsors

    If the sponsor's combined income and assets are not sufficient to meet the governing threshold, the sponsor may include the income and or/assets of another household member if the household member: (a) Is at least 18 years of age; (b) Is included in the calculation of the household size; (c) Has the same principal residence as the sponsor (or is the sponsor’s spouse); and d) Has completed and signed the Form I-864-A.


    A joint sponsor must demonstrate income or assets that independently meet the requirements to support the sponsored immigrant(s). It is not sufficient for the combination of incomes of the primary sponsor, sponsored immigrant, and joint sponsor to meet the threshold.


    In an immigrant visa case, once the sponsor, substitute sponsor, joint sponsor, household member, or intending immigrant has presented a signed affidavit of support and any required attachments to a Department of State officer, the sponsor, substitute sponsor, joint sponsor, or household member may disavow his or her agreement to act as sponsor, substitute sponsor, joint sponsor, or household member if he or she does so in writing and submits the document to the Department of State officer before the actual issuance of an immigrant visa to the intending immigrant.

    Other forms


    The I-864A is intended to benefit the sponsored immigrant(s) and any agency of the Federal Government, any agency of a State or local government, or any private entity to which the sponsor has an obligation under the affidavit of support to reimburse for benefits granted to the sponsored immigrant. This contract may be enforced in any court with appropriate jurisdiction. By signing this form, a household member who is not a sponsored immigrant, agrees to make his or her income and/or assets available to the sponsor to help support the immigrant for whom the sponsor has filed an affidavit of support.[1]


    The I-864P has the federal poverty guidelines.[2] For 2014, 125% of the guidelines was $19,662.

    See also

    Form 4506-T I-864 enforceability List of I-864 case law


    External links

    http://blogs.usembassy.gov/philippines/i-864-and-i-864a-iv/ http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/fiance-marriage-visa-book/chapter3-5.html http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html http://www.uscis.gov/i-864 http://www.uscis.gov/i-864a 9 FAM 40.41 Public charge 9 FAM 40.41 Procedural notes 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1182 8 U.S.C. § 1183 8 CFR 213a.2 - Use of affidavit of support 22 CFR 40.41 - Public charge

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    NOTE: The above information does not address the specific requirements for any given case and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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