Immigration Process: I-864 Affidavit of Support
Many members of the Oakbrook Terrace Muslim community have dealt with immigration law issues concerning family members’ immigration. In order for family-based immigrants to come to the United States, there is a requirement of the I-864 Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
What is this Affidavit of Support? In short, it is used to show the federal government that the immigrant seeking to come to the U.S. has “adequate means of financial support,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website, and thus that the immigrant is “not likely to rely on the U.S. government for financial support.”
Who Must Submit an I-864 Affidavit of Support
When you file the I-864 Affidavit of Support, you must follow the instructions exactly. The government’s instructions for the form specify that all of the following immigrants must have a completed Form I-864 in order to be eligible:
- All immediate relatives of current U.S. citizens, including spouses, unmarried children who are under the age of 21, and parents who are age 21 and older;
- All family-based preference immigrants, including unmarried and unmarried children of current U.S. citizens, spouses and unmarried children of current lawful permanent residents, and siblings of current U.S. citizens who are age 21 and older; and
- Employment-based preference immigrants.
There are some exceptions for filing the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, but those exceptions are complex. For example, certain immigrants who have already earned 40 qualifying credits of work in the United States may not be required to have the Affidavit. In some cases, self-petitioning widows, widowers, and battered spouses may also be eligible for an exception. It is very important to seek advice about possible exceptions from an experienced immigration lawyer. Immigration law is complicated, and each case has its own nuances.
Tips for Filing a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support
In addition to providing instructions for the Form I-864, the USCIS also provides a tip sheet for those completing the form. Some of the following information helps to clarify what the government requires of anyone submitting the affidavit:
- If you complete the Form I-864 and sign it, you should understand that the government will now see you as the sponsor of the immigrant. This means that you are agreeing to provide financial support for the immigrant who is applying for a visa or to become a lawful permanent resident in the U.S.;
- To be a sponsor, you typically must be the same person who filed the visa petition for the immigrant;
- If you filed the visa petition but do not meet the financial requirements, you will need to find another individual, who can meet the financial requirements, to become a joint sponsor; and
- To be a sponsor, you must submit copies of your tax returns and W2s.
Contact an Experienced Immigration Lawyer in DuPage County
If you are grappling with the complicated immigration laws in this country in order to help a family member come to the U.S., it is extremely important to discuss your situation with an experienced Oakbrook Terrace immigration lawyer. You will need to ensure that the I-864 Affidavit of Support is properly filled out and filed in order for your family member to be eligible for immigration. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office today to discuss your case.