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Immigration News Flash

July 11, 2006

USCIS Publishes a Final Rule on Affidavits of Support (Form I-864)

On June 21, 2006, USCIS published a final rule on Affidavits of Support (Form I-864) in the Federal Register (71 FR 35732). Affidavit of Support is a contract between a sponsor and the intending immigrant in which the sponsor agrees to provide financial support for the intending immigrant until he or she becomes an American citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work. The filing of an Affidavit of Support therefore establishes that the intending immigrant is not likely to become a public charge. USCIS requires sponsors to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, in most family-based cases and in some instances, employment-based cases. The final rule implements the following changes:

  • Allows sponsors to submit only the most recent tax return, paycheck stubs for the last six months, and an employment verification letter as evidence of financial viability;
  • Creates a new EZ Affidavit of Support (Form I-864EZ) for use by sponsors who rely only on their own employment to qualify as a sponsor;
  • Introduces a new Intending Immigrantís I-864 Exemption (Form I-864W) for use by intending immigrants who do not require an affidavit of support to be filed on their behalf;
  • Establishes that filing of an Affidavit of Support is not required in certain cases, such as
    • Intending immigrants who can already be credited with 40 quarters of employment at the time they file for adjustment of status
    • Adopted children who are eligible for citizenship upon entry into the United States, under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000
  • Permits two joint sponsors to file Affidavits of Support for multiple family members immigrating based on one petition;
  • Establishes that relatives in the household who are not dependents of the sponsor can be included as part of household size if they file Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member. In addition, these relatives no longer must establish that they have resided in the household for at least six months to file I-864A;
  • Reduces the amount of required assets to cover any shortfall in household income for sponsors of immediate relative spouses and children of U.S. Citizens, from five times to three times the difference between the governing poverty guideline and actual household income;
  • Reduces the amount of required assets to cover any shortfall in household income for sponsors of alien orphans who will acquire U.S. Citizenship after entry into the U.S. because of adoption, to difference between the governing poverty guideline and actual household income.