Affidavit of Support and Liability of Sponsorship


Most family-based petitions require an affidavit of support, as well as some employment-based ones, require it as well (consult with your attorney).  Form I-864 Affidavit of Support ( is a sort of confirmation that guarantees financial support for the immigrant. When the sponsor signs the I-864 form, he/she is responsible for the immigrant and provides all financial support to the particular immigrant. 

The sponsor should have enough income to be able to sign this form. To check the eligibility, go to the Poverty Guidelines at, find your state and make a simple calculation:

For example, you want to be a sponsor for one immigrant. You are single, have no kids, not on military active duty and live in New York. Then, you calculate yourself plus one immigrant, where the total is two (2). So, you find number 2 in the Sponsor’s Household Size column and see the minimum required income is $21,550.00 (effective February 2021).

The second example, you want to be a sponsor for your parents – mother and father. You are married, have two kids, are not on military active duty and live in Pennsylvania. Then, you calculate yourself, plus your spouse, plus two (2) kids, plus your parents, the total is six (6).  So, you find the number 6 in the Sponsor’s Household Size column and see the minimum required income is $43,950.00 (effective February 2021).

The sponsor should check the Poverty Guidelines before signing the affidavit of support, because the amount can be changed. The sponsor also has a choice to complete information about his/her savings and checking accounts, stocks, real-estate and other assets.

If the sponsor has a spouse, he/she needs to file  form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member ( This form confirms that the spouse agreed to help to sponsor the immigrant.

If the immigrant receives some Federal, State, or Local means-tested public benefits, the sponsor may be required to pay these expenses from his/her income. Not all benefits are considered as means-tested public benefits (consult with your attorney and local agency). 


The sponsor can be the spouse, parent, relative, friend and reside in a different state. The sponsor should provide his/her documents, such as a lawful permanent card (green card) or certificate of naturalization, or birth certificate (if the sponsor was born in the U.S.), Federal income tax return, W-2, 1099 (if any), and any other forms of income for the last year or last three years (consult with your attorney). The sponsor may be required to submit his/her pay stubs for the last six months, and a letter from their employer.

In some cases, a joint sponsor is required as well. For more information contact attorney. 

The sponsor is financially responsible for the immigrant until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen or receives credit for 40 quarters under the Social Security Act or has left the U.S. and no longer has a permanent resident card (green card) or is in removal proceedings and has a new affidavit of support based on being granted a different adjustment status, or dies.

In a marriage case, the divorce does not end the responsibility for the immigrant. If the spouse is a sponsor, he/she is still financially responsible for the immigrant, even after the official divorce.

*For informational use only. 

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson


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