What is the I-864A Form?
For applicants immigrating to the United States through employment visas or family sponsorship, the United States government assess whether or not these applicants are able to financially support themselves and become productive members of the society. In order to vouch for this, family members sponsoring the applicant must complete Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member. While the bond between family members may be presumed to be strong, the United States government requires a legal document from the sponsoring family member to financially support the applicant (i.e., household member) if necessary. Furthermore, this contract, affidavit, may be subject to be used by local or state government as well during the immigration process.
Eligibility to be a Sponsor
In order to qualify as a sponsor, the sponsoring family member must meet the following criteria:
- Lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen
- Currently living in the United States
- At least of 18 years old
- Meet requirements for income under the federal poverty guidelines (I-864P)
There is an additional guideline to determine the kinship between the sponsor and the household member. For example, a roommate who may be residing in the same household cannot act as a sponsor. Only a relative of the household member can act as the sponsor like a spouse, adult child, parent, or sibling. In addition, both the sponsor and the household member must be living in the same permanent residential address. If the relative does not live in the same house, there are other guidelines. Importantly, the sponsor must legally state the sponsor as a dependent on their latest federal return.
Even if the relative is eligible to be a sponsor and fulfills every criterion listed, they may not be willing to sign. Only those relatives can act as a sponsor who willingly signs the form.
Eligibility to be a Household Member
To qualify as a household member on the I-864A, the individual must meet the following criteria:
- The age of the household member must be at least 18 years.
- The household member is a relative of the sponsor. Examples include spouse, parent, child, adult child, or sibling.
- The household member currently resides in the same household as the sponsor
- The intending immigrant can act as one only if the sponsor will rely on the intending immigrant’s financial support for attending the immigrant’s children or spouse.
- Claimed as a dependent by the sponsor on the most recent federal income tax return
- Demonstrate the applicant’s income shall continue after the acquisition of the green card
When is the I-864A Form Required?
I-1864A, issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is essentially a contract between two separate parties namely the sponsor and the household member. The contract acts as an additional document which needs to be attached along with the prevailing I-864 Affidavit of Support. Almost every petitioner must to sign the I-864 form as well as the additional I-864a form. Furthermore, in the case the petitioner (sponsor) is devoid of basic financial income to support the household member immigrating to the states, the income of the household member shall be accessible to the sponsor using the form.
In order to make this clearer, let’s illustrate an example. Imagine a 40-year-old man originally from South Africa as the main petitioner. His 20-year-old son lives in Arizona working as an IT specialist. To immigrate to the U.S., the son signs the Affidavit of Support stating that he could help his father whenever needed. Signing the affidavit joins the household member and the sponsor into one financial entity. This implies both the support and the family unit part consent to repay any administration offices who give the settler require based budgetary help inside a specific number of years.
Furthermore, the risk is “joint and a few.” This implies, in case of financial situations, they would not simply divide their commitments into halves. Rather, both of them can be considered in charge of the entire sum if require be.
What are I 864A Instructions?
To file I-864A, both the applicant and the sponsor must complete the form. Applications requiring I-864A must be filed with Form I-864: Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act. There is no filing fee for I-864A.
Filling the I-864A form is relatively straightforward. Follow the instructions below to ensure the form is properly populated.
- Make sure to type, write, or print necessarily in black ink.
- Refer to the space available in part 9 to write additional details if the space provided in the columns are insufficient.
- You can also take an additional sheet of paper for this purpose. However, you must type or print your name and Alien Registration Number (A-Number) at the top of each sheet; don’t forget to mention the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number for which the answer is written and sign along with the date.
- You must answer each and every question mentioned completely. If there’s a question which isn’t applicable to you, like if the question “Write the name of your spouse” and you haven’t been married yet, simply type or write N/A using black ink.
- If there’s a question which requires a numerical answer, like “How many children do you have”, and you don’t have any, don’t write “0”. Just mention “None” using black ink wherever numerical response is “Zero”.
- A common mistake in filing the I-864A is forgetting to sign. Applicants should pay extra attention in Part 5, Item #31.a to put sponsor’s signature. Failure to submit without signatures may lead to a rejection or a delay in the process.
Other Helpful Tips
- The sponsor needs to be the one who initiated or filed the petition for the immigrant.
- After signing the form, the sponsor claims to support the intending immigrant financially to get settled and attain a permanent resident status in the future.
- The person who filed or initiated the petition dies, another person eligible to be the sponsor must take charge of the position officially.
- Applicants must submit a photocopy or a IRS issued transcript of the most recent tax year federal income tax return.
- If there are multiple sponsors, each sponsor must complete the I-864A and submits to the USCIS individually.