The Significance of Joint Sponsors in Form I-864

Joint Sponsor

In U.S. immigration, a joint sponsor is someone who agrees to financially support an immigrant intending to move to the United States. This support is typically required when the intending immigrant does not meet the financial eligibility requirements on their own, particularly for certain visas or green card applications. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and they must meet specific income requirements set by the U.S. government. By serving as a joint sponsor, this individual assumes legal responsibility for financially supporting the immigrant and ensuring they do not become a public charge (i.e., dependent on government assistance).

How to fill out Form I-864 for a joint sponsor

Form I-864, also known as the “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is a document used in the United States immigration process to sponsor an immigrant and demonstrate that the immigrant will not become a public charge. Here’s a general overview of how to fill out Form I-864 for a joint sponsor:

  • Download the form: You can download Form I-864 from the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Provide personal information: Fill in your personal information, including your full legal name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Indicate joint sponsorship: Check the appropriate box indicating that you are a joint sponsor.
  • Provide information about the primary sponsor: If there is another sponsor, typically the petitioner or primary sponsor, provide their information including their A-Number (if applicable), their relationship to the sponsored immigrant, and their income information.
  • Provide information about household members: List the members of your household, including yourself, your spouse, and any dependents. Provide their names, relationship to you, and their income information if applicable.
  • Income information: Provide details about your income, including your current annual income, income for the most recent tax year, and any additional income from other sources. Attach copies of your federal income tax returns for the most recent tax year, as well as any W-2 forms or 1099 forms.
  • Assets: If your income does not meet the minimum required amount, you may be able to include assets to meet the requirement. Provide details about your assets, such as the type of asset, its cash value, and any loans secured by the asset.
  • Certification and Signature: Sign and date the form, certifying under penalty of perjury that the information provided is true and correct.
  • Supporting documents: Attach copies of all required supporting documents, including tax returns, W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and any other documents related to your income and assets.
  • Submit the form: Once completed, submit the form along with all required supporting documents to the appropriate address as indicated in the form instructions or the USCIS website.
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It’s important to review the form instructions carefully and ensure that you provide accurate and complete information. If you have any questions or concerns about filling out Form I-864, you may consider consulting with an immigration attorney or accredited representative for assistance.

Joint sponsor Form I-864 checklist of documents

When serving as a joint sponsor and filling out Form I-864, it’s essential to provide all the necessary documentation to support your financial ability to sponsor the immigrant. Here’s a joint sponsor checklist of documents typically required:

  • Completed Form I-864: Ensure that you have filled out Form I-864 accurately and completely.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence: Provide a copy of your U.S. passport, birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. If you are a lawful permanent resident, include a copy of your green card (Form I-551).
  • Proof of Income: Provide documentation to demonstrate your income meets the minimum requirements. This may include:
    • Copies of your most recent federal income tax returns (Form 1040) for the past three years.
    • Copies of W-2 forms or 1099 forms for the most recent tax year.
    • If you have income from other sources, such as self-employment, rental properties, or investments, provide documentation to support those sources of income.
  • Employment Verification: Provide a letter from your employer(s) confirming your current employment status, job title, salary, and duration of employment. Alternatively, you can provide recent pay stubs or a letter from an accountant if self-employed.
  • Proof of Assets (if applicable): If your income alone does not meet the minimum requirements, you may use assets to supplement your income. Provide documentation such as:
    • Bank statements showing savings or checking account balances.
    • Statements for retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, or other investments.
    • Appraisals of real estate or other valuable assets.
    • Loan documents (if any loans are secured by your assets).
  • Proof of Relationship to Immigrant: Provide documentation demonstrating your relationship to the immigrant beneficiary, such as a marriage certificate if sponsoring a spouse or birth certificates if sponsoring a child.
  • Copy of Form I-864 from the primary sponsor (if applicable): If there is another sponsor (usually the petitioner or primary sponsor), include a copy of their completed Form I-864.
  • Additional Information (if necessary): If there are any special circumstances or additional information you wish to provide to support your sponsorship, include relevant documentation.
  • Translation of Documents (if applicable): If any documents are not in English, provide certified translations.
  • Certification and Signature: Ensure that you have signed and dated Form I-864 under penalty of perjury.
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Before submitting your Form I-864 and supporting documents, carefully review the instructions and ensure that all required information is provided. If you have any doubts or questions about the documentation required, consider consulting with an immigration attorney or accredited representative for guidance.

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