Common Questions Regarding Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support and Establishing Financial Support through Income Tax Records)

What does USCIS require when filing a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support?

USCIS requires a sponsor to submit either a photocopy or an IRS-issued transcript of his or her complete federal income tax return, including all schedules for the most recent year as initial evidence with a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. See 8 CFR 213a.2(c)(2)(i)(A). The sponsor may also include: letters evidencing current employment and income, paycheck stubs showing earnings for the last six months, financial statements, or other evidence of the sponsor’s anticipated household income for the year in which the intending immigrants files the applications for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.

What can the sponsor use to supplement the Form I-864 application?

Recently the National Benefits Center (NBC) confirmed that where the sponsor has filed an extension for the most current tax return filing, NBC will accept a copy of the extension request, current year Forms W-2/1099, and the last year’s tax return in lieu of the current income tax return. Submission of these documents would be acceptable as initial evidence, to avoid a Request for Evidence (RFE).

What to do if USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE)?

NBC reviews tax returns to ensure they include the required supporting documents such as Schedules, Forms W-2, and Forms 1099. If any required evidence is missing, an RFE may be generated. Filing the I-864 without the required documentation will delay the application and suspend adjudication of ancillary benefits (I-765, I-131) until the documentation is received by the NBC. The sponsor should include a photocopy of the previous year’s tax return and proof of income described above. If the income tax returns for the preceding year are not available, sponsors can file the application using IRS-issued tax transcripts in lieu of income tax returns. However, attorneys should still be sure to include a copy of the sponsor’s Forms W-2 and Forms 1099 if filing IRS-issued tax transcripts.

What to do if you aren’t required to file a Federal Income Tax Return?

Finally, if a sponsor is not required to file an income tax return, he or she must verify this is true by submitting a letter explain why he or she is not required to file a tax return, or a personal affidavit. The NBC Liaison Committee recommends that the sponsor also include a statement from an accountant, if available. Finally, the NBC will not separately request or receive records or information from the IRS regarding the sponsor’s tax records; it is the responsibility of the sponsor to include all documentation.

Editor: Graham Post

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  1. Thanks for detailed information.What if sponsor has just taken up a new job with a very good salary?No paycheck stubs, tax not filed previously. Should help of a co-sponsor be taken?

    1. For a sponsor who just got a job, understandably there will no paycheck stubs. The sponsor should ask the employer for an employment verification letter that states his salary. The employment verification letter can be used instead of paycheck stubs. The sponsor is also still required to submit prior tax return, W-2s and if it is a joint sponsor, proof of US citizenship or permanent resident status.

      Jack C Sung

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