When filing any immigration form, your names must be written in capital letters and you typically would not submit the form alone; you will submit it with supporting documents. The supporting documents are proof or corroboration of the answers you provided in the form.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider your application and decide your eligibility based on these documents. Likewise, when submitting Form I-864, you will be required to submit the form with some supporting documents.

The supporting documents a lawful permanent resident submit along with the Affidavit of Support will depend on a number of factors, including the answers. Mistakes, even minor ones, in the Affidavit of Support form from any of the two joint sponsors can result in rejections and delays in your application.

Thus, we recommend working with an experienced law firm to guide you through and help you with answering the questions and filing any form provided in Schedule C. This post will explain the supporting documents you need to submit with your I-864, Affidavit of Support.

Do You Need to Notarize Affidavit of Support I-864?

The affidavit of support does not need to be notarized, but every individual involved will append their signature on the form. The Form I-864 needs to be signed by the petitioner in the case of family immigrant cases. For employment-based immigrants requiring I-864, the relative needs to sign the form with the name of the intending immigrant listed, guaranteeing that the answers in the form are correct.

Remember that every one who enjoys any immigration benefit must also state what it is, the agency specifically permitting such benefit, and the national status of the individual. All of these should not be contained in the same affidavit but on a separate form.

Likewise, financial sponsors – self employed or those under paid employment, including the primary and additional sponsor as well as petitioning sponsor must sign the form to address the income requirements showing sponsor’s employment, sponsor’s income, their primary source of income and any other source that may appear to be the same source provided in the form.

After completing, signing, and notarizing the forms, you will submit with the supporting and civil documents to the National Visa Center through CEAC.

How Many Years of Tax Returns Are Required for an Affidavit of Support?

The United States government requires that the sponsor and co-sponsor or anyone with significant ownership interest to file proof of tax for the most recent filing year. When filling out Form I-864, the sponsor is obligated to disclose the total income on his or her income tax returns.

As proof that the information is correct, he or she has to attach a copy of the tax no older than three years. The normal requirement is typically the previous calendar year, but there’s the option of filing returns for the past three years.

What Are the Legal Implications of Signing Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

The U.S. government takes the Affidavit of Support very seriously, thus sponsors should not sign with levity. Additionally, the sponsor or co-sponsor needs to sign the documents with no less than complete trust in the intended immigrant’s intentions.

The form is a legally enforceable contract, meaning the sponsored immigrant or government can sue if the sponsor fails in their obligations. More so, the immigration law enforces more obligations on the sponsor than on the immigrant for financial support.

If the immigrant decides to quit his or her job and sue the sponsor for support, the law is behind such. When a government agency sues, it can collect reimbursement for the public agencies that provided the benefits. Conversely, when the immigrant sues, they can collect enough money to reach 125% of the amount in the Poverty Guidelines.

What Are the Supporting Document Requirements for Affidavit of Support?

What Are the Supporting Document Requirements for Affidavit of Support

The required supporting documents submitted with Form I-864 will depend on what is in your form. The affidavit of support supporting documents includes copies of tax records for sponsors, including the Federal income tax return.

The sponsor can also submit a copy of IRS Form I099 if applicable; the oldest the documents can be is three years. U.S. citizen sponsors will provide birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship status, and photo of valid U.S. passport.

Additional documents for lawful permanent resident status sponsors include a copy of both sides of the permanent resident card. Also, you’ll submit copies of your passport of another country with a U.S. temporary permanent residence stamp.

If you’re using joint household income, you will submit a separate I-864A for each. For sponsors who are on active duty in the Armed Forces or Coast Guard, they will submit proof of active military status.

What Is the General Checklist of Affidavit of Support Required Documents?

Below is a general checklist of the required documents for an affidavit of support:

  • Barcoded cover sheet sent from the NVC and your cover letter listing the documents you are sending;
  • Form I-864 signed by the petitioner and photocopies of the original form for additional persons, if any;
  • Federal income tax return documents and evidence of income or assets depending on what you used to qualify;
  • Proof of active military status for the petitioning sponsor (the co-sponsor doesn’t need this), if any;
  • Proof of legal status for the joint sponsor, substitute sponsor, legal guardian, or the employment-based immigrant’s relative;

What If You Are Filing Form I-864 For Additional Intending Immigrants?

If you are sponsoring more than one family member at once using the same Form I-130 petition, you can make copies of Form I-864. However, only a few applicants, like the permanent resident spouse can make copies of the signed form along with its supporting documents.

For the U.S. citizen, all the sponsored family members will have their separate Form I-130 and I-864.

What Documents Does the Petitioner Need to Submit?

The major sponsor, also the petitioner, will complete Form I-864, even if the joint support provides the affidavit as well. The pages should be arranged correctly (that is, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) and stapled, and all pages should be completely filled out before submitting to the appropriate immigration services.

Along with the affidavit, the petitioner or employment-based immigrant will complete federal tax returns for the most recent three years. If they don’t have to file a tax return, they need to attach a written explanation of why they or their legal guardian aren’t legally bound to.

Additionally, the petitioner – alone or through their legal guardian – will submit evidence of assets establishing location, significant ownership status, and cash value, if applicable. Also, you will submit evidence of self-employment or current employment, showing the day you started working, what you do, and your income.

Applicants must know the requirements that govern the intending immigrant’s current employment, those that govern lawful permanent residents, financial sponsor, joint sponsor, substitute sponsor, a household member, and other key players. You must know the federal poverty guidelines, the federal income tax return provisions for an intending immigrant or an employment based immigrant requiring a checklist.

What Documents do Household Members Need to Submit?

For household members who are releasing their income and assets, they need to submit a separate Form I-864A. Also, they will submit tax returns, assets, and employment documents assembled in the same way as the main sponsor.

What Supporting Documentation Is Required of the Joint Sponsor?

The joint sponsor will typically submit the same set of documents required of the primary sponsor. These include proof of income and assets, if any, as well as proof of green card holder status or U.S. citizenship.

Also, if applicable, they will submit a completed Form I-864A for each co-sponsor combining their income to meet the minimum annual income requirement.

What Are the General Rules for Filling Out Form I-864 Affidavit of Support

You should type your answers with a computer or similar electronic device; otherwise, write with black ink. If you’re writing with ink, don’t write outside the provided spaces; use the “Additional Information” page if you have more information to add.

Also, you can attach a sheet of paper to the form if it still isn’t enough. Provide your name and A-number (alien registration number), if applicable, part number, the page number, signature, and date.

Let Herman Legal Group Help You?

You don’t have to go through the stress of filling out form I-864 alone when you can get all the necessary help from an experienced law firm who has helped many people handling immigration matters. Whether you are an intending immigrant, a household member, a joint sponsor, or have any of your family members who want to apply, Herman Legal Group can help you navigate the murky waters.

Our team of immigration lawyers know everything about the process for an intending immigrant or household member, including the requirement of federal income tax returns. Instead of running around as a household member or an intending immigrant, why not schedule a consultation with Herman Legal Group today by calling +1-216-696-6170 or by booking online.


When filling out Form I-864, you need to provide evidence that you meet the minimum income requirement, among other things. If the petitioner’s income is insufficient, joint sponsors can assist, providing the same Form I-864, though signed separately.

You can file one or more forms I-864, depending on the additional intending immigrants listed in the form. You will submit other supporting documents to prove the eligibility of the intending immigrant’s admission into the U.S.

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