Documentary Requirements for Overcoming the “Public Charge” Barrier
The USCIS will require extensive documentation of both Form I-944 and Form I-864. Some of these requirements are included in the instructions for these forms; however, it is possible that the USCIS will require more information than this minimum. When in doubt, it is best to provide documentation for any claim you make if it is reasonably convenient for you to do so. If you will be providing any of the foregoing information for Form I-485, you do not have to provide it twice.
The following list includes documentation that the I-944 instructions require you to provide, as well as documentation that you should consider providing in order to avoid receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) that would delay your application. This list is not necessarily complete — you may need additional documentation, particularly if your circumstances are unique.
A certified copy of your birth certificate;
A copy of your passport;
Your tax returns for the most recent tax year;
IRS transcripts of each household member whose income you are including in your application;
Evidence that you own your home (a title document, for example), an official appraisal of the value of your home, and loan documents or other documentation proving the outstanding amount of any mortgages, if you are including it within your assets;
Evidence of your income, including retirement benefits if you receive them;
Evidence of the value of any assets you are claiming, such as stocks and bond certificates or checking account statements for the last 12 months, for example;
Evidence of any debts you owe;
Documentation of any bankruptcies;
A copy of your credit report that includes your credit score as well as further details;
Evidence of your health insurance policy, such as a copy of your policy or a letter from your insurer (including documentation of your deductible and premiums);
IRS Form 8963, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), and a copy of Form 1095A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement;
Documents confirming your receipt of and/or disenrollment from US public benefits;
If you have been turned down for pubic benefits, letter or other documentary evidence confirming this
Copies of any professional licenses, certification or training courses completed;
Proof of certification or courses in English or another language;
Educational diplomas and transcripts; and
Certified English translations of any foreign-language documents, signed by the translator and attached to the foreign language original.
Form I-864 must be filled out by your sponsor. Not all permanent residence applicants require a sponsor, however — for example, most people immigrating under employment-based visas do not require a sponsor. The following documents must be submitted by your sponsor, not you, and the words “you” and “your” as used below refer to your sponsor:
A copy of your federal income tax returns for the past three years, including W-2s and 1099s. Pay stubs for the most recent six months of employment and a letter from your (the sponsor’s) employer might also help.
If you are self-employed, a copy of Schedule C, D, E, or F from your most recent federal income tax return;
A copy of the intending immigrant’s individual federal income tax return, including W-2s and 1099s, for up to three years; at least one year is necessary as long as the intending immigrant was required to file a tax return at all. If they were not required to file, you must submit evidence of this.
Documentation of any assets that you used to qualify including their location, ownership, date of acquisition and value.
Evidence of any liens against the foregoing assets.
Proof of your U.S. citizenship, US nationality or lawful permanent resident status, such as your birth certificate, naturalization certificate or Permanent Resident Card; and
A copy of your birth certificate.
The foregoing list is not necessarily complete; other documentation may be required depending on USCIS discretion and your sponsor’s individual circumstances.
After you submit these forms, you may receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) several weeks later requiring additional information or documentation. These is nothing at all unusual about receiving a single RFE, although it will delay final adjudication of your application. The more thoroughly you document your application in the first place, the less likely it is that you will receive an RFE.
You must respond promptly and thoroughly to an RFE with a full understanding of exactly what the USCIS is asking for. Consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to help you with your application.