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Step 4: Collect Financial Documents

After you submit your visa application, you may need to collect documents showing your petitioner
has the ability to financially support you in the United States. You will submit these documents to
NVC in Step 6.

Petitioners are required to submit an Affidavit of Support form and evidence of their income. The
Affidavit of Support form, also called the I-864, is legally required for most family-based and some
employment-based immigrants. It is a legal contract between the petitioner (sponsor) of an
immigrant visa applicant and the U.S. government. Generally, the following intending immigrants
need an Affidavit of Support:

Applicants for family-based immigrant visas, including certain orphans.


Applicants for employment-based immigrant visas where a relative filed the immigrant visa
petition or has a five percent or greater ownership interest in the business that filed the
petition.

There is a detailed explanation of who needs an Affidavit of Support and who is exempt below. You
can also review the instructions for each form (I-864EZ, I-864, I-864A, and I-864W) on USCISs
website. Please be advised that Customer Service Representatives at NVC cannot advise you which
Affidavit of Support form you should fill out. Please use the information below and the instructions
on the forms to determine which form best meets your needs.

To gather the required financial documents, your petitioner (the person who filed the petition on
your behalf) must do the following:

Complete an Affidavit of Support form


There are several Affidavit of Support forms. Each form applies to different people and in
some cases, the immigrant visa applicant will complete a form. The table below will help your
petitioner determine which Affidavit of Support form to complete.

For more information about Affidavit of Support requirements and forms, review Affidavit of
Support on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You can also find
answers to frequently asked questions on this website. Use the information in these FAQs and
on this website with, not instead of, the detailed instructions for the Affidavit of Support forms
on USCISs website.

If... Then

You filed an employment petition Complete Form I-864, and bring it to the interview.
(Form I-140 or I-526) and you own five You do not need to submit it to the NVC.
percent or more of the business entity
that filed the petition. See tips for completing I-864

You filed an employment petition You do not need to complete an Affidavit of


(Form I-140 or I-526) and you own less Support form.
than five percent of the business entity
that filed the petition. Continue to the next step.

The applicant you are sponsoring has Complete Form I-864W


earned or can be credited with at least See tips for completing I-864W
40 eligible quarters under the Social
Security Act.
You are a U.S. citizen and you are Complete Form I-864W
sponsoring a natural or adopted child, See tips for completing I-864W
other than a stepchild, who is under 18
years old.

You are a self-petitioning widow(er). Complete Form I-864W


See tips for completing I-864W

You are a self-petitioning battered Complete Form I-864W


spouse or child. See tips for completing I-864W

You are sponsoring a child who will Complete Form I-864W


become a U.S. citizen immediately See tips for completing I-864W
upon entry under the Child Citizenship
Act of 2000 (CCA).

All three of the following are true: Complete Form I-864EZ


1. You filed a Form I-130 petition See tips for completing I-864EZ
for your relative;
2. There is only one applicant on
the Form I-130 petition; and
3. The income you are using to
qualify is based entirely on your
salary or pension and is shown
on one or more Forms W-2
provided by your employer(s) or
former employer(s).

If none of the above apply and you Complete Form I-864


meet the minimum income See tips for completing I-864
requirement.

If none of the above apply and you are The sponsor must complete Form I-864 and each
using the income of other household household member must complete Form I-864A
members to meet the minimum income
requirement. See tips for completing I-864 and tips for
completing I-864A

If none of the above apply and: The sponsor and the joint sponsor must each
1. You do not meet the minimum complete Form I-864
income requirement and are
using a joint sponsor, and See tips for completing I-864
2. You are not using the income of
other household members to
qualify.

Obtain financial evidence


After your financial sponsor(s) complete the Affidavit of Support form, they should gather
supporting evidence of their income. This will be submitted to NVC in Step 6. Additional
supporting evidence may be requested by the consular officer at the visa interview. Review
the table below to determine what supporting financial evidence to collect with the Affidavit
of Support. Remember that each financial sponsor your petitioner, any joint sponsors, and
any household members must submit an Affidavit of Support, proof of income, and proof of
their legal status and domicile in the United States.
Financial Evidence Description

IRS Tax Transcript If you completed Form I-864, I-864A, or I-864EZ submit an IRS tax
transcript from the most recent tax year.

Extensions: If you filed an extension for the most recent tax year,
submit a photocopy of your IRS Form 4868 (PDF - 509 KB) or write
and sign a statement indicating you filed an extension.

If you did not file taxes: If you did not file Federal Income Tax
Returns for the most recent tax year, write and sign a statement
indicating why you did not file taxes.

If you cannot obtain an IRS tax transcript: If you are unable to obtain
an IRS tax transcript, submit a photocopy of your IRS Federal Income
Tax Returns and Form(s) W-2 or schedule(s) from the most recent tax
year.

Evidence of income If you completed Form I-864, I-864A, or I-864EZ and the income
reported on this form or your tax return reflects income below the
poverty guidelines for the year the form was submitted, submit
evidence of your income. This can include the following documents:

For those who are employed by an individual or company,


submit a photocopy of an employment letter, pay stub, or pay
advance (direct-deposit receipt) that meets the criteria below:
o Includes your name and the companys name;
o Is on signed, business letterhead (you cannot sign the
letter yourself); and
o Is issued within the last three months.

For those who are self-employed, obtain a photocopy of one of


the following:
o Your business license.
o A signed letter on business letterhead that was written
within in the last three months.
o A contract between you as an independent contractor
and a company.

For those who are unemployed or retired, submit a photocopy


of ongoing income from other means, such as:
o retirement benefits;
o other household members' income; or
o other significant assets.

If you are currently self-employed in any of the following


ways, you do not need to obtain submit evidence of income:
o Babysitter, elderly caretaker, construction worker,
handyperson, housekeeper, landlord, musician, nanny,
seamstress, tailor, artist, or writer.
Proof of relationship If you completed Form I-864A, submit evidence that proves your
relationship to the sponsor (the person who filed Form I-864). You can
prove your relationship by submitting a photocopy of one of the
documents below:
Birth certificate;
Marriage certificate;
Adoption certificate;
The petitioner or joint sponsors most recent Federal Income
Tax Returns, if you are listed as a dependent; or
A signed, written statement describing the relationship.

Proof of domicile If you completed Form I-864, I-864A, or I-864EZ and your mailing
address and/or place of residence is not in the United States, but your
country of domicile is the United States, write an explanation and
provide documentary evidence indicating how you meet the domicile
requirement. Review our FAQs to learn more about domicile.

Proof of U.S. status If you completed Form I-864 as a joint sponsor, submit proof that you
are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or Lawful Permanent Resident. You
can do this by submitting a photocopy of one of the following
documents:
Birth certificate showing birth in the United States;
U.S. Naturalization Certificate;
U.S. passport/passport card;
Form I-551 green card; or
Foreign passport containing Form I-94 with I-551 stamp (if you
entered the United States by land) or an electronic Form I-94
record (if you entered the United States by air or sea). You can
request an electronic Form I-94 record from USCIS online.

Social Security If the principal applicant completed Form I-864W because he or she
Administration (SSA) can be credited with 40 eligible quarters under the Social Security Act,
Earnings Statement submit his or her SSA Earnings Statement showing the coverage.

You can obtain an SSA Earnings Statement online at


http://ssa.gov/myaccount. You can also call the Social Security
Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for more information.

Proof of Assets If you submitted Form I-864 or I-864A and you used assets to meet the
minimum income requirements, submit a photocopy of proof you
own your assets. Proof can take any form as long as it:
lists your name as the owner; and
Includes the value of the asset expressed in currency.