Using Assets – I-864

Form I-864 is pretty cumbersome. There’s a lot of moving parts and documents that go along with it and it seems to be the form that intimidates individuals the most in their immigration journey.

For those of you who are just starting on your immigration journey, the form I-864 Affidavit of Support is part of the process because you have to show immigration that you won’t become a public charge which means that you won’t need to receive any types of benefits from the United States. Form I-864 is information from the petitioner or a joint sponsor.

Typically, t’s the US citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident spouse that would have to provide their financial information for this form. If the US citizen spouse or the local permanent resident spouse don’t make enough money to be the sole sponsor for the case, they can either get a joint sponsor or use their assets to supplement their income.

There is another form called I-864P which is the poverty guidelines As a US citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner, you’ll start with that form. You’ll look at your household size and you’ll look at how much your current annual income needs to be. If you do not make that amount, then one of the things you can do is use your assets.

You only need to use your assets if you don’t make enough according to form of I-864P. You don’t have to provide assets if you make enough.

Immigration allows you to use assets only if assets can be converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner. An example of an asset is a house. Even if you have a mortgage, if you have equity which is the value of the home minus the mortgage that you’re paying. 401 (k) retirement plans and savings accounts are included.

Anything that could be converted into cash that can be liquidated. That’s an asset. If you don’t make enough, then you could use these assets in your life to make up the difference. It’s not going to be a dollar for dollar difference.

Read More: Affidavit of Support

If you were to look at the I-864P, you find your household size and how much it is that you’re supposed to make. Say that you’re two thousand dollars short of that amount. If you use your assets, they have to be more than two thousand dollars. You can’t just have a savings account with two thousand dollars. That won’t be enough to make up the difference.

In general, your assets would have to be five times that difference. You have to make up a ten thousand dollar difference. You’d have to have assets that equal that amount. But if you are a United States citizen sponsoring your spouse or child, then the assets only have to be three times.

Again, if we’re using that two thousand dollars as an example, you would have to have assets of six thousand dollars. A savings account, retirement account, equity in your home. If you have to use assets, that’s how you would do that calculation.

The last final tip is the current annual income that you’re putting on your form I-864. A lot of people think it’s the amount from their prior tax year. That’s not necessarily true. For your current annual income, look at your current job, how much you make an hour or salary and what that would equate to for that year. If you have a new job and you’re making more, your current annual income isn’t necessarily going to be what was on your taxes the prior year.