Step 4: Collect Financial Documents
After submission of the visa application (DS-260), if financial sponsorship is required for your visa type, NVC will instruct the petitioner to collect documents showing the petitioner’s ability to support you financially in the United States. You and the petitioner will submit these documents to NVC in Step 6.
Petitioners and any joint or co-sponsors are required to submit an Affidavit of Support form (Form I-864) and evidence of their income. Form I-864 is legally required and legally enforceable for most family-based and some employment-based immigrants. The form shows that as an intending immigrant, you have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to become a public charge. The affidavit of support is a legal contract between the sponsor(s) of an immigrant visa applicant and the U.S. government. The sponsor must be willing and able to financially support the intending immigrant as outlined by law and regulations (see INA 213A and 8 CFR 213a). By signing Form I-864, your petitioner (including co-sponsor(s) and joint sponsor(s)) are agreeing to use their resources to support you and any dependents, if it becomes necessary. If you or your dependents immigrating with you receive any of the designated federal, state or local means-tested public benefits, you should expect the agency providing the benefit to request repayment from your sponsor(s). That agency can take legal action against any of your sponsors if the cost of the benefits provided is not repaid. Please see Form I-864P for more information on means-tested public benefits.
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. Instructions for each form (I-864EZ, I-864, I-864A, and I-864W) can be reviewed on USCIS’s website. Please be advised that Customer Service Representatives at NVC cannot advise you which Affidavit of Support form needs to be submitted. Please use the information below and the instructions on the forms to determine which form best meets your needs.