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 Poverty Thresholds and Affidavit of Support: What You Need to Know
January 26, 2024

Poverty Thresholds and Affidavit of Support: What You Need to Know

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Form I-864P is the Poverty Guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This form is used in the context of immigration, specifically for family-sponsored immigrants applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.

The purpose of Form I-864P is to establish the minimum income required for a sponsor in the United States to be eligible to sponsor an intending immigrant. The sponsor must demonstrate that their income is at least 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines to ensure that they can financially support the immigrant.

These poverty guidelines are updated annually by the HHS, and they take into account the sponsor’s household size and location. The sponsor needs to submit this form along with Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) as part of the immigration application process.

It’s important for sponsors to review the most recent version of Form I-864P and ensure that they meet the income requirements based on the current poverty guidelines.

What happens if the petition does not meet the Poverty Guidelines requirements?

If a petition does not meet the Poverty Guidelines requirements, it could face several potential outcomes, depending on the context:

  • Rejection or Dismissal: Many petitions, especially those related to legal matters such as immigration or court fee waivers, require applicants to demonstrate that they meet certain income thresholds based on the Poverty Guidelines. If the petitioner fails to meet these requirements, their petition may be rejected or dismissed outright. 
  • Request for Additional Documentation: In some cases, the reviewing authority may request additional documentation or evidence to support the petitioner’s claim of financial hardship. This could include bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, or other financial records. 
  • Consideration of Other Factors: While income is an important factor in determining eligibility under the Poverty Guidelines, it’s not the only consideration. Some programs or petitions may take into account other factors such as household size, expenses, or extenuating circumstances. 
  • Appeals Process: If a petition is initially denied due to not meeting the Poverty Guidelines requirements, the petitioner may have the option to appeal the decision. This could involve providing additional evidence or making a case for why they believe they should still be eligible despite not meeting the income threshold. 
  • Alternative Options: Depending on the situation, there may be alternative options available to the petitioner. This could include seeking assistance from other sources, exploring different avenues for relief, or reapplying at a later time when their financial circumstances have changed.

Overall, not meeting the Poverty Guidelines requirements can pose a significant hurdle for petitioners seeking certain benefits or assistance, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road. Depending on the specific circumstances and the flexibility of the program or petition in question, there may still be avenues for recourse or alternative paths to pursue.

How to determine the minimum income required for Affidavit of Support?

To determine the minimum income required for the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), sponsors need to follow these steps:

    • Check the Most Recent Poverty Guidelines: 
      • Visit the official website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
      • Look for the most recent version of the Poverty Guidelines. These guidelines are updated annually. 
    • Determine Household Size: 
      • Identify the number of people in the sponsor’s household. This includes the sponsor, the sponsor’s dependents, and the intending immigrant. 
  • Calculate 125% of the Poverty Guidelines:
    • Multiply the poverty guideline amount for the sponsor’s household size by 1.25 (125%). This is the minimum income required for the sponsor. 
  • Check Financial Documentation: 
    • Gather financial documents to prove the sponsor’s income. This may include tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and other relevant documents. 
  • Complete Form I-864: 
    • Fill out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, providing accurate information about income, assets, and household size. 
  • Include Supporting Documents: 
    • Submit supporting documents along with Form I-864 to demonstrate the sponsor’s financial ability to support the intending immigrant. 
  • Submit with Immigration Application: 
    • Include the completed Form I-864 and supporting documents with the immigration application. This is typically done when applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status.

It’s crucial for sponsors to use the most recent version of the Poverty Guidelines and to ensure that their income meets or exceeds the required threshold. Failure to meet the minimum income requirements can result in delays or denials in the immigration process. If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, they may need to explore alternative forms of financial support or include assets to meet the requirements.

Which applications require a joint sponsor?

A joint sponsor is typically required in immigration applications when the primary sponsor (such as a petitioner sponsoring a family member for immigration) does not meet the financial requirements on their own. Here are some common situations where a joint sponsor might be necessary:

  • Family-Based Immigration: In cases where a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is petitioning for a family member to immigrate to the United States, the petitioner may need to demonstrate that they meet certain financial requirements to support the immigrant. If the petitioner’s income or assets are insufficient, a joint sponsor who is willing to provide financial support may be required. 
  • Fiancé(e) Visas: For individuals applying for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa to enter the United States and marry a U.S. citizen petitioner, the petitioner may need to meet certain financial requirements to demonstrate their ability to financially support their fiancé(e). If the petitioner does not meet these requirements, a joint sponsor may be necessary. 
  • Affidavit of Support: Many immigration applications require the petitioner to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that they can financially support the immigrant. If the petitioner’s income or assets are insufficient, a joint sponsor can submit a separate Form I-864 to supplement the petitioner’s financial resources. 
  • Employment-Based Immigration: In some cases, employers sponsoring foreign workers for employment-based immigration visas may be required to demonstrate the ability to pay the worker’s wages. If the employer’s financial situation is not sufficient, they may need to enlist a joint sponsor to meet this requirement. 
  • Certain Nonimmigrant Visas: While less common, there are situations where a joint sponsor may be required for certain nonimmigrant visas, particularly those where financial ability to support oneself during the stay in the U.S. is a consideration.

In all these cases, the joint sponsor typically needs to meet specific financial criteria and agree to assume financial responsibility for the immigrant or visa applicant. They must provide evidence of their own income, assets, and legal status to qualify as a joint sponsor. Visit: timebusiness

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