Confused while filing I-864 or I-864A

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Difference between Household Members and “Sponsors

There is big confusion regarding the terms of household members and sponsors. This is primarily why some people use them interchangeably. But let’s have a look at the differences between the two.

I-864A Sponsor

A sponsor is required by U.S. Immigration law to submit Form I-864. Usually, the petitioning sponsor is also referred to as the main sponsor

Nevertheless, there are cases in which the income of the main sponsor is insufficient. so if the main sponsor is not able to support the intending immigrant financially, You might require an additional sponsor. I-864A stands for a contract between the sponsor and household member

I-864 A form is applicable to a restricted category of green card applications. It is used in the situations in which the lawful permanent resident or US citizen petitioning for the family member doesn’t meet the income requirements required by the law.

Even in the situation in which the person that took on the responsibility of submitting form I-130 to petition a relative doesn’t address the income requirements, You still have to complete and send a form I-864. This is worth outlining as there are many questions in this respect as well. However, you may find out more about the process of getting a green card in the US by accessing this source.

When it comes to this additional sponsor, there are two alternatives – that of a household member or of a joint sponsor. We’ll outline the distinctions between these two as well.

I-864a Household Member

A household member can be any relative living in the same household as the sponsor. You must submit form I-864A, which basically represents a contract between the sponsor, household member, and impending immigrant. By agreeing to complete this form, one commits to including his/her income to the income of the main sponsor.

Essentially, the total household income must address an essential requirement – it has to be 125 percent above the poverty line.

There is also the option of a joint sponsor, who isn’t required by the law to be related to the sponsor or the impending immigrant. You have to fill out a separate Form I-864 aside from the one completed by the main sponsor.

Who Qualifies to become as an I-864 A Sponsor and what are the terms to qualify as an I-864 Sponsor?

Evidently, there are certain conditions. Most Importantly one has to be a family member or dependent. Age-wise, You must be at least 18 years old. Another condition the household member has to address is to live in the same household as the primary sponsor.

How to Fill out Form I-864 A?

Before we advise you a few handy tips on how to fill out the I-864 A, we should tell you: who completes the form I-864 A? Basically, I-864 A must be completed and signed by the household member and sponsor. In the situation in which the sponsor or the household member is under guardianship, then things are a bit different. The guardian must sign the form instead

By agreeing to sign I-864 A, it is suggested that the household member and the sponsor agree to take financial responsibility on behalf of the intended immigrant. It is compulsory for both the household member and the sponsor to sign this form. Form I-864 A should be attached to the main Form I-864 as part of the green card application.

Kindly note, that the principal immigrant should provide copies of the completed Form I-864 and Form I-864 A. This should be done for every family member they’re traveling with. For the family members of the principal immigrant, it’s not mandatory to provide copies of supporting financial documents.

In most situations, the sponsor is required to be the person that completes the visa petition for the intending immigrant. By agreeing to sign this form, You must agree to provide financial support as the intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident. In the extraordinary situation in which the individual filling out the visa petition died, then the form might be signed by the household member and a substitute sponsor.

Part 1

Essentially, you’ll see that filling out the form isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first glance. You can find the form online and download it. When it comes to the first part of the form, filling it out is straightforward and self-explanatory, so to speak.

The household member must supply basic information such as contact information, place of birth, social security number, so on and so forth. In reference to the relationship to sponsor, this indicates that the family of the household member is connected to the petitioner.

Part 2

Moving on to the second part of the form, this must be completed by the main sponsor. It should also be signed by him/her. Once again, the questions included in this segment are self-explanatory and to the point.

Part 3

The household member must fill and sign this part. Concurrently, the household member should supply information regarding his/her employment situation, as well as his/her individual annual income. This is important so that the impending immigrant can qualify.

In which conditions, Intending Immigrant can serve as a Household Member?

This is the most important common question about I-864 A. You should know that there are some circumstances in which the intending immigrant might use his/her own income to meet the requirements imposed by the law. How is this possible? Or better said, what sense does this make?

There are many cases in which the main sponsor doesn’t meet the financial requirements imposed to file the petition in the first place. In this condition, finding someone that can help is possible and advisable.

Meanwhile, in case the intending immigrant works and earns an income, including the immigrant’s income, it is an option. Even so, there are still some conditions one has to meet. Most importantly, the intending immigrant should live in the same household as the main sponsor. Simultaneously, the intending immigrant should demonstrate that the source of income will remain unchanged even after getting a permanent residence.

Another typical scenario would be if the intending immigrant is the spouse of the main sponsor. The same condition outlined above applies in this case as well. However, note that the income should derive from lawful employment. In case the immigrant spouse has lived in the US for some time, the petitioner doesn’t need to complete form I-864 in the first place. This is applicable in the situation in which the immigrant has already earned 40 quarters of Social Security coverage. What does this mean?

Well, this indicates that the immigrant has worked for roughly ten years or so in the US. There is also the scenario of being married to a person that worked in the US for at least 10 years. This is an extraordinary condition in which the immigrant should fill out a different form –known as the Form I-864W, in order to request an exemption.

In the case in which the intending immigrant is considered a sponsor as well in the application process, one doesn’t have to sign the form I-864a, as it is the case for other household members.


As an immigrant, you might have a lot of questions about visa applications, getting a green card in the US, or you might be clueless regarding the changes in the green card application after Trump. And this is perfectly normal: you have a lot of questions since you want to do everything right and avoid complications and unpleasant scenarios Each case has to be analyzed on its own merits, this piece should not be treated as legal advice. Proper analysis requires careful consideration of individual factors and those who may be subject to a public charge finding should seek the advice of competent counsel.

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