I-864 Affidavit of Support & Alternative Sponsor

The U.S. immigration law stipulates that when applying for U.S. relative immigration and partial employment immigration, a qualified guarantor must provide financial guarantee and sign a financial guarantee letter (I-864). The purpose of financial assurance is to prevent aliens immigrating to the United States from becoming a public burden in the United States because they receive or enjoy unemployment benefits, relief funds, subsidies or other benefits from federal, state or local governments after entering the United States. If the foreigner receives or enjoys such benefits, the guarantor is responsible for returning the relevant expenses to the corresponding agency, otherwise they may be prosecuted.

The Affidavit of Support applies to:

  • All family-based applicants;
  • Relatives (Relative) who apply for employment-based immigration for the beneficiary or relatives who own 5% or more of the shares in the entity (Entity) that will employ the beneficiary. (Here “relative” refers to husband and wife/parents/children/siblings).

Guarantor qualifications and requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder);
  • Must have a fixed residence in the United States and live in the United States (including territories and dependencies);
  • Must have a family relationship (blood, marriage, adoption) with the beneficiary of the immigrant visa;
  • Must be at least 18 years old;
  • Must assume all legal financial responsibilities for the green card beneficiary;
  • Annual income during the validity period of the Affidavit of Support must not be less than 125% of the federal poverty level income %(现役军人为100% ).

The guarantor is outside the United States, and the following types of work can still be counted as settled in the United States:

  • employed by the U.S. government;
  • Employed by a U.S. research institution recognized by the Attorney General;
  • Employed by a U.S. company or a company and its subsidiaries whose business is engaged in foreign trade and business development with the U.S. in whole or in part;
  • Employed by a public international organization in which the United States participates under a relevant treaty or statute;
  • Employed by a religious denomination or organization with establishments both inside and outside the United States; as a missionary of a religious denomination or organization, or as a missionary between factions, with such religions with establishments within or outside the United States;
  • other situations

The sponsor must demonstrate that his or her stay outside the United States is temporary and has a residence in the United States. Consulate officials must be satisfied that the sponsor has not renounced his domicile in the United States and has no domicile outside the United States.

If the guarantor’s income does not meet the above levels, he may:

  • Family members who list their family member’s income must sign an I-864A contract with the sponsor;
  • When providing proof of assets of the guarantor, the sponsored person or the guarantor’s family members (the I-864A contract must be signed with the family members), the cash value of the assets should be at least 5 times the difference between the guarantor’s income and the federal poverty line ;
  • If the income and assets are insufficient, another American citizen or green card holder must be found to act as a joint sponsor (Co-sponsor/Joint Sponsor) to bear joint and several liabilities (the joint sponsor does not have to be a relative).

The size of the family should be calculated by the guarantor himself, all dependents, all immigrants who have signed the I-864 guaranty and whose responsibilities have not terminated, and the green card beneficiaries of this secondary guaranty and their accompanying family members.

The financial guarantee letter is a contract between the guarantor and the guarantor, which has the effect of mandatory legal restrictions. The green card beneficiary can only terminate the guaranty responsibility under one of the following circumstances:

  • Have worked for more than forty quarters after arriving in the United States (40 Quarters, equivalent to 10 years)
  • naturalized as a U.S. citizen;
  • Permanently leave U.S. territory;
  • die;

NOTE: Divorce does not terminate sponsorship obligations.

The I-864 Affidavit of Support must be submitted within one year of the interview. If more than one year has passed, a new I-864 must be resubmitted. After completing the economic guarantee letter, regardless of whether the beneficiary of the green card is in the United States or abroad, he must submit it to the US government agency (embassy, consulate or immigration office) within 90 days after the completion of the economic guarantee letter procedure, otherwise the economic guarantee letter will lose its validity.

If the guarantor changes his residential address within the validity period of the economic guarantee letter, he shall notify the Ministry of Justice or its designated agency as required within 30 days after the change of address, and notify the state government of the guarantor’s place of residence. Violations of the regulations will result in fines.

substitute guarantor

A substitute sponsor is a sponsor who submits the I-864 Affidavit of Support in place of the deceased applicant.

The death of the I-130 applicant does not necessarily stop the application, and the beneficiary can continue the application by seeking an alternative sponsor. If the applicant dies before the I-130 is approved, the beneficiary is not eligible to find a substitute guarantor; if the applicant dies after the I-130 is approved, the beneficiary is eligible to seek the guarantor according to whether it violates the standards of family reunification and humanitarianism Conditions for Alternative Guarantors.

The “humanitarian” criterion is: if the beneficiary’s immigration application is suspended due to the death of the applicant, it will lead to very serious consequences, which are contrary to family reunification and humanitarian wishes. Usually, the immigration office/embassies and consulates will determine whether humanitarian standards are met from the following aspects:

  • disrupt family reunion
  • result in extreme hardship for a U.S. resident or permanent resident, including:
  • health, such as

Requiring uninterrupted or professional treatment for physical or mental illness

  • economy, such as

Special education or training expenses for children, expenses for caring for family members (such as elderly and infirm parents), etc.

  • education, such as

Lost access to higher education

  • personal circumstances such as

Having close relatives in the United States, the psychological impact of separation on close relatives

  • special factors such as

Cultural, linguistic, religious, and racial barriers to return to the country of origin; well-founded fears of political persecution, physical harm or harm upon return; social exclusion or social stigma, loss of proximity to the society of the country of origin Institutional or social structure opportunities, etc.

  • The beneficiary is old or in poor health
  • beneficiary homeless
  • The beneficiary resides permanently in the U.S.
  • The beneficiary is closely related in the United States
  • Delays in processing applications and visas at USCIS/Embassy

As an alternative guarantor, you must meet the above “qualifications and requirements for guarantors” and have the following relationships with immigrants: spouse, parents, parents-in-law, siblings, children, daughter-in-law/son-in-law, sister-in-law/sister-in-law, brother-in-law/brother-in-law, Grandparents, grandchildren.

For decades, we, Tsang & Associates, have provided services for many green card applicants to apply for letters of affidavit of support to help clients obtain immigrant visas.



Step 1: I-864 proposal discussion meeting

  • Discuss and evaluate individual cases and answer customers’ questions;
  • Provide legal advice, draw up an application plan, and list a customized list of documents.

Step 2: Prepare application documents

  • Collect and sort out customer-related information and documents;
  • Fill in relevant forms and write an application letter in English;
  • According to the standard application format required by the immigration bureau/embassies and consulates, it is integrated and bound into a volume.

Step 3: Submit I-864 Petition to USCIS/Embassy

  • Send documents to the immigration bureau/embassies and consulates and report the progress of the case to the client;
  • Electronic filing for inquiries.




Lawyer fees:

Regular I-864 Affidavit of Support $2,000 USD

Fee statement: This is a standard reference price, excluding government fees and third-party fees; the actual fee will be adjusted due to the different circumstances of each case, please refer to the lawyer’s final appointment contract.

Government Fees: See Form I-864 for the most recent AOS application fees .



  • Proof of ID, such as U.S. Passport/Citizenship/Green Card
  • Tax returns for the last three years
  • employer certificate
  • Proof of permanent residence in the U.S.
  • Proof of assets, such as bank certificates, stock securities, personal property, real estate certificates, etc.
  • If the income of a family member is included, proof of the relationship between the family member and the guarantor is required
  • Alternative Sponsor: Proof of kinship, evidence of related ties to the U.S., copy of I-130 petition duly approved, “humanitarian” proof such as: medical records, birth certificates of U.S. children, proof of inhospitable country of origin Wait

Disclaimer: The above is a list of general application materials. For details, please prepare the application materials according to the customized list of documents provided by Tsang & Associates.


My husband has a stable high-income job in the United States. Now he wants to help me apply for immigration. Can his job replace the I-864 Affidavit of Support?

From a legal point of view, the I-864 Affidavit of Support is an irreplaceable part of the immigration application documents. A complete I-864 Affidavit of Support is often an important cornerstone of your immigration application, so basically your husband’s job cannot be used as a substitute for the I-864 Affidavit of Support.

I divorced my husband two years ago, and my son was awarded to my ex-husband for custody. Now I want to sponsor my parents to live in the United States. When calculating the number of family members, should the son be deducted?

Usually, even if divorced, the parents still bear the custody obligation to the child, and the child is still one of the family members, so it should be counted in the number of family members, unless you can produce legal documents to prove that you have completely waived the custody obligation to the son .

The immigrant application my father submitted for me has been approved and I am about to enter the consulate interview process, but my father is old and retired, has no income, and has returned to live in China, while my brothers and sisters have a firm foothold in the United States and are willing to provide financial guarantee for me instead of my father. May I?

The immigration law stipulates that even if there is a joint sponsor, all applicants who submit an application for relative immigration must submit a guarantee of life. Even if your father is retired, has little or no income, and your siblings are willing to be joint guarantors, your father still needs to submit a life guarantee. Immigration law also stipulates that immigrant applicants must be settled in the United States (Domiciled) [or live in (Living) the United States]. Your father has returned to live in China and is no longer “settled” in the United States, so he cannot provide a life guarantee. Even if your siblings are willing, they cannot submit financial guarantees or act as a joint sponsor, and you cannot obtain an immigrant visa.

My mother filed an immigrant petition for me, but she died a few years ago in a plane crash, although my I-130 petition was approved, but due to the death of the petitioner, my immigrant petition did not proceed, can I continue after a few years of hiatus Looking for an alternative guarantor to continue the application?

According to the Memorandum of “Alternative Sponsorship”, there is no time limit for seeking alternative sponsorship to continue your immigration application. Therefore, although your immigration application has been interrupted for several years, if you can find a qualified If your reasons for continuing to immigrate are clearly stated, then there is hope for you to immigrate to the United States.

My sister filed an immigrant petition for me, but after the I-130 petition was approved, my sister died in an accident. Do I need to file a new Form I-130 in order to continue immigrating?

Preparing to file a new Form I-130 means abandoning the previous immigrant petition, so if you can find a qualified replacement sponsor to submit the Affidavit of Support for you, you only need to submit a copy of the previous I-130 approval That’s it.



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