Filling Out Form I-864A (By the Immigrant Sponsor's Household Member)

If the main U.S. petitioner's income isn't enough to sponsor the immigrant, here's how a household member with additional financial resources can help.

By , J.D. · University of Washington School of Law

USCIS Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, is for use in only a limited type of green card (lawful permanent residence) applications: Specifically, it should be used in family-based cases where the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is petitioning for a foreign-born family member to immigrate does not have sufficient income to serve as the sole financial sponsor.

In such a situation, it's possible for a family member who is living in the sponsor's home to combine their income and assets in order to meet the required 125% of Poverty Guidelines level, as this article will describe.

Immigrating Household Member Can Be the One to Sign Form I-864A!

The household member who signs this form can be the immigrant, if that person happens to be living and working legally in the United States already, and if the job will continue after the immigrant gets a green card. There's no actual need for the household member who is the main immigrant to sign Form I-864A to contribute income, however, unless dependent children are also included in the immigration application.

And if the immigrant is contributing only assets (whether a household member or coming from abroad) there's no need to fill out Form I-864A either. Instead, the U.S. petitioner would list these assets in Form I-864 Part 7, Questions 6 to 8.

Where Do I Get Form I-864A?

You can get a free download of Form I-864A from the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Who Can Submit a Form I-864A?

The person preparing and submitting this form to the U.S. government (USCIS or an overseas consulate) to does not need to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in order to sign Form I-864A. This person will, however, need to submit evidence of income (such as tax returns or IRS transcripts and an employer letter), just as the main sponsor does.

The household member will also need to provide proof of being a relative of and residing with the sponsor, such as a copy of a birth or marriage certificate (with full English language translation, if it's in another language).

What's the Legal Effect of Signing Form I-864A?

By signing Form I-864A, both the main sponsor for the immigrant and the sponsor's household member agree that, while the main sponsor will still fill out a Form I-864 and take some financial responsibility for the immigrant(s), the household member will also provide financial support to the immigrant(s) if needed.

Also realize that, under certain circumstances, it is possible for the household member to become solely responsible for the immigrant's support.

Line-by-Line Instructions for Filling Out Form I-864A

These instructions refer to the version of the form issued 12/08/2021.

Part 1: This asks for basic name and contact information, to be filled in by the household member. "Relationship to sponsor" means the household member's family connection to the petitioner who is bringing in the immigrant(s), such as "spouse" or "child."

For Question 7, if the person doesn't have a Social Security Number, that could indicate a lack of valid immigration status, in which case the work is unlawful and won't be counted.

For Question 8, there's no need to worry (or enter anything) if the household member doesn't have a USCIS Online Account Number. This would apply only if it was an immigrant who had certain forms of past interactions with USCIS.

Part 2: This is to be filled in by the household member, stating their relation to the immigrant's main sponsor.

Part 3: This is to be filled in and signed by the household member, detailing where the person is employed and the annual income.

Part 4: This is where the household member indicates how much income they reported on taxes (which hopefully matches annual income; if not, filing an amended return with the IRS might be necessary). In addition, the household member can list assets, if needed to bring the overall support level up. See the discussion of listing assets in this article about filling out the main Form I-864.

Part 5: This part is to be filled in and signed by the main sponsor, who will be filling out the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. Self-explanatory.

Part 6: This is for the household member to fill out and sign. If the household member is also the immigrant, that person does not need to sign Form I-864A unless agreeing to support immigrating children as well.

Part 7: If a language interpreter helped the parties fill out this form, that person's name and contact information need to go here, plus the person's signature.

Part 8: If an attorney or other professional prepared this form, that person's name, contact information, and signature need to go here.

Part 9: This is where you can add information that didn't fit in the main part of the form.

How to Submit Form I-864A

Both the sponsor and the household member(s) will need to sign the I-864A. The sponsor will attach Form I-864A to the main Form I-864 as part of the immigrant's green card application.

Exactly when it gets submitted depend on whether the immigrant will be applying through an overseas U.S. consulate (in which case the National Visa Center will send instructions) or is in the U.S. and will be applying to adjust status (in which case you'd submit all the forms and paperwork to USCIS in one package).

Getting Legal Help

For personalized assistance with applying for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship to a U.S. citizen or green card holder, consult an experienced attorney. The attorney can help analyze your eligibility and any complications, deal with low-income situations, prepare the paperwork, and more.

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