Form I-864W Instructions

Form I-864W Instructions

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What is Form I-864W for?

  • Form I-864W, is an immigration form titled “Request for Exemption for Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support” 
  • This form is filed when an intending immigrant is exempt from the Affidavit of Support requirement
  • Intending immigrant is a person applying for permanent residency
  • Form I-864W is submitted by the following categories of intending immigrants:
    • Intending immigrant has earned or can receive credit for 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA)
    • Child who will become a US citizen upon entry under INA section 320
    • Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen (Form I-360)
    • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child (Form I-360) – Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Who should file Form I-864W?

The individuals who should file Form I-864W include:

Category

Description

Intending immigrant has earned or can receive credit for 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA) An intending immigrant can acquire 40 qualifying quarters in the following ways:

  • Working in the U.S. for 40 quarters in which you received the minimum income established by the Social Security Administration;
  • By being credited under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 213A(a)(3)(B) with quarters worked by your spouse during the marriage or a parent during the time you were under 18 years of age; OR
  • A combination of the above
Child who will become a US citizen upon entry under INA section 320 A child who becomes a U.S. citizen immediately after entering the U.S. on an immigrant visa or adjusting status in the US by filing Form I-485.

A child becomes a US citizen under INA section 320 if:

  • At least one parent of the child is a US citizen;
  • The child is under 18 years of age;
  • The child is residing in the US in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent after having been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen
  • Self-petitioning widow(er) who filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant
Self-petitioning battered spouse or child (VAWA)
  • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child (under Violence Against Women Act), who have filed Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant

What is the difference between I-864, I-864EZ, I-864W and I-864A?

  • The forms I-864, I-864EZ, I-864W, and I-864A are all related to the Affidavit of Support
  • These forms are used in all family-based and some employment-based immigration applications
  • Each form serves a different purpose and applies to specific situations:
Form type

Who files it

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Purpose: 

  • This is the main form used to demonstrate that the intending immigrant has financial support from a sponsoring U.S. citizen or permanent resident

Who signs it: 

  • Petitioner (U.S. citizen or permanent resident who filed Form I-130 or Form I-140)
  • Joint sponsor (when the petitioner does not meet the minimum income requirements)
Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member Purpose: 

  • This form is used when a petitioner’s income alone does not meet the required threshold, and they need to include the income of a household member to meet the financial requirements

Who signs it:

  • Petitioner’s household member (spouse, parent, child, sibling)
Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act Purpose: 

  • A simplified version of Form I-864, I-864EZ is designed for use by petitioners who meet the criteria below 

Who signs it:

  • Petitioner who filed Form I-130 to sponsor a family member
  • Only one family member is being sponsored
  • Petitioner’s income is based entirely on a salary or pension and is shown on one or more Form W-2 forms
Form I-864W, Request for Exemption for Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Purpose:

  • Used by intending immigrants who qualify for an exemption from the affidavit of support requirement

Who signs it:

  • Intending immigrant who has earned or can receive credit for 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA)
  • Child who will become a US citizen upon entry under INA section 320
  • Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen
  • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child (VAWA)

How do I file I-864W?

The process of filing Form I-864W involves specific steps:

Step 1. Eligibility Check:

  • Ensure that you meet the criteria for an exemption from the affidavit of support requirements
  • See the list of eligible intending immigrants above

Step 2. Complete the Form:

  • Obtain the most recent version of Form I-864W from the USCIS website
  • Using an outdated version of Form I-864W might result in rejection of your application
  • Complete all the required sections of the form accurately. Line-by-line instructions are provided below

Step 3. Gather Supporting Documents:

  • Collect any supporting documents required by the form (see the checklist below)

Step 4. Review and Sign the Form:

  • Thoroughly review the completed form to ensure accuracy and completeness
  • Sign and date the form in ink
  • USCIS does not accept stamped or computer-generated signatures

Step 5. Submit the Form:

  • If the intending immigrant is located outside the U.S. and applying for an immigrant visa at U.S. Embassy/Consulate, submit Form I-864W with Form DS-260
  • If the intending immigrant is in the U.S. and applying for Adjustment of Status, submit Form I-864W with Form I-485

I-864W checklist of documents

Submit photocopies of the following documents with your Form I-864W application:

Required evidence

Who needs to file it

  • All Social Security Act (SSA) forms necessary to establish that the intending immigrant has or can receive credit for 40 quarters of work under the SSA
  • If requesting Affidavit of Support exemption based on 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA)

I-864W filing fee

  • There is no fee to submit Form I-864W with USCIS (if applying in the U.S.)
  • $120 filing fee if submitting Form I-864W with the National Visa Center (if applying outside the U.S.)

How to fill out Form I-864W

Let’s start with general Form I-864W instructions:

  • Current edition of form: make sure that you are using the current edition of the Form I-864W. The most current edition is available on the USCIS website
  • USCIS will reject any outdated editions of the form
  • Sign and date the form
  • If you need extra space to complete any item on Form I-864W, go to the last page of the form – Part 6. Additional Information. Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers.
  • Answer all questions fully and accurately
  • If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” type or print “N/A” 
  • You must sign the form in ink
  • Stamped or typed signatures are not accepted

IMPORTANT: The instructions provided below are based on the version of Form I-864W that was current at the time of this article publication. 

USCIS frequently updates the immigration forms. 

If you are using a different edition of Form I-864W, you can use the instructions below as general guidelines on providing information about the intending immigrant.

Line-by-line instructions on filling out Form I-864W, Request for Exemption for Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support

For Government Use Only: leave this section blank.

To be completed by an attorney or accredited representative: leave it blank if you are not being represented by an attorney or representative.

Part 1. Information About You or Your Adopted Child (Intending Immigrant)

Name of Requestor

Questions 1.a.-1.c. – Enter the intending immigrant’s full name as shown on their birth certificate or legal name change document.  

An “intending immigrant” is a foreign citizen applying for permanent residency and who is requesting exemption from the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) requirements.

Form I-864W is filed out and signed by the following individuals (“requestors”):

  • Intending immigrant who has earned or can receive credit for 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA)
  • Child who will become a US citizen upon entry under INA section 320
  • Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen (Form I-360)
  • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child (Form I-360) – Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Mailing address

Question 2.a. – Provide the intending immigrant’s mailing address where they would like to receive written correspondence. If the mail is sent to someone other than the intending immigrant, please enter that person’s first and last name in Question 2.a. “In Care of Name”.

Questions 2.b.-2.i. – Provide the intending immigrant’s mailing address where they would like to receive written correspondence.

Question 3. Is your current mailing address the same as your physical address? – Answer “Yes” if the intending immigrant’s current mailing address matches their current physical address. Answer “No” if the intending immigrant’s current mailing address is different from their current physical address.

Physical Address

Questions 4.a.-4.h. – If the intending immigrant’s mailing address is the same as their current physical address, leave these fields blank. If the intending immigrant’s mailing address is different from their physical address, enter the physical address in these fields.

Other Information

Question 5. Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy) – Enter the intending immigrant’s date of birth in the month/day/year format.

Question 6. City or Town of Birth – Enter the intending immigrant’s city, town or village of birth as shown on the birth certificate.

Question 7. State or Province of Birth (if applicable) – Enter the intending immigrant’s state or province of birth as listed on the birth certificate. If not applicable, enter “N/A” or “Not applicable”.

Question 8. Country of Birth – Enter the intending immigrant’s country of birth.

Question 9. Alien Registration Number (A-number)Enter the intending immigrant’s Alien Registration Number (also known as an “A-Number”, “A#” or “USCIS #”) here, if the immigrant has one. Most immigrants do not have an A-Number prior to issuance of an immigrant visa.

A-Numbers are usually assigned when an immigrant petition or application for Adjustment of Status is filed.

An A-Number is also assigned to individuals placed in removal or deportation proceedings.

Some intending immigrant’s may have an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that lists an A-Number that starts with a “1.” This number is not an A-Number. It is an EAD number and need not be listed here

Question 10. USCIS Online Account Number (if any)If the intending immigrant has ever created an USCIS Online Account Number, enter it here.

If the intending immigrant has previously filed certain applications or petitions on a paper form, they may have received a USCIS Online Account Access Notice issuing a USCIS Online Account Number. 

The USCIS Online Account Number (if any) can be found at the top of the notices for the previously filed petition or application. 

The USCIS Online Account Number is NOT the same as an A-Number.

If you don’t know or don’t have an USCIS online account number, leave this field blank.

Question 11. U.S. Social Security Number (Required) enter the intending immigrant’s U.S. Social Security Number (if any). If the intending immigrant has ever been issued a Social Security Number saying “Valid with DHS authorization only”, enter it here. If the intending immigrant has never been issued a Social Security Number, enter “None”.

Part 2. Reason for Exemption

I am EXEMPT from filing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, because:

Box 1.a. I have earned (or can be credited with) 40 quarters (credits) of coverage under the Social Security Act (SSA) – Select this box if the intending immigrant has earned or can be credited with 40 quarters of coverage under SSA. If this box is checked, submit ALL SSA earnings statements.

Box 1.b. I am under 18 years of age, unmarried, immigrating as the child of a U.S. citizen, and will automatically become a U.S. citizen under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 upon my admission to the United States – Select this box if the intending immigrant is a child of a U.S. citizen who will become a US citizen after entering the US on an immigrant visa or after the child’s Form I-485 is approved.

Box 1.c. I am filing for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status as a self-petitioning widow(er) using Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant – Select this box if the intending immigrant is a widow(er) of a US citizen who has an approved Form I-360.

Box 1.d. I am filing for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status as a battered spouse or child using Form I-360 – Select this box if the intending immigrant has Form I-360 approved as a battered spouse or child (under VAWA, Violence Against Women Act).

Part 3. Requestor’s (Intending Immigrant’s) Contract, Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature

Requestor’s Statement

Question 1.a. – If the intending immigrant can comfortably read and understand the application in English, then check the box in Question 1.a.

The intending immigrant should carefully review the entire form for accuracy prior to signing.

Question 1.b. – If the intending immigrant is not proficient enough in reading English, then a competent interpreter needs to read through the form for accuracy review prior to signing. The interpreter need not be a professional interpreter but should be someone who is able to properly interpret the form. In such a case, the box in Question 1.b should be checked and the language used to interpret the application to the intending immigrant should be entered (for example, Spanish, French, etc.)

Question 2 – The box for Question 2 should be checked if anyone has prepared the form at the intending immigrant’s request. If a preparer was used to prepare the form, Part 5 must be completed too.

Requestor’s Contact Information

Question 3, 4, and 5 – Enter the requestor’s daytime telephone number, cell phone number (if any), and email address (if any). 

Requestor’s Declaration and Certification

Requestor’s Signature

Question 6.a. Requestor’s Signature – the intending immigrant signs the form here. It must be an ink signature. Stamped or typed signatures are not acceptable.

Question 6.b. – enter the date in mm/dd/yyyy format.

Part 4. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature

If an interpreter was used to read the form to the intending immigrant in their native language, then Part 4 must be completed with the information about the interpreter. 

The interpreter must sign and date to certify that they are:

  • Fluent in English and the language the applicant used; 
  • They have completely read the application to the intending immigrant in that language;
  • The intending immigrant confirmed to understand the contents of the form; and 
  • The intending immigrant verified the accuracy of the form.

Part 4 is completed by entering the full legal name of the interpreter, the interpreter’s mailing address, daytime phone number, cell phone number (if any), email address (if any), and the language used to interpret the application to the intending immigrant. The interpreter must then sign and date the application where indicated at Questions 7.a. and 7.b.

Part 5. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, if Other Than the Requestor

Part 5 is completed by entering the preparer’s full name, organization name (if applicable), mailing address, daytime telephone number, fax number (if any), and email address (if any). 

The box at Question 7.b should be checked if an attorney has prepared the form.

The preparer must sign and date the form where indicated at Questions 8.a. and 8.b. attesting to certifications about the preparation and accuracy of the application.

Part 6. Additional Information

This section can be used if there is not enough space in any other parts of the form to provide all requested information. 

IMPORTANT! Even if no information is provided in Part 6, this page should still must be included with the application when submitted to USCIS or U.S. Department of State (National Visa Center or US Embassy/Consulate).

If you need additional space, make copies of this page to use to provide all requested information. 

If you are using Part 6 to provide additional information, enter:

  • Intending immigrant’s full name 
  • Intending immigrant’s Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any)
  • Indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which the answer refers.

What is the minimum income to sponsor a spouse in 2024?

  • The minimum income required to sponsor a spouse is set at 125% of the poverty level
  • The minimum income requirements can vary based on factors such as:
    • Sponsor’s household size
    • Number of dependents (spouse, children under 21, dependents claimed on most recent tax return)
    • State of sponsor’s residence
    • The current federal poverty guidelines
  • The income requirements for sponsors are updated annually 
  • If the sponsor is on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and is petitioning for a spouse, the minimum income required is set at 100% of the poverty level
  • If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, they can:
    • Use income of a co-sponsor (joint sponsor) who is willing to accept financial responsibility for the intending immigrant
    • Use income and/or assets of a household member (Form I-864A)
    • Use own assets or spouse’s assets to supplement income

Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support (2024)

For the 48 Contiguous States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $20,440 $25,550
3 $25,820 $32,275
4 $31,200 $39,000
5 $36,580 $45,725
6 $41,960 $52,450
7 $47,340 $59,175
8 $52,720 $65,900
Add $5,380 for each additional person Add $6,725 for each additional person

For Alaska:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $25,540 $31,925
3 $32,270 $40,338
4 $39,000 $48,750
5 $45,730 $57,163
6 $52,460 $65,575
7 $59,190 $73,988
8 $65,920 $82,400
Add $6,730 for each additional person Add $8,413 for each additional person

For Hawaii:

Sponsor’s Household Size 100% of HHS Poverty Guidelines* 125% of HHS Poverty Guidelines*
For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child For all other sponsors
2 $23,500 $29,375
3 $29,690 $37,113
4 $35,880 $44,850
5 $42,070 $52,588
6 $48,260 $60,325
7 $54,450 $68,063
8 $60,640 $75,800
Add $6,190 for each additional person Add $7,738 for each additional person

What is proof of current income for Form I-864?

The following documents can be used as proof of current income for Form I-864:

Required document

Description

Proof of sponsor’s immigration status If sponsor is a U.S. citizen, provide at least one of the following documents:

  • U.S. birth certificate (if born in the U.S.)
  • U.S. naturalization certificate (if obtained citizenship through naturalization)
  • U.S. citizenship certificate (if obtained citizenship through parents)
  • U.S. unexpired passport (biographic page)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (if born outside the U.S. to US citizen parent)

If sponsor is a green card holder:

  • Green card (front and back); OR
  • Immigrant visa stamped by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)
Federal Income Tax Return for the most recent tax year
  • Copy of the petitioner’s federal income tax return (provide all pages); OR
  • IRS Tax Return Transcript (can be obtained online)
W-2 form(s)
  • Every Form W-2 that relates to the most recent tax return
1099 form(s)
  • Every Form 1099 that relates to the most recent tax return
If sponsor is married and filing tax returns jointly
  • Spouse’s every Form W-2 and/or 1099 form that relates to the most recent tax return
Employment letter or pay stubs
  • Employment verification letter (on business letterhead and must include annual pay (salary or hourly), total hours worked, occupation and hire date); OR
  • If letter of employment is not available, pay stubs for the last 12 months
If sponsor is self-employed or owns a business
  • A letter from CPA (certified public accountant) stating:
    • Sponsor’s annual income
    • Sponsor’s position in the company (owner, director, etc.)
    • Copy of the business license or other documentation showing ownership of the company
    • All federal tax return schedules (e.g., Schedule C), profit and loss schedules
Proof of assets (only if using assets to supplement income) ONLY if sponsor’s income does not meet the minimum requirements and assets are used to supplement income:

  • Proof of ownership of each listed asset
  • Value of each asset listed
  • Documentation of any liens or mortgages on each asset listed (if applicable)
  • If listing one or more vehicles, include proof of ownership of at least one additional vehicle beyond the vehicle(s) listed on Form I-864
Proof of domicile in the U.S. (only if requested by the National Visa Center) ONLY if the National Visa Center (NVC) requested to submit proof of sponsor’s U.S. domicile:

  • Voting records in the U.S. (local, State, or Federal elections)
  • Payment of U.S. state or local taxes
  • Ownership of property in the U.S.
  • Maintaining bank or investment accounts in the U.S. (provide monthly statements)
  • Employment records in the U.S. (employment contract, pay stubs, etc.)
  • Lease agreement for a U.S. residential address
  • Utility bills for a U.S. residential address
  • U.S. school records


Learn more:

Form I-864W, Request for Exemption for Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support