Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support

Form I-864P, Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

Poverty Guidelines Purpose

The poverty guidelines for the Affidavit of Support in U.S. immigration are issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is a form used in U.S. immigration, specifically in cases where a U.S. citizen or permanent resident is sponsoring a family member for immigration to the U.S.

These guidelines are used to determine whether a sponsor’s income is sufficient to support the intending immigrant. The poverty guidelines are updated annually in March.

The poverty guidelines are based on household size and are higher for households in Alaska and Hawaii.

Additionally, when sponsoring an immigrant, you may also be required to submit additional supporting documentation and evidence of income.

The Affidavit of Support is a legal contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government, ensuring that the sponsored immigrant will have the financial means to avoid becoming a public charge.

The sponsor must demonstrate that their income is at least 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines for their household size, including the sponsored immigrant.

Petitioners on active duty who are sponsoring spouses and children under age of 18, must demonstrate that their income is at least 100% of the U.S. poverty guidelines.

What is I-864P form?

  • Form I-864P, titled “HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support,” is a chart published by USCIS
  • This chart provides the poverty guidelines that are used to determine the minimum income requirements that sponsors must meet
  • Affidavit of Support is a legal document submitted by a sponsor to demonstrate their ability to financially support an immigrant
  • The sponsor (also called “petitioner”) is typically a U.S. citizen or a green card holder who is willing to take financial responsibility for the sponsored individual
  • Form I-864P are updated each year

What is the minimum income to sponsor an immigrant? 

  • The minimum income required to sponsor an immigrant 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
  • If the sponsor is on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and is petitioning for a spouse or child, 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 intending immigrant’s assets to supplement income

How to verify if the sponsor meets the Poverty Guidelines requirements?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to determine if the sponsor (petitioner) meets the minimum income requirements:

  • Determine Household Size:
  • Refer to the most recent Poverty Guidelines:
    • Obtain the most recent Poverty Guidelines from the USCIS website.
  • Identify the Relevant Column:
    • Identify the appropriate column for your household size and the location where you reside (either the 48 contiguous states, Alaska, or Hawaii).
  • Check the Income Requirement:
    • The figure provided in the table represents the minimum income required for sponsors based on the poverty guidelines. The sponsor’s income must be at least 125% of the poverty guidelines for the household size.
    • For sponsors who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces who are petitioning for their spouse or child, the minimum income required must be at least 100% of the poverty guidelines for their household size.
  • Use the Guidelines for Form I-864:
    • Once you have determined the minimum income requirement for your household size, use this information when completing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
    • On Form I-864, you will need to provide details about your income, assets, and other financial information to demonstrate that you meet or exceed the minimum income requirement.
    • Learn more: How to Fill Out Affidavit of Support – Form I-864
  • Include Supporting Documents:
  • Submit the Affidavit of Support:
    • Once you have completed Form I-864 and gathered the necessary supporting documents, submit the form along with the immigrant’s application:
      • If filing Form I-485 in the U.S. – submit Form I-864 along with Form I-485
      • If applying outside the U.S. – upload Form I-864 to Form DS-260 online

2024 Form I-864P Poverty Guidelines

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 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 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 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

How often do Poverty Guidelines get updated?

The Poverty Guidelines are typically updated once a year. The updates usually occur in March, and the new guidelines go into effect shortly after their publication.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible for issuing the annual Poverty Guidelines, which are then used by USCIS for immigration-related purposes, including the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

What to do if the petitioner does not meet the Poverty Guidelines requirements?

If the petitioner (sponsor) does not meet the income requirements outlined in the Poverty Guidelines, there are several options to address the situation:

  • Joint Sponsor:
    • The petitioner can obtain a joint sponsor who is willing to take financial responsibility for the sponsored immigrant. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and meet the income requirements on their own. Both the petitioner and the joint sponsor are equally responsible for supporting the immigrant.
    • Joint sponsor must sign a separate Form I-864, along with supporting documents (such as joint sponsor’s proof of immigration status, most recent federal tax return, most recent W-2 and/or 1099 form)
    • Even if a joint sponsor will sign a separate Form I-864, the petitioner must still sign and submit Form I-864 and supporting documents
  • Use Assets:
    • If the sponsor’s income is insufficient, assets alone can be used to meet the financial requirements.
    • Petitioner’s, intending immigrant’s or household member’s assets can be used
    • Only assets that can be converted into cash within one year and without considerable hardship or financial loss to the owner may be included
    • The owner of the asset must include a description of the asset, proof of ownership, and the basis for the owner’s claim of its net cash value
    • If you are using savings, certificate of deposit, stocks, investment accounts as assets, provide the statements for the last 12 months. The average balance will be taken into consideration by USCIS
    • The total value of assets must be at least:
      • Three times the difference between the sponsor’s household income and the poverty guidelines if the petitioner is a U.S. citizen and sponsoring a spouse or a child under age of 18
      • Five times the difference between the sponsor’s household income and the poverty guidelines for all other petitioners. 
  • Use a household member’s income:

Related Links:

How to Count Household Size for I-864 (Affidavit of Support)

What is a Joint Sponsor – Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)

Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member