A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Poverty Guidelines for 2014 for Affidavit of Support of Immigrants

Every year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) publishes the poverty guidelines for the public. In all family-based immigrant visa petitions, the petitioner must promise under oath that the beneficiary- immigrant will not become a financial burden of the U.S. by completing a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.  The only exception is if the beneficiary has already completed 40 quarters of work in the U.S.  The petitioner (also the financial sponsor) must demonstrate in Form I-864 an income of at least 125% (100 % for petitioners on active duty in the U.S. military who are sponsoring their spouses or children) of the current poverty level for the his household size, which must include the immigrants and their dependents. The 2014 guidelines are listed below:

Size of Household
48 Contiguous States,D.C.U.S. Virgin Islands,Guam & CNMI
Alaska
Hawaii
125% of Poverty Line (U.S. dollars)
2
19,662
24,575
      22,612
3
24,737
         30,925
      28,450
4
29,812
37,275
      34,287
5
34,887
43,625
      40,125
6
39,962
49,975
      45,962
7
45,037
56,325
      51,800
8
50,112
         62,675
      57,637

Add $5,075 for each additional person
Add $6,350 for each additional person
Add $5,837 for each additional person
For many applicants, the I-864 form turns out to be the most challenging document to handle.  In fact, a good number of immigrant petitions are delayed or denied due to the petitioner's failure to properly fill out the I-864 and related forms, or produce sufficient documents to prove financial ability.  If the petitioner cannot meet the I-864 requirements, another person may act as a joint sponsor and complete his or her own Affidavit of Support.  Both petitioner and the beneficiary may also use their assets such as real estate, stocks, bonds, cash, etc., to meet the I-864 requirements. 

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