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An individual filing a family sponsored petition (I-130) has to provide an affidavit of support (I-864). This is applicable to those petitioning for an employment based petition (I-140) if the submission is by a company or relative in which the relative has a major ownership interest.

The supporting documents needed are tax returns, W2 , 1099’s, letter of employment from employer indicating salary, position, full-time or part-time. The person petitioning for the relative is obligated to support the beneficiary unless the beneficiary is deceased, leaves the United States permanently, becomes a citizen or has worked at least 40 quarters in the United States. If the affidavit of support is filed outside the United States there is no fee. However, if the affidavit of support is filed within the United States, there is a fee.

In order to qualify as a petitioner who can provide an affidavit of support, the petitioner’s income cannot be less than 125% of the federal guidelines on poverty. These guidelines are regularly updated. Alternatively, the petitioner can secure a co-sponsor who does have the requisite income based on household size to provide the affidavit of support. Further, the petitioner can include the income of a qualified household member to be eligible to provide an affidavit of support. Finally, if none of the above are options, the petitioner can include equity in an asset towards 20% of the qualifying income.