What you need to know about having a Self Employed Sponsor and the Form I-864. One of the requirements to get a green card is having a financial sponsor file the I-864, Affidavit of Support. This USCIS form is basically a contract between the financial sponsor, the immigrant applicant and the US government. As part of the contract, the sponsor must meet certain income requirements to qualify as a financial sponsor for the immigrant. Like every form on the green card application, several documents must be submitted as supporting evidence for the information provided in the application.
Submitting supporting evidence for a sponsor that is currently employed is fairly straightforward. The sponsor needs to attach their most recent federal tax return, a letter from their employer and pay stubs for the past 6 months. These requirements become useless when the sponsor is either self-employed or retired.
Self-employed Sponsors & Form I-864 Supporting Documents
The USCIS actually has a few guidelines when it comes to proving an income amount for a sponsor that is self-employed or a business owner. The USCIS suggests that self-employed sponsors should attach the following photocopies of documents to their I-864, Affidavit of Support:
Total and Complete Tax Return: All schedules associated with the federal return including Schedule C (Profit/Loss from Business), Schedule D (Capital Gains/Loss), Schedule E (Supplemental Income/Loss) and Schedule F (Profit/Loss from Farming).
Business Licenses and registrations.
Signed and dated statement about the nature of the business and the sponsors involvement.
Bank Statements for the previous 6 months.
Retired Sponsors & Form I-864 Supporting Documents
If the sponsor that is submitting the Form I-864, Affidavit of support is retired, a similar problem exists. Again, the goal for a retired financial sponsor is to simply provide independent evidence that establishes a steady flow of income matching the amount reported in the Form I-864. This can be accomplished by providing the following documents:
Recent Pension Statements and Current Pension Payment Receipts
Social Security Documents that indicate payments
Complete Tax Returns
Bank Statements for the previous 6 months
As you are working to complete your green card application and fill out a correct Form I-864, make sure that you are avoiding some of the other pitfalls of the financial sponsor for a green card. Making sure that you are calculating the household size correctly or including the accurate income amounts are a few of the important things to remember when working on this application. SimpleCitizen is a do-it-yourself tool to help you avoid these common mistakes. We are the only truly comprehensive service, guiding users from signup to citizenship while ensuring their application is correct and complete at every stage.