현재 소득이 최저생계비에 미달인 경우나, 실업상태, 혹은 정년퇴직하여 소득이 없는 경우에는 다음의 3가지 방법이 있습니다.
•가족 구성원 (Household Member)의 소득을 통한 공동보증서(I-864A)를 제출하는 방법,
•초청인과 가족 구성원(Household Member)의 자산(Asset)으로 증명하는 방법,
•그리고 제 3자(Joint Sponsor) 를 통한 재정보증 방법 세가지가 있습니다.
(1)가족 구성원 (Household Member)의 소득을 통해 공동으로 보증하는 경우는 한 가족중 초청자외 2명 까지의 소득이나 자산을 합하여 피초청인을 재정보증 해 줄 수 있습니다. 이경우 이민법 규정에 따른 “Household Member”란 같은 주거지(Same Principal Residence)에 사는 초청자외 배우자, 18세 이상의 자녀, 부모, 형제자매, 또는 세금보고서에 신고된 부양인 등이 해당됩니다.
(2)자산으로 보증하는 경우는 이민국이 정한 최저생계비의 5배의 유동자산으로 그 자격을 증명할 수 있습니다. 은행잔고의 경우, 1년동안의 Bank Statement이 필요하며 1년안에 현금화가 가능한 개인자산 및 부동산의 경우, 현재 싯가에서 은행융자나 담보가 설정된 부채를 뺀 순수자산(NetEquity)등도 재정보증을 할 수 있는 능력으로 인정을 받을 수 있습니다.
(3)제3보증 인이 보증하는 경우는 친인척 관계자뿐 아니라 아무런 가족관계가 없는 사람도 재정보증을 할 수 있으며, 재정보증인의 가족수와 피재정보증인의 가족수를 더한 최저생계비를 기준으로 125% 기준에 맞아야 됩니다. 하지만 제3보증인이 재정보증을 하는 경우라 할지라도 초청자는 소득의 유무에 상관없이 무조건 재정보증서를 제출하도록 되어 있습니다.
•poverty guidelines 은 어떻게 읽는 건가요? gross income 이 125% 만 넘으면 초청하는데 문제가 없는건지요? 예를 들어 저희 식구랑 부모님 합해서 5명이면 저희 인컴이 125%인 $30,163 만 넘으면 괜챦은건가요?
답변>>네, 정확하게 알고 계십니다..원글님네 식구+beneficiary=나오는 숫자를 기준으로 125%넘으면 됩니다.
•I-864 Part 5. 21a에 보면 enter the number you enter on line10 라고 되어있는데 도대체 이게 무슨말인지요? line 10 이 어디에 있다는건지???
답변>>8번 남편,원글님 두분다 yes표시하시구요..9번체크하시고..10번에는 아버지,어머니 양식셋트에 따라 두분의 이름 번갈아쓰시고..맨밑 칸 에다가는 둘다 “2”라고 쓰면됩니다.
How to Fill Out Form I-864 1.
Line by Line Instructions
Part 1 – Basis for Filing Affidavit of Support
Provide your full name (the sponsor) in the space provided, then select the Item Number that reflects your basis for filing Form I-864
Item Number 1.a. Select this box if you are the petitioner who is filing or who has already filed Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), for a fiancé(e); Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member; Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, for an orphan; or Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, for a convention adoptee.
•If you are the petitioner you answer 1.a.
•Here, the main sponsor writes his or her name and checks Box “a” if it’s purely a family immigration case.
Item Number 1.b. Select this box if you are filing or have filed Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, for your husband, wife, father, mother, child, adult son or daughter, brother, or sister.
Item Number 1.c. Select this box if you have an ownership interest of at least five percent in a business, corporation, or other entity that filed or is filing Form I-140 for your husband, wife, father, mother, child, adult son or daughter, brother, or sister.
If the sponsor is an employer/family petitioner, he or she must check Box “b” or “c”.
Item Number 1.d. Select this box if you are the only joint sponsor.
•If you have been required to be a joint sponsor, in most circumstances you will give answer 1.d, that you are the “only joint sponsor.”
•Friends or non-petitioning who agree to fill in this form as joint sponsors check either Box “d” or “e”.
Item Number 1.e. Select this box if you are either of two joint sponsors. NOTE: A joint sponsor does not have to be related to the intending immigrant. Indicate whether you are the only joint sponsor or one of two joint sponsors. Check with the petitioning sponsor or the intending immigrant if you are not certain.
•The only time you would give another answer (answer 1.e) is
if there are more than one individuals immigrating at the same time. For example, there could be more than one joint sponsor if a mother is immigrating with her two children (called derivatives).
Box “f” is for situations where the immigrant’s original sponsor died after the visa petition was approved and the immigrant is asking U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow the application to go forward for humanitarian reasons (called “reinstatement”). In this case, the immigrant must find another family member in the U.S. who is willing to serve as a substitute sponsor and meets the basic sponsorship requirements (age 18, domiciled in the U.S., and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or national). The family members who qualify to do this include the immigrant’s spouse, parent, mother- or father-in-law, brother or sister, child (if at least 18 years of age), son or daughter-in-law, sister- or brother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, and legal guardian.
Part 2 – Information About the Principal Immigrant
•The principal immigrant is the intending immigrant who is the primary beneficiary of the visa petition.
Item Number 1.a. – 1.c. Name. Provide the full name of the principal immigrant.
•”In care of” means that if you happen to have someone or an organization who is better prepared to receive mail than you. Any correspondence can be sent to this address instead of your actual address. Use the phrase c/o, or care of, to address a letter sent in the care of another person. Write the recipient’s name on the first line, then write c/o and the name of the person who is responsible for conveying that letter to the recipient on the second line. This is generally used when using a lawyer or an immigration assistance organization to file for Deferred Action.
•아니면 그냥 blank로 놔 두세요.
Item Number 2.a. – 2.i. Mailing Address. Provide the mailing address of the principal immigrant.
Item Number 3. Country of Citizenship or Nationality. Provide the country of citizenship or nationality of the principal immigrant.
Item Number 4. Date of Birth. Provide the date of birth of the principal immigrant in mm/dd/yyyy format.
Item Number 5. Alien Registration Number (A-Number) (if any). An Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is a number assigned by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). People with A-Numbers can locate the number on their INS or USCIS-issued documentation. If the intending immigrants you are sponsoring have not previously been in the United States or have only been in the United States as tourists, they may not have A-Numbers.
•These are basic questions concerning the person immigrating. If the immigrant hasn’t been assigned an A-Number or a Social Security Number, leave these blank.
Item Number 6. USCIS ELIS Account Number (if any). If the principal immigrant has previously filed an application, petition, or request using the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS), provide the USCIS ELIS Account Number they were issued by the system. The USCIS ELIS Account Number is not the same as an A-Number. If they were issued a USCIS ELIS Account Number, enter it in the space provided. Item Number 7. Daytime Telephone Number. Provide a daytime telephone number with area code for the principal immigrant.
•If the principal immigrant has previously filed an application, petition, or request using the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS), provide the USCIS ELIS Account Number they were issued by the system. The USCIS ELIS Account Number is not the same as an A-Number. If they were issued a USCIS ELIS Account Number, enter it in the space provided.
Part 3 – Information About the Immigrants you are Sponsoring
•Part 3 asks for information about the Principal Immigrant. This is the primary immigrant in the immigration case. Again, if a mother was immigrating with children, the mother would be the Principal immigrant.
Alien Registration Number. This number refers to a identification number issued by the immigration authorities. You will need to check with the individual to see if she has an alien number.USCIS ELIS number. This refers to an online filing system that is currently available for only limited types of immigration applications. In most circumstances the Principal Immigrant will not have an ELIS number. Note that the ELIS number is not the same as the Alien Registration Number.
In Part 3 you state which individual or individuals you are choosing to sponsor. You may have been requested to sponsor only the Principal Immigrant, or you may have been requested to sponsor additional individuals(동반자녀?) immigrating with the Principal Immigrant.
Note that there’s a place to list children. You don’t need to name children who were born in the United States, because the sponsor has no obligation to promise to support them (at least not under the immigration laws, though the children will be counted elsewhere within this form to test the sponsor’s overall financial capacity).
Item Number 1.
•In most circumstances you will answer “yes” to question 1. You would answer “no” only if there were two or more Joint Sponsors, and you were not sponsoring the Principal Immigrant.
•Indicate whether you are sponsoring the principal immigrant listed in Part 2. of Form I-864. Select “No” if you are sponsoring only intending immigrants listed in Part 3.,
•Item Numbers 3.a. – 27. and not the principal immigrant listed in Part 2. This only applies if you are sponsoring family members(동반자녀?) in Part 3. as the second joint sponsor.
•2 부모님이 동시에 들어가니까 2번에도 체크를 해야하는건가요? 아님 별도로 864 작성하니까 체크하지 말아야하나요?
답변>>1번은 Yes 하고 2번은 서류가 따로 들어가니까 안적는 것입니다. (Do not include any relative listed on a separate visa petition)
•조인트 스폰서는 같이 살 필요가 없습니다. 그리고 별도의 i864를 작성합니다.(i864a는 household member가 sponsor하는 경우에 작성합니다). 남편과 동생분은 각각 i864를 작성해야 합니다. 남편은 ‘petitioner’로서 기본적으로 i864를 작성해야 하며, 남편 동생분은 다른 joint sponsor가 없을 경우 ‘sole joint sponsor’로서 표기하도록 i864 form에 나와 있을 것입니다. 남편분은 I-864 서류상에 Petitioner box에 체크하시면 되고 시동생분은 I am the only joint sponsor 박스에 체크하시면 됩니다.
•제 h1b인컴이 충분하다면 시동생 도움 안 받고 제가 I-864A를 진행해도 될까요? 가능합니다. I-864A 쓰실필요도 없구요. I-864에 님의 인컴 add해서 넣으시고 최근 pay stubs이랑 tax서류 넣으시면 됩니다. 하지만 co-sponsor를 세우는걸 추천하는 이유는 이민국에서 간혹 똘똘하게 일처리 못하고 RFE 발급하는경우들이 많거든요. 그러면 또 시간 지체되니 co-sponsor를 받는게 낫습니다. 어짜피 님께서 실업수당이나 public benefit같은걸 시민권 따기전까지 받으시지 않는이상 시동생께 피해가는 부분은 전혀없으니까요.
Item Number 2.
•Your answer to question 2 depends on whether there are additional immigrants who you have been asked to sponsor. Check with the Principal Immigrant to see who you are being asked to sponsor.
•Family Members. The immigrant you are sponsoring may bring a spouse and/or children(동반자녀?) to the United States. If the spouse and/or children will travel with the immigrant, or within six months of the immigrant’s entry into the United States and you are sponsoring them, you should list the names and other requested information in the spaces provided. If any dependents are not immigrating, will immigrate more than six months after the sponsored immigrant arrives in the United States, or you are not sponsoring them, do not list their names here. A separate Form I-864 is required for them when they apply for their immigrant visas.
Item Numbers 3.a. – 27.
Provide the requested information about each family member (intending immigrants) you are sponsoring with this affidavit. If you need extra space to complete this section, use the space provided in Part 11. Additional Information. Item Number 28. Enter the total number of immigrants you are sponsoring on this affidavit from Item Numbers 1.a. – 27.
•Question 9 is basically only for use by petitioners who are permanent residents, not U.S. citizens. Notice that the form says “Do not include any relatives listed on a separate visa petition.” This would be the case if they were immediate relatives of the petitioner, in which case each one would need a separate visa petition and would also need their own Form I-864, filled out just for them, rather than a photocopy of their mother or father’s form. (For example, if a U.S. citizen father petitions for his wife and stepchildren, they are all immediate relatives, will all need separate visa petitions, and therefore will all need separate Form I-864s. But if a lawful permanent resident father petitions for his wife and stepchildren, the children are allowed to accompany the mother on her visa petition without having visa petitions separately filed for each of them, and they therefore won’t need separate Form I-864s prepared on their behalf, so should all be listed on this one form.)
•Question9: 아빠랑 엄마랑 초청하는데 따로따로 i-864를 작성하는경우, 여기 9번에는 아무것도 안써도 되는거지요?
답변>>따로 쓰셔야합니다. 130,485,864 모두 수혜인 명수대로 작성해야합니다.
Part 4 – Information about you (Sponsor)
•Part 4 asks for basic information about you, and is mostly self-explanatory. Your country of domicile means the country where you maintain a residence and plan to live for the foreseeable future. If you have been asked to complete this Form you almost certainly live in the United States.
•Item Numbers 1.a. – 1.c.
Sponsor’s Full Name. Provide your (the sponsor’s) full name. Item Numbers 2.a. – 3. Sponsor’s Mailing Address. Provide your (the sponsor’s) current mailing address. Item Numbers 4.a. – 4.h. Sponsor’s Physical Address. Provide the physical address where you (the sponsor) live, if different from your mailing address.
–Item Number 5. Country of Domicile. Indicate the country where you maintain your principal residence and where you plan to reside for the foreseeable future. If your mailing address and/or place of residence is not in the United States, but your country of domicile is the United States, you must attach a typed or printed explanation and documentary evidence indicating how you meet the domicile requirement. If you are not currently living in the United States, you may meet the domicile requirement if you can submit evidence to establish that any of the following conditions apply: Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 5 of 16 1. You are employed by a certain organization. Some individuals employed overseas are automatically considered as domiciled in the United States because of the nature of their employment. The qualifying types of employment include employment by: A. The U.S. Government; B. An American institution of research recognized by the Secretary of Homeland Security (you may find the list of qualifying institutions at 8 CFR 316.20); C. A U.S. firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce with the United States, or a subsidiary of such a firm or corporation; D. A public international organization in which the United States participates by treaty or statute; E. A religious denomination having a bona fide organization in the United States, if the employment abroad involves the person’s performance of priestly or ministerial functions on behalf of the denomination; or F. A religious denomination or interdenominational missionary organization having a bona fide organization in the United States, if the person is engaged solely as a missionary. 2. You are living abroad temporarily. If you are not currently living in the United States, you must provide proof that your trip abroad is temporary and that you have maintained your domicile in the United States. Examples of proof include: A. Your voting record in the United States; B. Records of paying U.S. state or local taxes; C. Having property in the United States; D. Maintaining bank or investment accounts in the United States; E. Having a permanent mailing address in the United States; or F. Other proof such as evidence that you are a student studying abroad or that a foreign government has authorized a temporary stay. 3. You intend in good faith to reestablish your domicile in the United States no later than the date of the intending immigrant’s admission or adjustment of status. You must submit proof that you have taken concrete steps to establish that you will domicile in the United States at a time no later than the date of the intending immigrant’s admission or adjustment of status. Concrete steps might include accepting a job in the United States, signing a lease or purchasing a residence in the United States, or registering children in U.S. schools. Please attach proof of the steps you have taken to establish domicile as described above.
–Item Number 6. Date of Birth. Provide your date of birth in the mm/dd/yyyy format. Item Number 7. – 9. Location of Birth. Provide the city or town, state or province, and country of your birth.
–Item Number 10. U.S. Social Security Number (Required). INA Section 213A(i) requires you to include your U.S. Social Security Number on Form I-864. If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number, you must obtain one before submitting Form I-864. If you do not provide your information, USCIS cannot accept your Form I-864, and the intending immigrant(s) may not immigrate to the United States. USCIS may use your U.S. Social Security Number to verify and, if necessary, to enforce your obligations under Form I-864.
–Item Numbers 11.a. – 11.c. Citizenship or Residency. You must provide proof that you are a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident for joint and substitute sponsors and for relatives of employment-based immigrants who file Form I-864. Petitioning relatives who have already filed proof of their citizenship or immigration status with Form I-129F, Form I-130, Form I-600, or Form I-600A do not need to submit proof of their status with this affidavit. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 6 of 16 1. Proof of U.S. citizen or U.S. national status includes a copy of your birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, consular report of birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or a copy of the biographic data page of your U.S. passport. 2. Proof of lawful permanent resident status includes a photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551), or a photocopy of an unexpired temporary Form I-551 stamp in either a foreign passport or a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record. 3. If applicable, also provide the sponsor’s A-Number in Item Number 12. Item Number 12. Sponsor’s Alien Registration Number (if any). An Alien Registration Number (A-Number) is a number assigned by the former INS or USCIS. People with A-Numbers can locate the number on their INS or USCISissued documentation. Item Number 13. Sponsor’s USCIS ELIS Account Number (if any). If you (the sponsor) have previously filed an application, petition, or request using the USCIS Electronic Immigration System (USCIS ELIS), provide the USCIS ELIS Account Number you were issued by the system. The USCIS ELIS Account Number is not the same as an A-Number. If you were issued a USCIS ELIS Account Number, enter it in the space provided.
–Item Number 14. Military Service. Select “Yes” if you are the petitioning sponsor and on active duty in the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, other than for training. If you provide evidence that you are currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard and you are petitioning for your spouse and/or minor child, you will need to demonstrate income at only 100 percent of the poverty level for your household size, instead of at 125 percent of the poverty level. (See Form I-864P, Federal Poverty Guidelines, for information on the poverty levels.) Select “No” if you are not on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard. This provision does not apply to joint and substitute sponsors.
Part 5 – Sponsor’s Household Size
•To determine if your income is sufficient to serve as sponsor, the immigration service has to know your legal household size. There are technical rules about who counts as your household member. When completing this section you count a person only once.Line 7 refers to non-dependent relatives who are living with you. These could include your: Parents; Brother/sister; or Adult (over age 21) children.
•The only reason to include these individuals is if you want to count their income for purposes of this form. If so, they will need to complete and additional form called the Form I-864A.
•This section is self-explanatory. Remember not to count anyone twice!
•Add together the number of persons for whom you are financially responsible. Some of these persons may not be residing with you. Make sure you do not count any individual more than once. In some cases the same person could fit into two categories.
-For example, your spouse, whom you would enter in Item Number 3., might also be a lawful permanent resident for whom you have already sponsored using Form I-864 (Item Number 6.). If you included your spouse on Item Number 3., do not include him or her again on Item Number 6.
–Item Number 1. Provide the number you entered in Part 3., Item Number 28. If you or someone else is completing Form I-864 on a computer, this box will auto-populate.
–Item Number 2. This field is auto-populated to “1.”
–Item Number 3. Enter “1” if you are married. Enter “0” if you are not married.
–Item Number 4. Enter the number of unmarried children you have who are under 21 years of age, even if you do not have legal custody of these children. You may exclude any unmarried children under 21 years of age, if these children have reached majority under the law of their place of domicile and you do not claim them as dependents on your Federal income tax returns.
–Item Number 5. Enter the number of any other dependents. You must include each and every person whom you have claimed as a dependent on your most recent Federal income tax return, even if that person is not related to you. Even if you are not legally obligated to support that person, you must include the person if, in fact, you did support that person and claimed the person as a dependent.
–Item Number 6. Enter the number of lawful permanent residents whom you are currently obligated to support based on your previous submission of Form I-864 as a petitioning, substitute, or joint sponsor, or Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, as a petitioning sponsor. Include only those persons who have already immigrated to the United States. Do not include anyone for whom your obligation to support has ended through the sponsored immigrant’s acquisition of U.S. citizenship, death, abandonment of lawful permanent residence in the United States, acquisition of 40 quarters of earned or credited work in the United States, or obtaining a new grant of adjustment of status while in removal proceedings based on a new affidavit of support, if one is required. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 7 of 16
–Item Number 7. This question gives you the option of including certain other non-dependent relatives who are living in your residence as part of your household size. Such relatives may include your mother, father, sister, brother or adult children, if they are living in your residence. However, the only reason to include these relatives in your household size is if you need to include their income when you calculate your household income for purposes of meeting the income requirement for this affidavit. To be considered, any relative included in this category must sign and submit Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member.
–Item Number 8. Household Size. Add together Part 5., Item Numbers 1. – 7. and enter the number in the space provided. If you or someone else is completing Form I-864 on a computer, this box will auto-populate.
Part 6 – Sponsor’s Employment and Income
Item Number 2. Current Individual Annual Income. Enter your current, individual, earned or retirement, annual income that you are using to meet the requirements of this affidavit and indicate the total in the space provided. You may include evidence supporting your claim about your expected income for the current year if you believe that submitting this evidence will help you establish ability to maintain sufficient income. You are not required to submit this evidence, however, unless specifically instructed to do so by a U.S. Government official. For example, you may include a recent letter from your employer, showing your employer’s address and telephone number, and indicating your annual salary. You may also provide pay stubs showing your income for the previous six months. If your claimed income includes alimony, child support, dividend or interest income, or income from any other source, you may also include evidence of that income.
Item Number 3. – 17. Current Annual Household Income. This section is used to determine the sponsor’s household income. If your individual annual income listed in Item Number 2. is greater than 125 percent (or 100 percent if you are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard and sponsoring your spouse or child) of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size from Part 5., Item Number 8., you do not need to include any household member’s income. See Form I-864P for information on the Federal Poverty Guidelines. To determine the filing requirements for your relatives included in Part 6., Item Numbers 3. – 14., follow the instructions below. 1. If you included the income of your spouse listed in Part 5., Item Number 3., any child listed in Part 5., Item Number 4., any dependent listed in Part 5., Item Number 5., or any siblings, parents, or adult children listed in Part 5., Item Number 7., each one of these individuals must be over 18 years of age and must complete Form I-864A. 2. If you included the income of the intending immigrant who is your spouse (he or she would be counted in Part 5., Item Number 1.), you must provide evidence that his/her income will continue from the current source after obtaining lawful permanent resident status, and the intending immigrant must provide evidence that he or she is living in your residence. He or she does not need to complete Form I-864A unless he or she has accompanying children. 3. If you included the income of the intending immigrant who is not your spouse, (he or she would be counted on Part 5., Item Number 1.), evidence that his or her income will continue from the current source after obtaining lawful permanent resident status must be provided and the intending immigrant must provide evidence that he or she is living in your residence. He or she does not need to complete Form I-864A, unless he or she has an accompanying spouse or children.
Item Numbers 18.a. – 20. Federal Income Tax Return Information You must provide either an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) transcript or a photocopy from your own records of your Federal individual income tax return for the most recent tax year. If you believe additional returns may help you to establish your ability to maintain sufficient income, you may submit transcripts or photocopies of your Federal individual income tax returns for the three most recent years. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 8 of 16 You are not required to have the IRS certify the transcript or photocopy unless specifically instructed to do so by a Government official; a plain transcript or photocopy is acceptable. Telefile tax records are not acceptable proof of filing. Do not submit copies of your state income tax returns. Do not submit any tax returns that you filed with any foreign government unless you claim that you were not required to file a Federal individual income tax return with the United States Government and you wish to rely on the foreign return solely to establish the amount of your income that is not subject to tax in the United States.
-If you provide a photocopy of your Federal individual income tax returns, you must include a copy of each and every Form W-2 and Form 1099 that relates to your returns. Do not include copies of these forms if you provide an IRS transcript of your Federal individual income tax returns rather than a photocopy unless you filed a joint income tax return with your spouse and are qualifying using only your income. If you selected Part 6., Item Number 1.b. that you are self-employed, you should have completed one of the following forms with your Federal income tax return: Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business), Schedule D (Capital Gains), Schedule E (Supplemental Income or Loss), or Schedule F (Profit or Loss from Farming). You must include each and every Form 1040 Schedule, if any, that you filed with your Federal income tax return. If you were required to file a Federal income tax return during any of the previous three tax years but did not do so, you must file all late returns with the IRS and attach an IRS-generated tax return transcript documenting your late filing before submitting Form I-864. If you were not required to file a Federal income tax return under U.S. tax law because your income was too low, attach a typed or printed explanation. If you were not required to file a Federal income tax return under U.S. tax law for any other reason, attach a typed or printed explanation including evidence of the exemption and how you are subject to it. Residence outside of the United States does not exempt U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents from filing a U.S. Federal income tax return. See Filing Requirements in the IRS Form 1040 Filing Instructions to determine whether you were required to file. For purposes of this affidavit, the line for Total Income on IRS Forms 1040 and 1040A will be considered when determining income. For persons filing IRS Form 1040 EZ, the line for adjusted gross income will be considered. Obtaining Tax Transcripts. You may use IRS Form 4506-T to request tax transcripts from the IRS. Complete IRS Form 4506-T with the ending date for each of your three most recent tax years listed on Item Number 19.a. – 19.c. Follow all instructions for completing and filing Form 4506-T with the IRS. NOTE: Do not leave the boxes for Item Number 19.a. blank. Print or type the most recent tax year and your total income for that most recent tax year. If the amount was zero, enter “zero” or if you were not required to file a Federal income tax return enter “N/A” for not applicable.
Question 22: The sponsor needs to fill in information about his or her employment here. Self-employment is fine. Be aware that if a self-employed sponsor has underreported income to the IRS in the past, the earnings shown may not be sufficient to support the immigrant. In that case, the sponsor will need to file an amended tax return and pay a penalty before the newly reported income is accepted as meeting the guidelines for sponsorship.
Question 23: Here, the sponsor is supposed to enter his or her current income. If that amount is higher than shown on the sponsor’s last tax return, be sure to include supporting documentation (such as copies of pay stubs or a letter from the sponsor’s employer stating the current salary). Such proof will be especially important if the raise in salary since the last tax return takes the sponsor over the Poverty Guidelines minimum.
Question 24: This question is especially important for sponsors whose income is not enough by itself, but who will be using the income of members of their household to help meet the Poverty Guidelines minimum requirements. First, every sponsor must state his or her own income. Then, if the sponsor wants other people’s income counted, they must be mentioned in Question 24b. Unless any one of these household members is the actual immigrant, they must plan to complete a separate agreement with the sponsor, using Form I-864A. The total income from the sponsor and household members goes in Question 24c.
This is an extremely important section of the Form. Most problems with the Form I-864 come from incorrect answers on this section.Household versus individual income. This section asks you to report both your individual income (item 2) and your current household income (item 15). Your “Household income” means your income as reported on your most recent IRS tax return. If you filed a Form 1040 return you must report your total income; if you filed a Form 1040EZ you report your adjusted gross income. This distinction is extremely important!Your individual income will be different from your household income if you filed joint tax returns with a. If you did, then you will need to isolate which of the reported income was yours versus the souse. To do this, refer to your W-2 from the most recent tax years, along with any Forms 1099 or Schedules showing your income.It is extremely important that the numbers in this Part add up correctly. Household Income must equal the sum of the individual income reported for each household member. For household with complex income, it will be easiest to ask your accountant to provide a statement showing the breakdown of income between household members.What if your income went up or down since the last time you filed federal tax returns? If you income has changed since the last time you filed taxes then you will need to report your new income level. Please note that if you do this you will need to provide 6 months of paystubs to validate the newly claimed income. It is also a good idea to provide an original, signed letter from your employer stating your date of hire and current salary. This poses a substantial extra burden for you. If your most recent reported income was above the required level, it will be far easier to simply report that number. The immigration service defines “income” as what was reported on the most recent returns.Self-employment. The I-864 can get very complicated for someone who is self-employed. For a sponsor without W-2 income, she/he will have the task of carefully documenting the sources of income in a way that can be understood by the immigration services. Here are things you may wish to consider providing in the case of self-employment. Note that these are in addition to the income tax documentation, which is required in call cases:
- Profit/loss statement. This is a helpful way to show the immigration service that the self-employed sponsor is making money.
- Bank statements. 12 months of bank statements for the business. If the sponsor has been using a personal bank account for business income/expenses then it is critical to provide separate accounting of business cash flow.
- Federal business tax returns. If the sponsor files a Schedule C with her/his personal income tax returns this should be provided, along with any other schedules and/or 1099s showing income.
Non-taxable income. Non-taxable income may be used to meet the required financial support amount, such as the following scenarios. Be careful to provide documentation of these benefits, since by definition they will not be accounted for in your reported “total income” on tax returns.
- Social Security earnings.
- Investment earnings.
- Legal settlements.
- Inherited funds.
- Life insurance proceeds.
- Disability insurance and disability compensation.
- Unemployment insurance. Note that this is problematic, as the immigration service may have concerns about the longevity of such benefits, which are limited in duration.
Part 7 – Use of Assets to Supplement Income (Optional)
Only complete Part 7. if you need to use the value of assets to meet the income requirements. If your Current Annual Household Income (indicated on Part 6., Item Number 15.) is equal to or more than needed to meet the income requirement as shown by the current Federal Poverty Guidelines (Form I-864P) for your household size (indicated on Part 5., Item Number 8.), you do not need to complete this Part. If your total household income does not meet the requirement, you may submit evidence of the value of your assets, the sponsored immigrant’s assets, and/or assets of a household member that can be used, if necessary, for the support of the intending immigrant(s). The value of assets of all of these persons may be combined in order to meet the necessary requirement. 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. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 9 of 16 You may include the net value of your home as an asset. The net value of the home is the appraised value of the home, minus the sum of any and all loans secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home. If you wish to include the net value of your home, then you must include documentation demonstrating that you own it, a recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser, and evidence of the amount of any and all loans secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home. You may not include the net value of an automobile unless you show that you have more than one automobile, and at least one automobile is not included as an asset. Item Numbers 1. – 4. Assets. To use your own assets, you must complete Part 7., Item Numbers 1. – 4. and submit corresponding evidence with this affidavit. Supporting evidence must be attached to establish location, ownership, date of acquisition, and value of any real estate holding. Item Number 5.a. – 5.b. Household Member’s Assets. To use the assets of a relative (spouse, adult son or daughter, parent, or sibling), the relative must reside with you and have completed Form I-864A with accompanying evidence of assets. Form I-864A and accompanying evidence of assets is submitted with Form I-864. You may use the assets of more than one relative who resides with you so long as you submit a complete Form I-864A with evidence of assets for each such relative. Item Numbers 6. – 9. Assets of the Intending Immigrant. You may use the assets of the intending immigrant regardless of where he or she resides. The intending immigrant must provide evidence of such assets with this affidavit. Add together Item Numbers 6. – 8. and enter the total number in Item Number 9. Form I-864A is not required to document the intending immigrant’s assets. Item Number 10. Total Value of Assets. In order to qualify based on the value of your assets, the total value of your assets must equal at least five times the difference between your total household income and the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size, however, if you are a U.S. citizen and you are sponsoring your spouse or minor child, the total value of your assets must only be equal to at least three times the difference. If the intending immigrant is a foreign national orphan who will be adopted in the United States after he or she acquires permanent residence, and who will, as a result, acquire citizenship under section 320 of the INA, the total value of your assets need only equal the difference. Example of How to Use Assets: If you are petitioning for a parent and the poverty line for your household size is $22,062 and your current income is $18,062, the difference between your current income and the poverty line is $4,000. In order for assets to help you qualify, the combination of your assets, plus the assets of any household member who is signing Form I-864A, plus any available assets of the sponsored immigrant, would have to equal five times this difference (5 x $4,000). In this case, you would meet the income requirements if the net value of the assets equaled at least $20,000.
Part 8. Sponsor’s Contract, Statement, Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Read the contract carefully, then sign and date the affidavit. If you do not sign and date the affidavit, the intending immigrant you are sponsoring cannot be issued a visa or be granted adjustment of status. Item Numbers 1.a. – 6.b. Select the appropriate box to indicate that you either read this affidavit yourself or someone interpreted this affidavit for you from English to a language in which you are fluent. If applicable, select the box to indicate if someone prepared this affidavit for you. Further, you must sign and date your affidavit and provide your daytime telephone number, mobile telephone number (if any), and email address (if any). Every affidavit MUST contain the signature of the sponsor (or parent or legal guardian, if applicable). A stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable.
Part 9. Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature
Item Numbers 1.a. – 6.b. If you used anyone as an interpreter to read the instructions and questions on this affidavit to you in a language in which you are fluent, the interpreter must fill out this section, provide his or her name, the name and address of his or her business or organization (if any), his or her daytime telephone number, and his or her email address (if any). The interpreter must sign and date the affidavit. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 10 of 16
Part 10. Contact Information, Statement, Certification, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Affidavit, If Other Than the Sponsor
Item Numbers 1.a. – 8.b. This section must contain the signature of the person who completed your affidavit, if other than you, the sponsor. If the same individual acted as your interpreter and your preparer, that person should complete both Part 9. and Part 10. If the person who completed this affidavit is associated with a business or organization, that person should complete the business or organization name and address information. Anyone who helped you prepare this affidavit MUST sign and date the affidavit. A stamped or typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable. If the person who helped you prepare your affidavit is an attorney or accredited representative, he or she must also submit a completed Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, along with your affidavit.
Who Completes and Signs Form I-864?
A sponsor completes and signs Form I-864. A sponsor is required to be at least 18 years of age and domiciled in the United States, or its territories or possessions (See Part 4. Information About You (Sponsor) section of these Instructions for more information on domicile). The petitioning sponsor must sign and complete Form I-864, even if a joint sponsor also submits an I-864 to meet the income requirement. The list below identifies who must become sponsors by completing and signing a Form I-864, when it is required.
1. The U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national who filed Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), for a fiancé(e); Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member; Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, for an orphan; or Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, for a Convention adoptee
2. The U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national who filed Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, for a spouse, parent, son, daughter, or sibling who:
A. Has a significant ownership interest (five percent or more) in the business which filed the employment-based immigrant visa petition; or
B. Is related to the intending immigrant as a spouse, parent, son, daughter, or sibling.
What Are the Income Requirements?
To qualify as a sponsor, you must demonstrate that your income is at least 125 percent of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size. The Federal poverty line, for purposes of this affidavit, is updated annually and can be found on Form I-864P, Poverty Guidelines, on the USCIS Web site at www.uscis.gov. If you are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, and you are sponsoring your spouse or minor child, you only need to have an income of 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size. This provision does not apply to joint or substitute sponsors.
How Do I Count Household Size?
Your household size includes yourself and the following individuals, no matter where they live: any spouse, any dependent children under 21 years of age, any other dependents listed on your most recent Federal income tax return, all persons being sponsored in this affidavit of support, and any immigrants previously sponsored with Form I-864 or Form I-864 EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA, whom you are still obligated to support. If necessary to meet the income requirements to be a sponsor, you may include additional relatives (adult children, parents, or siblings) as part of your household size as long as they have the same principal residence as you and promise to use their income and resources in support of the intending immigrant(s).
What If I Cannot Meet the Income Requirements?
If your income alone is not sufficient to meet the requirement for your household size, the intending immigrant will be ineligible for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status, unless the requirement can be met using any combination of the following:
1. Income from any relatives or dependents living in your household or dependents listed on your most recent Federal income tax return who signed Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member;
2. Income from the intending immigrant, if that income will continue from the same source after immigration, and if the intending immigrant is currently living in your residence. If the intending immigrant is your spouse, his or her income can be counted regardless of current residence, but it must continue from the same source after he or she becomes a lawful permanent resident;
3. The value of your assets, the assets of any household member who has signed Form I-864A, or the assets of the intending immigrant(s); or
4. A joint sponsor whose income and/or assets equal at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. (See the What Is a Joint Sponsor section of these Instructions for more information.)
How Can My Relatives and Dependents Help Me Meet the Income Requirements?
You may use the income of your spouse and/or any other relatives living in your residence if they are willing to be jointly responsible with you for the intending immigrant(s) you are sponsoring. If you have any unrelated dependents listed on your Federal income tax return you may include their income regardless of where they reside. The income of such household members and dependents can be used to help you meet the income requirements if they complete and sign Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, and if they are at least 18 years of age when they sign the affidavit.
Can the Intending Immigrant Help Me Meet the Income Requirements?
If certain conditions are met, an intending immigrant’s income can help you meet the income requirement. If the intending immigrant is your spouse, his or her income can be included if it will continue from the same source after he or she obtains lawful permanent resident status.
If the intending immigrant is another relative, there are two requirements:
1. The income must be continuing from the same source after he or she obtains lawful permanent resident status; and
2. The intending immigrant must currently live with you in your residence.
Evidence must be provided to support both requirements, however, an intending immigrant whose income is being used to meet the income requirement does not need to complete Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, unless the intending immigrant has a spouse and/or children immigrating with him or her. In this instance, the contract relates to support for the spouse and/or children.
Does Receipt of Means-Tested Public Benefits Disqualify Me From being a Sponsor?
No. Receipt of means-tested public benefits does not disqualify anyone from being a sponsor, however, means-tested public benefits cannot be accepted as income for the purposes of meeting the income requirement.
How Can I Use Assets to Qualify?
You may use assets to supplement income if the consular or immigration officer is convinced that the monetary value of the asset could reasonably be made available to support the sponsored immigrant and converted to cash within one year without undue harm to the sponsor or his or her family members. You may not include an automobile unless you show that you own at least one working automobile that you have not included.
What Is a Joint Sponsor?
If the person who is seeking the immigration of one or more of his or her relatives cannot meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor who can meet the requirements may submit Form I-864 to sponsor all or some of the family members. A joint sponsor can be any U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national who is at least 18 years of age, domiciled in the United States, or its territories or possessions, and willing to be held jointly liable with the petitioner for the support of the intending immigrant. A joint sponsor does not have to be related to the petitioning sponsor or the intending immigrant. If the first joint sponsor completes Form I-864 for some rather than all the family members, a second qualifying joint sponsor will be required to sponsor the remaining family members. There may be no more than two joint sponsors. A joint sponsor must be able to meet the income requirements for all the persons he or she is sponsoring without combining resources with the petitioning sponsor or a second joint sponsor. Any dependents applying for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status more than six months after immigration of the intending immigrants must be sponsored by the petitioner but may be sponsored by an original joint sponsor or a different joint sponsor.
NOTE: Even if one or more Form I-864s are submitted for an intending immigrant, the petitioning sponsor remains legally accountable for the financial support of the sponsored immigrant along with the joint sponsors. The petitioning sponsor must complete and submit a signed Form I-864 for the intending immigrant even if a joint sponsor will be used. The petitioning sponsor must also provide his or her Federal income tax return for the most recent tax year with supporting tax documents unless otherwise not required to file a Federal income tax return for the most recent tax year.
What Is a Substitute Sponsor?
A substitute sponsor is a sponsor who is completing Form I-864 on behalf of an intending immigrant whose original Form I-130 petitioner has died after Form I-130 was approved, but before the intending immigrant obtained permanent residence. The substitute sponsor must be related to the intending immigrant in one of the following ways: spouse, parent, motherin-law, father-in-law, sibling, child (at least 18 years of age), son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or legal guardian. The substitute sponsor must also be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. national. If you are a substitute sponsor, you must indicate that you are related to the intending immigrant in one of the ways listed above and include evidence proving that relationship. The beneficiary must also file this affidavit along with a typed or written statement explaining the reasons why the Form I-130 visa petition should be reinstated, having been revoked following the petitioner’s death. The beneficiary must also include a copy of the Form I-130 approval notice.
How Long Does My Obligation as a Sponsor Continue?
Your obligation to support the immigrants you are sponsoring in this affidavit of support will continue until the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work in the United States. Although 40 qualifying quarters of work (credits) generally equates to 10 years of work, in certain cases the work of a spouse or parent adds qualifying quarters. The Social Security Administration can provide information on how to count qualifying quarters (credits) of work. Form I-864 Instructions 07/02/15 N Page 13 of 16 The obligation also ends if you or the sponsored immigrant dies or if the sponsored immigrant ceases to be a lawful permanent resident. Divorce does not end the sponsorship obligation.
Do I Need to Submit a Separate Affidavit for Each Family Member?
You must submit a Form I-864 affidavit of support for each intending immigrant you are sponsoring. You may submit photocopies if you are sponsoring more than one intending immigrant listed on the same affidavit of support. Separate affidavits of support are required for intending immigrants for whom different Form I-130, Form I-600, or Form I-800 family-based petitions were filed. For instance, if you are sponsoring both parents, each will need an original affidavit of support and accompanying documentation since you were required to submit separate Form I-130 visa petitions for each parent. Often a spouse or minor children obtain visas or adjust status as dependents of a relative, based on the same visa petition. If you are sponsoring such dependents, you only need to provide a photocopy of the original Form I-864, as long as these dependents are immigrating at the same time as the principal immigrant or within six months of the time he or she immigrates to the U
The sponsor needs to complete this section only if his or her income wasn’t enough by itself to meet the Poverty Guidelines requirements. Remember to attach documents proving the assets’ existence and value.
If the combination of the sponsor’s household available income and assets don’t yet meet the Poverty Guidelines minimum, you’ll still need to hand in this affidavit. But you’ll definitely want to look for a joint sponsor.
You need to complete this section of the form only if your reported income in Part 6 was less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size. Here are those Guidelines for 2015 (they are adjusted each year):
|125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (2015)|
|Each extra member||$ 5,200||$ 433||$100|
How much is needed? If your income was not at or above the required level, then you may use financial assets to make up the difference. How much is required? Follow these steps to find out:
- Find the difference between actual income and required Let’s assume that you have a reported household size of 3. Using the chart above, we see the required annual income level is $25,113. Let’s assume your annual income is $20,000. That leaves a difference of $5,113 between your actual income and the required income.
- Identify your relation to the immigrant being sponsored. The amount of required assets will depend on your relation to the person who is immigrating. For most immigrants, you will need to demonstrate assets that are five times the difference you identified in step one. But if the person being sponsored is your husband/wife or minor child, then you have to show only three times the difference. Also, in certain circumstances involving an immigrant orphan the assets need to be only one times the difference in step one (these cases are rare).
- Multiply the amount in step one by the factor identified in step 2. Let’s assume you are sponsoring someone to whom you are not related. This is the most common scenario. In that case you will need to show financial assets five times the difference you identified in step 1. In step 1, we found a $5,113 difference between the actual income and required income. 5 x $5,113 = $25,565. So this means you will need to report financial assets that are valued at $25,565 or greater.
What assets may be used? The rule for assets is that they must be “available in the United States for the applicant’s support and must be readily convertible to cash within one year.” What does this mean? That you are allowed to count an asset only if you can sell it, and have the resulting cash in the U.S., within 12 months. So obviously the ideal assets would be money in a U.S. bank account, since that’s U.S. cash that’s immediately available. But it is common for joint sponsors to need to rely on other forms of assets, and these require some more careful assessment. Types of assets may include stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and property (both real estate and other forms of property).Documenting the asset. You are required to provide the following documentation for any asset you report in Part 7:
- Proof of ownership.
- Proof of where the asset is located.
- Proof of the date you acquired the asset.
- A 12-month withdraw history.
- Proof of valuation (if applicable).
This documentation generally does not need to be notarized. In the case of a checking account, for example, you may simply provide copies of your last 12 months of statements to satisfy all requirements above. Issues with proof of valuation are most common when real estate is used. Ideally a recent appraisal of the property would be provided. Since this is expensive to obtain, sponsors often submit alternative evidence instead, such as tax assessment records and a free valuation from an online real estate site such as Zillow.com. Such alternative evidence may not be accepted by the immigration services, however.Using assets of a household member. You may include the assets of another household member (see Part 7, item 5), but only if: (1) the household member completes a Form I-864A; and (2) the household member has been living with you for a minimum of 6 months. The household member’s assets need to be documented for the Form I-864A in the same way described above. You should also present proof that the person has been living at your address for the required 6 months, such as a rental agreement listing the individual, or bills sent to the address with that person’s name.Using assets of the sponsored immigrant. You are allowed to count assets owned by the primary sponsored immigrant. Importantly, however, the immigrant’s assets may be counted by only one sponsor. So if you are a joint sponsor, you need to ensure that the primary sponsor has not already reported the immigrant’s assets on his/her Form I-864. If the immigrant’s assets are available for you to report, the immigrant does not need to complete a Form I-864A. But you will need to provide documentation of the assets as described above (showing ownership, etc.).Using assets outside the U.S. What if you want to rely on assets in a foreign country? This is theoretically possible, but complex. Remember that the assets need to be available as cash in the U.S. within 12 months, if needed. You would need to provide documentation that it would be possible for you to make this happen, if needed. This would be relatively easy, for example, in the case of a London bank account, and a notarized letter from your banker should be sufficient. But the case becomes far more complex with countries who have less close financial ties to the U.S. For other countries you would be wise to provide a notarized legal opinion statement from an attorney explaining that the assets could be sold and proceeds transferred if needed. For any non-U.S. assets there is a good chance you will receive a time-consuming request for additional documentation from the immigration service.
Doing a final review
The immigration service has become infamous for rejecting I-864s with even small, typographical errors. For this reason we strongly encourage you to spend time carefully reviewing the form. Here are a couple suggestions for proactively reviewing the form.
- Print a copy of your completed form and get a blue pen and red pen. Going very slowly, look at each individual item on the form. Has the item been completed? If so give it a check with the blue pen? Is the item blank? If so, give it a check with the blue pen if it should be blank (as where it doesn’t apply to your case) or else mark it red. When you’ve gone through the entire form in this way, return to each red mark and make the appropriate correction to your form. When you make the correction, mark the item blue to indicate that it’s been corrected.
- Now print the form again and ask a friend or family member to repeat the correction process that you just did. At our firm we have a support personnel and an attorney go through this process for every form that leaves our office. It’s very time consuming, but a good way to catch errors.
- In Part 6, Items 19.a-19.c, double check that your “Total Income” matches the amount on the tax returns that you are providing. The immigration service can reject the Form I-864 if there is a single digit error in these items, even if the actual income meets the required level. Double and triple check that you provided the correct numbers. Remember, if you filed taxes using a Form 1040 then you report total income from those returns; if you filed using a Form 1040EZ then you use adjusted gross income.
You will be required to provide the following documents with your Form I-864. It is acceptable to send photocopies, rather than originals of these documents.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Residency. You must submit one of the following based on whether you are a U.S. citizen or resident:
- Birth certificate;
- Certificate of naturalization;
- Certificate of citizenship;
- Consular report of birth abroad; or
- Photo (biographic page) of U.S. passport.
- Both sides of your Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551; “green card”);
- Both sides of your Alien Registration Receipt Card; or
- Unexpired Form I-551 stamp in foreign passport or on Form -94 Arrival-Departure record.
- Tax records. You are required to provide documentation of your most recent year’s Federal income tax returns. You are not required to provide returns for the additional two preceding years, but it is generally best practice to do so. There are two options for how to document your returns.
- Photocopies of returns. You are permitted to provide a photocopy of your federal income tax returns. Ideally this should be a photocopy of the signed form that you submitted to the IRS, including all attachments. In reality, people often have only an unsigned copy that their accountant gave them. We have seen many people submit such a copy without issue, but there is a chance it would be rejected. You may wish to consider the other alternative, which is submitting a copy of your tax transcript (see immediately below).
- Tax transcript. Alternatively, you can request something called a “tax transcript” directly from the IRS. This is the definitive record of your tax filing history. At our law firm we prefer to use tax transcripts instead of photocopied returns, to avoid any question of whether we are accurately reporting income history. The transcript can be requested by filing a paper copy of Form 4506-T with the IRS (available here). Historically you have been able to request the transcript online (here) though at the time or writing that service was not currently available. We have also had luck with clients going to a local IRS office to make the request in person, but it is not clear that all IRS offices will provide this service.
- Documentation of change of income (if applicable). See above.
- Documentation of assets (if applicable). See above.