9 FAM 601.14
AFFIDAVIT OF sUPPORT
(Office of Origin: CA/VO)
9 FAM 601.14-1 Statutory and Regulatory Authority
9 FAM 601.14-1(A) Immigration and Nationality Act
INA 213A (8 U.S.C. 1183a); 8 U.S.C. 1183a Note.
9 FAM 601.14-1(B) Code of Federal Regulations
8 CFR 213a; 22 CFR 40.41.
9 FAM 601.14-2 Affidavit of Support requirement
a. Who Requires Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act? Any alien seeking an immigrant visa under INA 201(b)(2) [immediate relative classifications], 203(a) [family preference classifications], or 203(b) [employment preference classifications], based upon a petition filed by a relative of the alien (or in the case of an employment-based petition filed by an entity in which a relative has a significant ownership interest), shall be required to present to the consular officer an affidavit of support (AOS) on a form that complies with terms and conditions established by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
b. Joint Sponsors: Submission of one or more additional affidavits of support by a joint sponsor/sponsors is required whenever the relative sponsor's household income and significant assets, and the immigrant's assets, do not meet the Federal poverty line requirements of INA 213A.
9 FAM 601.14-3 Required Supporting Evidence
The sponsor(s) must provide the following documentation to satisfactorily complete Form I-864:
(1) Federal Income Tax Return:
(a) Each sponsor must submit with Form I-864 a photocopy of the complete (including all Schedules), properly filed, most recent tax return or an Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-generated transcript of the most recent Federal income tax return that the sponsor had filed prior to the time of the Affidavit of Support signing. An IRS tax transcript with masked data is preferred over a copy of the tax return because it is less cumbersome, has fewer pages, and is less likely to be manipulated. A person may obtain a free IRS-generated transcript by filing IRS Form 4506-T (Form IRS-4506-T), Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Ordinarily, the sponsor's signature on Form I-864 is sufficient to qualify the photocopy or transcript as a "certified" copy. In those cases where you question the authenticity of the submitted tax return or masked transcript, you may require the sponsor to submit an IRS-certified copy of the tax return with unmasked data.
(b) A person obtains an IRS-certified copy with un-masked data by submitting form IRS-4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and paying the requisite filing fee. In such cases, you should generally require that the sponsor have the IRS-certified copy sent directly to post by the IRS. The sponsor should ask the IRS to include the applicant's name and case number on the form so that it can be readily attached to the correct file upon receipt at post. You may not require IRS-certified copies of tax returns of all sponsors prior to review of the submitted tax return. IRS-certified copies may only be required on a case-by-case basis when you question the validity of the submitted tax return.
(c) Failure to file a required Federal income tax return does not excuse the sponsor from the requirement of providing tax returns as supporting documents. If the sponsor did not file a tax return, the sponsor must prove that he or she was not required to file because the sponsor’s income was below the IRS earning threshold.
(i) If the sponsor claims he or she had no legal duty to file for any reason other than the level of the sponsor's income for that year, the initial evidence submitted with the Form I-864 must also include any evidence of the amount and source of the income that the sponsor claims was exempt from taxation and a copy of the provisions of any statute, treaty, or regulation that supports the claim that he or she had no duty to file an income tax return with respect to that income. If the sponsor had no legal obligation to file a Federal income tax return, he or she may submit other evidence of annual income.
(ii) If a tax return should have been filed, the Affidavit of Support will not be considered sufficient until the sponsor has done so and supplied the appropriate copies for consideration with Form I-864. If the income requirement cannot be met, based on the income reported in the tax return, but the sponsor claims to have reported his or her income on the tax return, you may advise applicants or sponsors that an original or amended tax return will be required in order to process the immigrant visa (IV) application to conclusion.
(d) You do not have the authority to require an individual to pay taxes or correctly report income.
(e) If the sponsor is claiming to meet income requirements based on money earned at work (salary) and submitted an original tax transcript, the sponsor will only need to submit a Form W-2 if his or her status is "married filing jointly." If the sponsor submitted a copy of a tax return (Form-1040) – not a transcript – then the sponsor, regardless of filing status, will need to include a W-2.
(2) Household Member Tax Returns: If the sponsor is relying on income from any household member to reach the minimum income requirement, an IRS tax transcript or a copy of each such individual’s most recent tax return is also required, and each such person must complete a Form I-864A.