The I-864 Affidavit of Support, which shows that a sponsor has adequate means to financially support their relatives coming to the U.S., can be a complex and confusing form to fill out.

It’s important that sponsors are aware of what the form entails, as well as their responsibilities as financial sponsors.

The I-864 Affidavit of Support is a Contract

The first thing that sponsors need to understand is that the I-864 Affidavit of Support is not just a regular document. It functions as a contract where they make a promise to the U.S. government that they are financially responsible for the foreign national being sponsored in case the latter fall in hard times.

And should the foreign national seek welfare or public assistance, the U.S. government can come back to the sponsor and ask them to repay the money.

Where the sponsor and foreign national are married, the affidavit of support remains enforceable even in case of divorce. In fact, the document can be used in divorce proceedings to request alimony, child support, and financial assistance.

But this contract does not last forever. The promise to become financially responsible for the foreign national usually lasts 48 months or until they become a U.S. citizen.

Because there are big responsibilities attached to submitting an I-864, sponsors must be well aware of what it entails and should feel comfortable in the foreign national’s capacity to support and take care of themselves and trust that they will not need financial assistance.

Proof of Assets in the I-864

The I-864 form will require the sponsor to list and how proof of their assets in case they don’t make enough money in their jobs or sources of income. As long as their listed assets are sufficient, they may be allowed to sponsor someone to come to the U.S.

There are a lot of questions about the proof of assets section in the I-864. The common ones include the following.

Are you required to sell your assets when listing them in the form?

No. The sponsor does not need to liquidate their assets and show cash to get approved for the I-864. The purpose of listing these assets is only to show their value and the equity that the sponsor has in the property. 

Will the U.S. government put a lien on the property?

There’s a very small possibility that the U.S. government puts a lien on the property listed in the I-864. But it rarely happens. The only time this is a possibility is when the sponsor does not have enough liquidated cash to pay back any public assistance the U.S. government gives to the foreign national being sponsored.

But in general, in listing assets and signing the I-864, no lien will be placed on the sponsor’s property.