Calculating Household Size for Affidavit of Support

Calculating Household Size for Affidavit of Support

The household size is essentially 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 person more than once, since in some cases the same person could fit into two categories. E.g., your spouse might also be a lawful permanent resident whom you have already sponsored using Form I-864.

The household size is calculated by including all of the below:

  • The sponsor (yourself).

  • Your spouse, if you are currently married.

  • Your dependent unmarried children under the age of 21 years.

    You need to include them even if you do not have legal custody of these children. However, you may exclude any unmarried children under the age of 21 years, if these children have reached majority under the law of their place of domicile and you do not claim them as dependents on your income tax returns.

    A divorced parent’s dependent children are members of his/her household, even if they live part of the time with the former spouse. Even if only one of the parents may be legally entitled to claim the child as a dependent on tax returns, the child must be considered as part of both parents’ households for purposes of the Affidavit of Support, unless you can show that you no longer have a legal obligation to support the child.

  • Any other dependents listed 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.

  • All persons being sponsored in this affidavit of support, i.e., the primary beneficiary and all of their accompanying dependents.

  • Any immigrants previously sponsored with a Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ affidavit of support whom you are still obligated to support. Count only those who are now lawful permanent residents. E.g., if you are sponsoring several siblings at the same time and they have not yet immigrated, do not include them yet.

  • Your additional relatives (adult children, parents, or siblings) as part of your household size as long as long they have the same principal residence. You should include these family members in your household size if you need to include their income when you calculate your household income for purposes of meeting the income requirement. To be considered, any relative indicated in this category must sign and submit form Form I-864A.

Limiting Number of Sponsored Immigrants

The petitioner with limited financial resources can limit the number of sponsored immigrants listed on the affidavit of support to the number of people who actually intend to immigrate at that time, such as sponsor only the principal alien and not his/her spouse and eligible children. The principal applicant must be one of the sponsored immigrants, however. By limiting the number of sponsored individuals, the petitioner would reduce the household size and thereby face a lower minimum income requirement. The petitioner would still be able to file another affidavit of support on behalf of the principal applicant’s eligible dependents at a later date when the petitioner and the principal applicant have improved their financial situation. When the petitioner files a new affidavit of support for the remaining eligible family members, the principal applicant, and any of his/her family members who may have already immigrated, would be included in the household for that I-864.

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