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USCIS Releases Revised Poverty Guidelines for Affidavits of Support

On March 1, USCIS Releases a revised chart (form I-864P, online here: with poverty guideline tables.

These are primarily used in determining what level of income must be reflected in order to overcome the “Public Charge” ground of inadmissibility – the requirement that an individual must prove they won’t need to rely on public assistance to be admitted.

In the context of a family-based permanent residence case, a petitioner (often a spouse) must sign an I-864 Affidavit of Support – a bunding contract with the government pledging to support the sponsored individual, or to reimburse any government agency which ends up providing many kinds of public assistance. For the Affidavit of Support to be sufficient to overcome the public charge ground, the petitioner must show income at or above 125% of the poverty line – as listed on the I-864P chart – for a household of their size.

Where this standard isn’t met, often an alternative can be found – the petitioner can meet the requirement with assets of a multiple of the required amount (three or five times the income requirement, depending on type of case), in some cases the Beneficiary’s earnings can be added, or a joint sponsor – another individual living in the US as a citizen or permanent resident who meets the income requirement for a household of that person’s side (self, dependent, plus the sponsored foreign national).