Understanding Form I-864W for Green Card Applicants

Understanding Form I-864W for Green Card Applicants

May 31, 2024

A close-up view of Form I-864W partially filled out with a pen placed on top, on a wooden desk. The background includes a laptop and several scattered documents related to green card applications.


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Introduction to Form I-864W

Navigating the green card application process can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the various forms and requirements. One such form that some applicants may encounter is Form I-864W. This form is essential for certain applicants as it allows for a waiver of the affidavit of support requirement. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the specifics of Form I-864W, its purpose, eligibility criteria, and the steps involved in submitting it.

What is Form I-864W?

Form I-864W, also known as the "Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption," is used by certain green card applicants to request an exemption from the affidavit of support requirement. The affidavit of support is typically a binding contract that a sponsor (usually a family member) signs to accept financial responsibility for the immigrant. However, Form I-864W can waive this requirement under specific circumstances.

Eligibility Criteria for Form I-864W

Not all green card applicants can use Form I-864W. It is specifically designed for those who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Individuals with 40 qualifying quarters of work: Applicants who have worked in the U.S. for 40 qualifying quarters (approximately 10 years) are exempt from the affidavit of support requirement.

  • Children classified as special immigrants: This includes certain international broadcasters and religious workers.

  • Self-petitioning widows or widowers: Those whose deceased spouse was a U.S. citizen.

  • Self-petitioning battered spouses and children: Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), certain abused spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents can seek this exemption.

Steps to Complete Form I-864W

  1. Download the Form: Obtain Form I-864W from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or other official sources.

  2. Fill in Personal Information: Enter your full name, address, and other required personal details accurately.

  3. Indicate the Basis for Exemption: Clearly state the reason you qualify for the exemption, selecting the appropriate category.

  4. Provide Supporting Documentation: Attach necessary evidence to support your claim, such as work history records for the 40 qualifying quarters or proof of your status as a self-petitioning widow(er) or battered spouse/child.

  5. Sign and Date the Form: Ensure the form is signed and dated correctly. Unsigned forms will be rejected.

Submitting Form I-864W

Once completed, Form I-864W should be submitted along with your green card application package. The specific address and submission process may vary depending on your location and the USCIS instructions provided to you. It's crucial to follow these instructions carefully to avoid delays.

Impact on Your Green Card Application

Using Form I-864W can simplify the green card application process for eligible individuals by removing the need for a financial sponsor. This can be particularly beneficial for applicants who may not have a qualifying sponsor or wish to maintain financial independence.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

  • Incomplete Information: Double-check that all sections of the form are filled out accurately and completely.

  • Missing Documentation: Ensure you include all required supporting documents to substantiate your exemption claim.

  • Incorrect Submission: Follow USCIS submission guidelines precisely to avoid rejections or delays.

Practical Tips for a Smooth Application

  • Stay Organized: Keep all your documents and evidence in order, making it easier to complete the form accurately.

  • Seek Legal Advice: Consider consulting with an immigration lawyer to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and have prepared a strong application.

  • Review and Revise: Before submission, review your form and documents to catch any errors or omissions.


Understanding Form I-864W and its role in the green card application process can significantly ease the journey to obtaining permanent residency. By ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria and following the steps outlined above, you can confidently navigate this aspect of your application. Remember, thorough preparation and attention to detail are key to a successful submission.


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© Fibi Law Firm 2023

Call (800) 842-0316 for Your Free Consultation

© Fibi Law Firm 2023