July 27, 2009: Affidavit of Support and Backlog Issues

Affidavit of Support and Backlog Issues

I am having issues with the wonderful document I-864. When they ask about household size, why does my total household size become 3 when there are only 2 of us? And why doesn’t USCIS ever update their website processing times and the status of your petitions? I am very frustrated with this USCIS. I can not seem to get any answers. Please help.
— Anonymous

The Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, can be confusing. Generally, this is a form that is filled out by the Petitioner who filed an I-130 petition on behalf of a Beneficiary. With the I-864, the Petitioner is considered the “Sponsor.”

It appears that you are referring to the top of page three where it asks you to calculate your household size. Note that it states on the very top of the section “DO NOT COUNT ANYONE TWICE”. Therefore, if it is only the Petitioner and Beneficiary (you and your spouse) in your household, then you put a “1” for question (a) because you are only sponsoring one person in this affidavit. You will keep the `1′ for question (b) because the Petitioner must include him or herself. You will put a `0′ for question (c) because if you are filing for your spouse only, you have already included that person in your answer for question (a) and you do not want to count anyone twice. Thus, if the Petitioner does not meet the criteria for questions d, e, f, and g, then the Petitioner’s household size is two.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updates its processing times at each Service Center approximately once a month. However, the processing times are not current, and they are certainlt not exact. For example, USCIS may post its processing time update July 16, 2009, but the actual processing times will be “as of May 31, 2009.”

It is undoubtedly frustrating not knowing how long it will take for USCIS to start processing your case. As lawyers, we share your frustration! It would be great if USCIS could give the public a current and more exact date. However, it is important to realize that there are thousands of applications filed with USCIS on a daily basis for all different types of benefits.

If you feel your case is unreasonably delayed, you should contact USCIS customer service for processing information. Alternatively, it may be wise for you to consult with an immigration attorney to make sure you properly file the I-864 and all of the other forms and supporting documents.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys