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Federal Poverty Guidelines for Sponsors, Explained

Affidavit of Support success based on Federal Poverty GuidelinesWhen sponsoring a relative for a green card or sponsoring a visiting foreign national, you may need to reference the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). Sponsors submit an affidavit of support on behalf of the foreign national to remove the public charge ground of inadmissibility. USCIS uses these guidelines, as provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to make decisions about a person’s financial ability to sponsor. Each year, USCIS updates the numbers on Form I-864P based on the HHS guidelines. In order to determine the FPG for your household, you’ll need to know your state (or territory) of residence and the size of your household.

  • Household Size – The Federal Poverty Guidelines are based on a household size. As you might imagine, more income is typically required to sustain a larger household. The household includes the primary income earner and all dependents, including the person who will be sponsored. Therefore, a household must be at least two people or larger.
  • State of Residence – Individuals who live in most states and territories can reference a single chart for the Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, due to the high cost of living in Alaska and Hawaii, there are separate charts if you live in either state.

RECOMMENDED: Public Charge Rule Explained

How to Use the Poverty Guidelines by Form

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

If you petitioned a family member to become a permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States, you’ll also need to act as the sponsor. Even if you don’t have sufficient income, sponsors are required to prepare Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.

For a green card approval, the sponsor generally must have an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the respective household size. However, sponsors on active duty in the U.S. armed forces who are petitioning their own spouse or child meet eligibility at 100 percent of the FPG.

RECOMMENDED: Financial Sponsor Needed for a Family-Based Green Card

Form I-134, Affidavit of Support

If you petitioned a K-1 fiancé or other nonimmigrant, you’ll sponsor this person on Form I-134, Affidavit of Support. To sponsor a foreign national with the I-134 affidavit, you’ll need to show income or financial resources that are 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the respective household size.

2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines

Standard Chart

If the sponsor lives in one of the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands, use this chart.

Most sponsors preparing Form I-864 should use the column for “125% of FPG” because this represents a calculation of 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, active-duty military sponsoring an immediate relative or I-134 sponsors should use the column for “100% of FPG.”

Sponsor’s Household Size100% of FPG125% of FPG
2$17,240$21,775
3$21,960$27,450
4$26,500$33,125
5$31,040$38,800
6$35,580$44,475
7$40,120$50,150
8$44,660$55,825
Each additional personAdd $4,540Add $5,675
Alaska

Sponsors who reside in Alaska must use the following table with an adjusted set of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Sponsor’s Household Size100% of FPG125% of FPG
2$21,770$27,212
3$27,450$34,312
4$33,130$41,412
5$38,810$48,512
6$44,490$55,612
7$50,170$62,712
8$55,850$69,812
Each additional personAdd $5,680Add $7,100
Hawaii

Sponsors who reside in Hawaii must use the following table with an adjusted set of Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Sponsor’s Household Size100% of FPG125% of FPG
2$20,040$25,050
3$25,260$31,575
4$30,480$38,100
5$35,700$44,625
6$40,920$51,150
7$46,140$57,675
8$51,360$64,200
Each additional personAdd $5,220Add $6,525

FPG Examples

Green Card Sponsor Example

Jacob is a U.S. citizen who recently married a Japanese woman named Aika with a 12-year-old child. The National Visa Center is requesting an I-864 Affidavit of Support in order to grant an immigrant visa for Aika and her child. Jacob lives in Minnesota, earns $50,000/year with his employer, and has no other dependents. He submits Form I-864 with a household size of 3. His income easily exceeds the $27,450 threshold (125% of FPG). This affidavit will likely be accepted and the green cards approved.

K-1 Sponsor Example

Patricia is a U.S. citizen who is helping her fiancé obtain a K-1 visa. She must submit Form I-134 to show that her income is at least 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline. Currently, Patricia is unmarried and living in Alaska. Therefore, for a household of 2, she must have an income that is more than $21,770 (100% of FPG in Alaska).

Determining household size and household income for your place of domain can be difficult. When preparing the Affidavit of Support on CitizenPath.com, we’ll help you make these determinations.