Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency In the Know - Updated July 2020

What? Another form to be submitted? As if it's not complicated enough already, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently added a new required form called I-944 to your green card application process. But don't panic! After I did some research on this topic, it's really not that bad. Let me break it down for you:

***Alert: USCIS now requires Form I-944 again. It's back! Learn more here.

What is Form I-944?

Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency is a new form required by USCIS since Feb., 24th, 2020. You can download the latest from here on USCIS's website. If you submitted your application postmarked that date or prior, you don't have to worry about this form at all. (lucky you!)

This form is very similar to the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support but it adds more questions and requirements. The I-944 is used to determine whether you are able to support yourself and your family without relying on other public benefits.

The USCIS will evaluate all factors related to your age, health, family status, assets, resources, and financial status, education and skills, prospective immigration status, and period of stay.

Who Needs to File Form I-944?

You must file form I-944 if you are filing form I-485 and are subject to the public charge ground of inadmissibility. In a short answer, almost every one of us who are applying for a green card needs this form.

Be careful, if you are subject to public charge ground of inadmissibility and you didn't file form I-944 with your I-485 application, you will 100% receive a rejection, unfortunately.

Who should fill out this I-944 form? 

The main applicant, usually the alien spouse (beneficiary). Here are some useful links:

Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency Checklist

What Document/Evidence Need to Be Provided? Basically, you need all evidence to support the factors in form I-944 from education, finance to immigration status, etc. What if I am on a fiancee visa and/or am still waiting for my EAD, therefore there is no work history or US income tax return documents? It's okay to not have everything USCIS asked in the I-944 form, you just need to explain in detail with supporting documents and evidence!

Form I-944 Declaration of Self-Sufficiency Checklist

  • I-944 Cover Letter
  • Beneficiary’s most recent tax return documents and W2s
  • Beneficiary’s credit report
  • Beneficiary’s education diplomas (from high school to the highest level you have)
  • Beneficiary’s health insurance policy and/or other proofs
  • Beneficiary’s all public benefits (if applicable)
  • Beneficiary’s debts and liability (if applicable)
  • Beneficiary’s proof of assets
  • Other Supporting Documents -See cover letter for more details!

Download the I-944 cover letter template here.

What's the Filing Fee for Form I-944?

There is no extra cost for filing form I-944. This is part of the I-485 application. See all the required fees for your I-485 application here.

Where Do I File My Form I-944?

You need to file your form I-944 along with your I-485 application. You have to go to USCIS's website to find out where you should file your I-485 application.

How Do I Pass the Public Charge?

Since this is a fairly new form required by USCIS, it's still very unclear how they evaluate your public charge test. What have we learned so far?
  • You need to be able to support you and your family without public benefits for at least 12-36 months (about 1-3 years).
  • The test is in aggregate, which means whether you use 2 separate benefits simultaneously for 6 months or 3 separate benefits for 4 consecutive months, both will be counted as 12 months (one year) of total benefit use.
  • The USCIS evaluates both positive and negative factors and they also look at your employability, age, and your health condition, etc. 

It's important to complete your form I-944 accurately to avoid rejections. Strategically, you can include any details to your advantage. Provide more positive evidence and supporting documents could help.

Click here to read about the I-944 Income Requirements and how to include assets!

About Credit Report

Where Do I Get My Credit Report?

There are a few free websites online where you can find your credit report. Here I will list a couple of options:

What if I don't have an SSN or any credit scores?

What if I am on a tourist B2 visa and don't have a social security number (SSN)? Can I still get my credit score and report?

No, you need to have a SSN to view your credit report, so if you don't have it and can't get one during this difficult time, I would suggest you prepare a note in your supporting documents to explain in details along with your application. You can also provide some bills that you paid on time as an additional evidence of good credit history! I think it doesn't hurt.

About Tax Return

You are required to provide your household income information. If you are employed, you should be able to provide W2 and tax return transcripts.

What if I have never worked in the US?  

If you and/or your household members have filed foreign tax return in recent years, you can list on form I-944, Part 3, Item Number 9, Your Household's Assets and Resources. If you didn't need to file tax, you should always provide proof that shows why you didn't need to file any tax return.

Click here to see more information regarding the I-944 income requirements and assets. 
Click here to read about I-944 Liabilities and Debts

About Education Background

How far back of my education history do I need to provide?

If you have a higher degree than high school, then starting from high school is the safest way. You would need to provide high school, college, and everything until your highest degree. Accepted proof of degrees include:
  • Diplomas
  • Transcripts
  • Degrees
  • Trade profession certificates or equivalent
If you don't have a high school degree, you have to indicate that in your form I-944, part 4 and provide the highest grades you completed.

What should I do if I don't have any evidence of my degree? It's not available anymore.

You need to provide explanation. You can go back to your school and ask them to write you a letter as a proof at least. As long as your reason makes sense, you won't be required for further evidence.

Where can I do my Education Equivalency Evaluation?

Be careful, if your degree was earned abroad (outside USA), you need to include an evaluation of equivalency to education or degrees acquired at institutions in the US. Here is a list of some organizations that provide equivalency evaluation services:
Luckily, many of these institutions are still in operations during COVID-19!

I-944 FAQ: Do I need to do an education evaluation for each level of my dregree? 

Click here to see a step-by-step guide for applying for your I-485 application>>

*Disclaimer: This post is for sharing my personal opinion only and not for providing any legal advice.


  1. Can i use only bank statements for this ? i have like 1000 dollars since my J1 visa ended last Dec. and i change to b2 before we get married this mmay 30th.

    1. Hi Nieca,

      Your household income has to meet 125% of the poverty line guideline here: If you don't have enough, you can always use assets and other resources. I will add more information in this post soon. Stay tuned. Thank you!

    2. Even its just for me but my husband have work and earns 39,000 last year?

    3. Hi Nieca, I think your own income might be one of the factors USCIS looks at but when it comes to the required income, they look at the household level, not individual.

      Thank you,

  2. If I've come here on a k1 visa and don't have my EAD yet and am about to file my aos, how should I file / fill out this form as I don't have any tax returns and not much assets to show? Can I use my foreign tax returns or can I use an affidavit of support?

    1. Hi Jane,

      If you have never worked in USA, it totally makes sense that you don't have tax returns and assets here. I would include your visa document and other supporting evidence (entry date, etc) to show that you didn't need to file any tax returns. About foreign income, I think maybe you can list it in the Household income section, Item 6 Additional Income. It asked you to list out additional income you received on a continuing
      weekly, monthly or annual basis and the
      income was NOT included in your or your household member’s tax return transcript.

      Also, Affidavit of support is required no matter what. It's not an alternative for form I-944. Most people are required to fill out both. I hope this answers your questions! Good luck.

      *This is just for sharing my personal opinion though. If you are concerned, please do consult with a lawyer.

      Thank you!

    2. You can see here for all the forms required for a typical I-485 application:

  3. If I've just come here on a k1 visa and am going to get married soon and fill out my AOS, how should I file this since I don't have any tax returns and not many assets? Do I use tax returns from my home country or can I file an affidavit of support so you can someone sponsor me?

    Thank you

  4. Hello

    can you explain a little more abut supporting your family for 1-3 years. my husband ha no income because he came on a k1 visa As i am a citizen do i provide my info where it say assets and credit card info and provide statements or just leave it blank

    1. Hello!

      If you look at part 3, it has space for you to fill out household income, assets and resources. This will include you, your spouse and other family members living together. So you can fill your assets there too!

      Thank you,

  5. Hi!

    When it comes to debts, should I list only my debts in the USA or also my foreign personal loan? Im not sure if they could even check if my info is correct.

    1. Hello! Thanks for the question. The agent will consider all debts globally. You may find this post useful:

      Thank you!


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