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ISSUE DATE: 03/2015

The policy on how to deem assets of sponsors of immigrants depends on which affidavit of support was executed by the sponsor. There are 2 different affidavits of support (forms 134 and I-864). Each form has its own deeming requirements. The I-134 is not a legally binding document and deeming is not required; the I-864 is a legally binding document and deeming is required. If subject to deeming, obtain a copy of the Affidavit of Support from the immigrant to determine under which affidavit the immigrant entered the country and to determine the type of deeming requirements.

For sponsors who executed the I-134, see 0015.48 06 (Whose Assets to Consider – Sponsors W/I-134).

Count the assets of the sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse UNTIL the immigrant:

Becomes a naturalized citizen.


Earns or can be credited with 40 qualifying work quarters.


Leaves the United States permanently.



Count the assets of both the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse regardless of whether 1 or both of them signed the affidavit.

Do not deem the sponsor’s assets if the sponsored immigrant:

Provides a statement or documentation that the immigrant or his/her child(ren) have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the immigrant’s spouse or parent and:


The immigrant is NOT living with the batterer.



The need resulting from the battery or cruelty has a substantial connection to the need for the assistance.

This EXCEPTION is limited to 12 months from the date the EXCEPTION is made. This 12 month deferment may be extended ONLY in the case of the sponsor being the batterer, and if there continues to be a need resulting from the battery and cruelty and the battery and cruelty is recognized by a court order (an order for protection) or by an U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determination.

Is without food or shelter as a result of the sponsor’s failure to provide support. Consider this EXCEPTION when the sponsor is unable or failing to provide support or the immigrant is unable to locate the sponsor. To determine if the client is without food or shelter, consider all sources of help available (income plus cash, food, housing, or other help supplied by the sponsor or other people).

This EXCEPTION is limited to 12 months from the date the EXCEPTION is made however additional 12-month periods may be approved.

The immigrant must explain why the sponsor is not providing assistance to the immigrant as required under form I-864. Help the client to obtain a collateral statement or documentation to support the allegations.

If the sponsored immigrant meets the exception of the sponsor deeming requirement due to the sponsor’s failure to provide support and is approved for Federal Cash or Federal SNAP benefits under the indigent exemption, the US General Attorney must be notified of the determination. DHS is responsible for reporting this information. County agencies should report the name of the sponsor, sponsored immigrant(s) involved and case number to:

Economic Assistance and Employment Supports Division
P.O. Box 64951
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0951.

County agencies may, under section 213A (b)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, sue sponsors in federal or state court to recover the unreimbursed costs of means tested benefits, including the costs of collection and legal fees.

Deeming of assets provisions do not apply to:


People granted asylum.

LPRs who were refugees or asylees.

People paroled for a period of 1 year.

Cuban/Haitian Entrants.


Deem ALL of the assets of the sponsor and his or her spouse as available to the sponsored immigrant if the immigrant's entrance into the United States was based on an Affidavit of Support (form I-864) executed by the sponsor.


To determine whether a unit is categorically eligible or non-categorically eligible, see 0013.06 (SNAP Categorical Eligibility/Ineligibility).

All assets are excluded for categorically and non-categorically eligible SNAP units. For categorically and non-categorically eligible SNAP units who are sponsored with an I-864, the assets of the sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse are not counted.

Count the actual amount of assistance the sponsor provides for indigent immigrants. See INDIGENT IMMIGRANT in 0002.33 (Glossary: Independent...).

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