The poverty guidelines, sometimes loosely referred to as the “federal poverty level” (FPL), are used for administrative purposes, for determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs, including filing of some USCIS forms.
There is a specific one-page Form I-864P, HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support, which is used for assistance in completing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Form I-864P does not need to be filed. It simply shows the minimum income requirements for use in completing Form I-864. Namely, it contains a table with the household size and the exact income amount in dollars required for a sponsor to calculate his/her minimum income needed to support the intending immigrant(s). Form I-864P also contains the list of means-tested public benefits for the reference.
The Federal Poverty Guidelines are revised once a year. The current poverty guidelines remain in effect from March 1, 2018, until the new guidelines come into effect in 2019.