The Affidavit of Support is a document a person signs to accept financial responsibility for an immigrant who is seeking their green card. The Affidavit of Support is also called “Form I-864”. The person who signs the Affidavit of Support is called the “sponsor”.
The purpose of the Affidavit of Support is to prove that the immigrant who is seeking a green card has financial support and will not need the U.S. government to support them. For example, if a U.S. citizen marries a foreign person, the U.S. citizen will agree to financially support their foreign spouse.
The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident.
The sponsor must live in the U.S. or a U.S. territory.
The sponsor’s income must be at least 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline. The sponsor’s income needs to be higher if more people live in their house. Form I-864P will help the sponsor determine if their income is sufficient to sign the I-864 Affidavit of support.
The sponsor can claim other assets such as money in savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and property if their income is not 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.
The sponsor can also count the income and assets of people who live with them, if they are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.
If the sponsor cannot meet the income requirements, they can use a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor does not need to be related to the person immigrating. The joint sponsor’s income must be at least 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.
The income and assets of the immigrant can also be counted under 3 conditions. First, they must be the sponsor’s relative. Second, the immigrant’s source of income must remain the same after they obtain their green card. Third, the immigrant must live with the sponsor.
What Are The Financial Obligations?
The Affidavit of Support is an agreement between the sponsor and the U.S. government. This allows the government to get its money back if the person immigrating to the U.S. becomes a public charge. If the relative who is immigrating receives any federal, state, or local public benefits after they obtain their green card, the sponsor may have to repay the government. Examples of these benefits are Supplemental Security Income, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and federally funded Medicaid.
When Does The Affidavit of Support Expire?
The sponsor’s financial obligations to the immigrant will be terminated under any of these 4 conditions.
If the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen.
If the sponsored immigrant is credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work in the United States, which is usually about 10 years of work.
If the sponsored immigrant loses their status as a lawful permanent resident.
If the sponsored immigrant dies.
Does Each Family Member Need A Separate Affidavit?
A separate Affidavit of Support must be filed for every immigrant who is seeking a green card. For each person associated with a Form I-130, Form I-600, or Form I-800, there must be a separate Form I-864.
There are other versions of Form I-864 that might work better in your situation.
Form I-864EZ is a shorter version of Form I-864, and might work for you if the person immigrating to the U.S. can prove they have adequate finances and will not become a burden on the U.S. government.
Form I-864A is a separate form that will be attached to Form I-864. It will be used if the sponsor has to count the income of their household member to meet the financial requirements. Form I-864A is a contract between the sponsor and household member. Form I-864A promises that the household member will make their income available to the sponsor.
Form I-864W can be used if the applicant is exempt from the requirements for Form I-864. For example, if the person immigrating has already worked 40 qualifying quarters in the United States, they may not need an Affidavit of Support.
Form I-864 should be filed when the applicant who is trying to obtain a green card is ready to submit their Form I-485. This is because Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, is one of the required documents for Form I-485.
Form I-864 should be filed when the applicant who is trying to obtain a green card is ready to submit their Form DS-260. This is because Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, is one of the required documents for Form DS-260.
Do I Meet The Income Requirements for Form I-864, Affidavit of Support?
The minimum amount of money a sponsor needs to make depends on three things:
The state the sponsor lives in. If the sponsor lives within the continental 48 continental United States, the Federal Poverty Guideline is different from Hawaii and Alaska. USCIS outlines the financial requirements depending on which state the sponsor lives in.
If the sponsor is active duty military.If the sponsor is active duty military, their income only needs to be 100% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline. If they are not active duty military, the sponsor’s income needs to be 125% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guideline.
Where Can I Get a Certified Translation?
The documents required for Form I-864 may not be a complete list. You might also need to submit a certified translation of some documents that are not in English. Different applications require different documents. Those could include:
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