What Exactly Is An Affidavit Of Support?
An affidavit of support is a contract that an individual signs agreeing to use their financial resources to support the attorney immigrant named on the affidavit. The individual who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor once the intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident. Usually, the sponsor is the petitioner who files the immigrant petition on behalf of the intending immigrant.
Who Can Be An Affidavit Of Support Sponsor?
To be a sponsor on an affidavit of support, an individual needs to be at least 18 years of age, a US citizen, or a lawful permanent resident. Additionally, they have to be domiciled in the United States or a territory of the United States to be a sponsor. However, if the individual lives abroad, they may still be eligible to be a sponsor if they can show that their residence abroad is only temporary and that they still have a domicile in the United States. Common ways to prove this are by demonstrating you pay taxes, register to vote, own property, etc.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approval On An I-864 Form?
So, the I-864 runs in conjunction with the processing time of the petition. An adjustment of status here in the US or consulate processing for overseas runs in tandem with how long those processing times were. There is no set time frame because it fluctuates on a month-to-month basis but approval is usually tied to the processing times of those two processes.
What Should The Sponsors Know Before The Signing The I-864 Affidavit Of Support Form?
Sponsors are accepting legal responsibility for financially supporting the sponsored immigrant. This obligation extends until the sponsored immigrant becomes a US citizen or is accredited with 40 quarters of work. The obligation to the sponsor can also end if the individual you are sponsoring dies or ceases to be a lawful permanent resident by departing the United States.
Another consideration for sponsorship is if it is a spousal type of petition, even with divorce, it does not end as a sponsorship obligation. If an immigrant you sponsor receives any type of means-tested public benefit, you are responsible for repaying the costs of those benefits to the agency that provided them. If you do not repay the debt, the agency or the immigrant can sue you in court to get the money owed.
There are situations where the sponsor alone may not meet the income requirements. As a result, they have a joint sponsor on the case. If you are a joint sponsor, you also need to be aware that you are independently liable for that financial obligation to the full extent of the reimbursement obligation. You can be sued in court where you are asked to pay the money owed even if the primary sponsor has not sued or asked for the money.
How Much Annual Income Is Required For The Affidavit Of Support?
To qualify, your household income must be equal to or higher than 125% of the US poverty level for your household size. The household size, in the context of immigration, doesn’t mean the people who live in your house. It includes the petitioner, any dependents you claim on your tax return, any individuals that you have sponsored in the past who you are still obligated to, and the number of immigrants that you currently intend on sponsoring. If you are the sponsor and you are on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and the immigrant you are sponsoring is your spouse or your child, your income only needs to equal 100% of the US poverty level for your household size.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Response From Immigration After Submitting An Affidavit Of Support?
It is related to whether this affidavit of support is in conjunction with an adjustment of status process. If you are looking at an adjustment of status which means that an intending immigrant has arrived in the United States legally, you are looking at a time frame of anywhere between eight to twelve months. If you were doing consular processing, where your family member is overseas and they have to do their interview at a US embassy or a consulate, you are looking at around one and one and a half years.
When Does Support Form I-864 End? Will It Ever Be Extended?
Support Form I-864 ends when the individual becomes the intended immigrant, receives their green card, becomes a US citizen, is credited with 40 quarters of work, the individual sponsored dies, commits an offense causing their green card to be revoked, or gets deported. To my knowledge, there are no extensions if one of the listed conditions occurs.