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What Does Form I-864 Affidavit of Support Mean For A Sponsor | godoy law office immigration lawyers

What Does Form I-864 Affidavit of Support Mean For A Sponsor?

Sponsoring an immigrant to the United States means taking on the legal responsibility to support an immigrant financially and ensuring they do not become a public charge. The sponsor is typically a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). They file an affidavit of support (Form I-864) to demonstrate their ability to support the immigrant financially.

What Is Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is a document required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for certain immigrants applying for lawful permanent residency, commonly known as a green card. A sponsor typically submits the form. And this sponsor agrees to financially support the immigrant beneficiary and ensure they do not become a public charge.

Signing Form I-864 is a serious commitment, as it constitutes a legally binding contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government. By signing this affidavit, the sponsor agrees to provide financial support to the immigrant beneficiary at an income level that is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This ensures that the immigrant has the means to support themselves without relying on public assistance.

The financial responsibility associated with signing the affidavit of support typically lasts until one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The immigrant beneficiary becomes a U.S. citizen.
  2. The immigrant beneficiary has worked and earned credit for 40 quarters (equivalent to about 10 years) of work in the U.S.
  3. The immigrant beneficiary dies.
  4. The immigrant beneficiary permanently leaves the United States.
  5. The immigrant beneficiary’s lawful permanent residency status is revoked.
  6. The sponsor dies.

If the immigrant beneficiary receives any means-tested public benefits, the government has the right to seek reimbursement from the sponsor. Additionally, if the sponsor fails to fulfill their financial obligations, the immigrant beneficiary or the government can take legal action to enforce the contract.

Overall, signing Form I-864 entails a significant and long-term financial commitment. Sponsors are legally obligated to support the immigrant beneficiary until certain conditions are met, as outlined above.

Marriage Visas, Divorce and Immigration

Under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the I-864 is a legal contract between the sponsor and the U.S. Government. By signing the I-864, the sponsor agrees to use their financial resources to accept financial responsibility for the green card applicant coming to the United States. This is true even if the sponsor and the immigrant divorce after their immigration application is approved. 

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