An Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is a document that says someone agrees to financially sponsor an immigrant who has applied for a green card. USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) immigration officials want to be sure that the immigrant applicant has financial support while they are living in the United States and is not likely to become a public charge, and need to rely on public benefits and financial aid.
When someone signs an affidavit of support they are signing a contract that says they agree to:
1. Sponsor a relative, fiancé or prospective employee’s immigration to the United States.
2. They assume financial liability for the sponsored individual until they accumulate credit for 40 quarters of work (10 years) in the U.S., obtain citizenship, permanently leave the country or pass away.
To qualify as a prospective relative’s sponsor for a green card, a U.S. citizen must be able to show that their annual household income equals or exceeds:
• 125% of the applicable U.S. poverty level for that year OR
• 100% if the prospective sponsor is an active U.S. military service member
The income requirements increase based on family size, in 2021 the minimum for a family of 2 is $21,775, and for a family of 4 is $33,125. If a sponsor’s income does not meet the minimum requirement, they can include in their income requirements the cash value of certain assets, including property, stock portfolios, and savings accounts.
Sponsors are also legally required to reimburse state and federal government agencies for the costs of any public benefits a sponsored individual receives.
If someone does not financially qualify to sponsor an immigrant who is coming to live in the United States, a joint-sponsor may agree to also complete an I-864 on the applicant’s behalf.
If you want to sponsor someone who wants to move to the United States, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Cook and DuPage Counties, Illinois, to advise you on your case. Please contact our office or call us at 630-912-0322.