The I-864 Affidavit of Support is a mandatory requirement for nearly all Family-based and Marriage-based Green Card Filings. The Affidavit of Support helps prove financial stability by reviewing the Petitioner’s or Sponsor’s income and tax returns. From the Government’s perspective, the government wants to make sure that if you are granted a green card, you will not be asking for government assistance and benefits in order to support yourself.
The Affidavit of Support is very important in the process of obtaining your green card. Immigration officers will be looking not only for the total amount of money that your Petitioning Sponsor (your spouse, parent, or child) makes per year, but also the amount of dependents your sponsor is responsible to support. This review is how the Government can derive financial responsibility and eligibility. In a nutshell, the I864 sponsor must prove that he or she has an annual income of at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for his or her household.
In addition to your petitioning sponsor, a co-sponsor may be added to the application package, if your Petitioner does not have the sufficient financial means to support you. A co-sponsor can be a family member, but a family relationship does not have to exist. For instance, a co-sponsor can be a friend.
Keep in mind that the affidavit of support is a contract between the U.S. government, the sponsor and co-sponsor, he or she has to live in the U.S. and be a U.S. citizen to be eligible to sponsor you, the financial commitment of the promise of the sponsor and co-sponsor extends beyond the grant of the green card.
The Affidavit of Support is a complex document, depending on the individual situation, serious calculations may be required. Be sure to consult with an attorney if you have doubts as to whether your spouse has the financial means to sponsor you, or a co-sponsor is needed to meet the federal guidelines.
It is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney if you are thinking about going through this process because Immigration officers are instructed to follow strict guidelines when evaluating the affidavit of support. Contact our office to schedule an appointment to speak with our immigration attorney.