Along with all the other complex documentation, tax forms and requirements, an Affidavit of Support can be one of the biggest hurdles for immigrants seeking a green card. It’s often why many applicants get the help of an experienced immigration lawyer to guide them through the process.
What Is an Affidavit of Support?
The document shows that a green card applicant has sufficient financial support to live in the US. It shows the immigrant won’t rely on the US government for financial support.
The person signing the affidavit is called a “sponsor”. A sponsor is typically also the “petitioner” or the person who submits the form on the immigrant’s behalf. This legal contract requires the sponsor to financially support the immigrant until the immigrant:
- Becomes a US citizen
- Completes or is credited 40 quarters of work (approx. 10 years)
- Passes away
- Leaves the US and is no longer a green card holder
Who Can Become a Sponsor?
For a person to become a sponsor, they must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be a US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
- Live in the US and have a US address
- Have an income that’s at least 125% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size. If they’re on active duty in the US armed forces and are petitioning for their spouse or child, they must have an income that’s at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Who Needs an Affidavit of Support?
Most of the time, a green card visa applicant will need an affidavit of support if they’re applying for:
- An Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa
- An Employment-Based Immigrant Visa
- A Family-Based Immigrant Visa
However, there are several types of exemptions where an affidavit isn’t required:
- You’ve earned or been credited 40 quarters of work in the US
- You’re a widow or widower who has self-petitioned or continued with your US application for residence within two years of the death of your spouse and don’t remarry; this requires Form I-360 to be approved
- You’re a battered spouse or child who’s been approved Form 1-360
- You’re a fully and formally orphan adopted by a US citizen abroad before permanent residence has been acquired and the adoptive parents have seen you before or during the adoption process.
Not Sure if You Need an Affidavit of Support? Talk to a Texas Immigration Lawyer Today.
If you’re seeking to become a US resident, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Dallas immigration attorney Mark E. Jacobs can guide you through the process. For a consultation, call today at 972-445-7577 or send a message.