What Is An Affidavit of Support for Immigrants?

An affidavit of support is a legal document in which an individual agrees to provide financial assistance to an immigrant and confirms the immigrant’s eligibility to legally enter and remain in the United States. It is a legal contract between a sponsor, the person responsible for providing the financial support, and the government. An affidavit of support for an immigrant is often required for individuals who do not meet certain criteria for the green card or visa process, or who cannot demonstrate financial stability and responsibility.

Eligibility Requirements for an Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support

In order to be eligible to serve as an affidavit of support sponsor, the person filing the affidavit must be a US citizen, US national, permanent resident, or a US citizen. The sponsor must also have a secure source of income, proof of assets, and the ability to financially support the immigrant in question.

The Purpose of an Immigrant Affidavit of Support

The purpose of an immigrant affidavit of support is to provide a guarantee to the US government that the immigrant will not become a public charge while in the United States. The affidavit is a legally binding document that states the sponsor agrees to pay for the immigrant’s living expenses and any other financial needs.

Obligations of the Affidavit of Support Sponsor

The affidavit of support sponsor is responsible for providing financial support to the immigrant who is the subject of the affidavit. The sponsor must provide for the immigrant’s needs and pay any of the immigrant’s expenses that are not paid for by means-tested public benefits or other resources. The sponsor must also report any changes in financial circumstances or to the immigration status of the sponsored immigrant.

Consequences of Failing to Fulfill Immigrant Affidavit of Support Obligations

If the sponsor fails to fulfill the obligations of the immigrant affidavit of support, the sponsor may be held financially liable for any public benefits received by the immigrant. The sponsor may also be subject to civil or criminal penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment.

How to File an Immigrant Affidavit of Support

The sponsor must complete Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and submit it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The sponsor must provide evidence of his or her ability to financially support the immigrant, including proof of income, assets, and other resources.

Types of Immigrant Affidavits of Support

There are two main types of immigrant affidavits of support:

  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the INA
  • Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA

The main difference between these two forms is that Form I-864 requires more information and documentation than Form I-864EZ.

Who Can Serve as an Immigrant Affidavit of Support Sponsor?

An individual may only serve as an immigrant affidavit of support sponsor if the individual is a US citizen, US national, permanent resident, or US citizen. The sponsor must also have a secure source of income, proof of assets, and the ability to financially support the immigrant in question.

What Is a Joint Sponsor?

If the primary sponsor cannot meet the financial requirements of the immigrant affidavit of support, the sponsor may enlist the help of a joint sponsor. A joint sponsor is an additional sponsor who agrees to accept financial responsibility for the sponsored immigrant. The joint sponsor must also complete Form I-864 and provide the required evidence of financial capacity.

What Is a Substitute Sponsor?

If a sponsor is unable to fulfill their obligations under an immigrant affidavit of support, a substitute sponsor may be appointed. The substitute sponsor must complete Form I-864, provide evidence of financial capacity, and accept financial liability for the sponsored immigrant.

FAQs

  • Who is eligible to serve as an immigrant affidavit of support sponsor?

    An individual may only serve as an immigrant affidavit of support sponsor if the individual is a US citizen, US national, permanent resident, or US citizen and has the ability to financially support the immigrant.

  • What is a joint sponsor?

    A joint sponsor is an additional sponsor who agrees to accept financial responsibility for the sponsored immigrant. The joint sponsor must complete Form I-864 and provide the required evidence of financial capacity.

  • What happens if the sponsor fails to fulfill the obligations under an immigrant affidavit of support?

    If the sponsor fails to fulfill the obligations of the immigrant affidavit of support, the sponsor may be held financially liable for any public benefits received by the immigrant. The sponsor may also be subject to civil or criminal penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment.

Conclusion

An affidavit of support for an immigrant is a legal document in which an individual agrees to provide financial assistance to an immigrant and confirms the immigrant’s eligibility to legally enter and remain in the United States. It is a legally binding document that states the sponsor agrees to pay for the immigrant’s living expenses and any other financial needs. In order to be eligible to serve as an affidavit of support sponsor, the person filing the affidavit must be a US citizen, US national, permanent resident, or a US citizen. The sponsor must also have a secure source of income, proof of assets, and the ability to financially support the immigrant in question. The affidavit of support is an important document and must be completed and submitted correctly in order to ensure the immigrant’s successful entry into the United States.

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