When an applicant is looking to obtain a family-based green card, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsoring relative is required to submit an Affidavit of Support on behalf of their applicant relative. The Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, acts as confirmation that the sponsoring relative earns enough income should he or she need to financially support their applicant relative in the U.S. Essentially, the affidavit of support is a contract between three parties: the sponsoring relative, the green card applicant, and the government that acts as assurance to the government that the sponsor earns enough income to prevent the immigrant applicant from descending into poverty and requiring public assistance.
The justification for the Affidavit of Support can be found in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Immigration and Nationality Act has a provision that deems an immigrant inadmissible if he or she is “likely to be a public charge.” This means that a person will be denied a green card if it is found to be likely that he or she will fall below the poverty line and requiring public assistance. The Affidavit of Support is in place to overcome this ground for inadmissibility.
What Is the Qualifying Income for an Affidavit of Support?
To have a qualifying income, the relative sponsor must be able to show a household income that is greater than or equal to 125% of the U.S. poverty level for the household size in the current year. The size of the household includes the relative sponsor, as well as any dependents, any relatives living in the household, the immigrant you are sponsoring, and any immigrant that has been previously sponsored. Previously sponsored immigrants are only included if the sponsoring relative is still under an Affidavit of Support obligation pertaining to them.
If the sponsoring relative cannot meet the income requirements based solely on earned income, there are other options to meet this requirement. For instance, the sponsoring relative may include the cash value of his or her assets. Assets can include financial assets such as savings accounts, stocks, bonds, property, and real property. Also, the sponsoring relative has the option of including the income and assets of household members related to the sponsor by birth, marriage, or adoption. In order to use the income and assets of these household members, the sponsor must have listed them as dependents on his or her most recent federal tax returns, or they must have lived with the sponsor for the last 6 months.
The sponsoring relative also has the option to include the income of the immigrant applicant on the Affidavit of Support. However, in order to do this, certain conditions must be met. The immigrant must already be legally authorized to work in the U.S. The immigrant must keep the same job after becoming a permanent resident. The immigrant must also either be your spouse or someone who shares the same principal residence with you.
Immigration Law Attorneys
If you are considering applying for a family-based green card, talk to the knowledgeable attorneys at Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak Law Group, P.C. We have the answer you need and will also provide you with dedicated legal counsel. Contact us today.
If you should have any questions or need more information about the ways in which the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107). You can also visit our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com