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What is An Affidavit of Support for Family-Based Green Cards?

What is An Affidavit of Support for Family-Based Green Cards?

PUBLISHED ON: February 24

As a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be able to sponsor a family member to obtain a green card. One of the important requirements for an immigrant to seek a green card is to provide proof that they have financial support in the United States. Without adequate financial support, an applicant will not be allowed to stay in the country. Before an applicant can file for a green card, they should make sure that they have the financial support to qualify. A knowledgeable Illinois immigration attorney will assist you with the process. 

Affidavit of Support

When you apply for a green card, you must meet specific criteria. One of the most important considerations is that you must have the finances to support yourself while you are in the United States. Generally, this means that someone must be willing to provide financial support. An affidavit of support is a document that provides financial sponsorship for a green card applicant. USCIS needs to be sure that you will not need to rely on government assistance or aid programs to live in the United States. USCIS Form I-864 is the document that you must file in order to prove financial support.

Form I-864

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, is a contract in which the financial sponsor agrees to provide support to the person seeking a green card. Not only does a sponsor agree to pay for the person’s financial needs, but they also take responsibility for a person’s financial liability until the person obtains their green card or up to ten years. The financial liability ends when the person obtains legal permanent residency, leaves the country, or passes away. The sponsor must also meet the criteria in order to qualify as a financial sponsor. 

Criteria to Be a Financial Sponsor

To qualify as a financial sponsor, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen and meet the financial criteria. The sponsor must have an annual household income of at least 125% of the current poverty level (or 100% if the sponsor is a military service member). Sponsors must agree to reimburse the applicable government agencies for any benefits that the green card petitioner receives. If a sponsor does not meet the income requirements, they may include the cash value of some of their assets. In some cases, joint sponsors may be allowed. 

The USCIS needs to be certain that they allow only those who can support themselves financially into the country. Therefore, providing proof of support is necessary when you want to get a family-based green card. Form I-864 is required, along with any supporting documentation to prove financial ability. A sponsor will need to agree to provide support for those seeking a family-based green card. Our legal team is here to answer your questions and assist you with the immigration process. To learn more about the affidavit of support, contact us today at Sverdloff Law Group at (312) 238-9090. 

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