Under U. S. law, every person who immigrates base on a relative petition must have a financial sponsor. If you choose to sponsor your relative’s immigration by filing a Petition for Alien Relative, you must agree to be the financial sponsor and file an affidavit of support when the time comes for the actual immigration. If you do not meet the financial qualifications at that time, you still must file your Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and accept responsibility, but you and your relative also must find other individuals who meet the requirements and are willing to make this commitment by filing affidavits of support.
What is the purpose of the affidavit of support?
The affidavit of support helps ensure that new immigrants will not need to rely on public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. If a person for whom you file an affidavit of support becomes a permanent resident and is later given certain public benefits, the agency that gave the benefits can require that you repay that money.
Anyone applying to be a permanent resident through a family member must have a financial sponsor. A sponsor is also required for a family member coming to work for a relative, or for a company in which a relative, or for a company in which a relative owns 5 percent or more of the company.
The person filing the petition sponsoring the person’s immigration must file an affidavit of support. If he or she does not, then their sponsorship is not complete, and the person will not be given permission to immigrate based on that person.
The law requires a sponsor to prove an income level at or above 125 percent of the Federal poverty level. (For active-duty military personnel, the income requirement is 100 percent of the poverty level when sponsoring a husband, wife, or children.) If your income does not meet the requirement, your assets such as checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, or property may be considered in determining your financial ability. Federal poverty levels are updated each year by the Department of Health and Human Services. You can check current minimums at their website at www.aspe.hhs.gov.