Affidavit of Support Requirements for Family-Based Green Card Applicants
When sponsoring your spouse or qualifying relative for U.S. permanent residence (green card), one of the critical aspects to consider is meeting the financial requirements. The U.S. government wants to ensure that sponsored immigrants have adequate financial support and won’t become dependent on public assistance. This is where the Affidavit of Support comes into play.
What Is the Affidavit of Support?
The Affidavit of Support is a legally binding contract between the petitioner/sponsor and the U.S. government. It serves as a promise that the petitioner will provide financial support to the sponsored immigrant.
The purpose of this document is to show that the sponsored immigrant will not become a public charge and will have access to financial resources while pursuing lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
Who Needs to File the Affidavit of Support?
The petitioner/sponsor, who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder), must file the Affidavit of Support when sponsoring their spouse or relative for a green card.
To meet the financial requirements, the petitioner/sponsor must demonstrate that their income meets or exceeds the minimum income threshold. The specific income requirement depends on the petitioner’s household size. It’s important to check the most up-to-date income guidelines published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure compliance.
Common Documents Required for the Affidavit of Support
When filing the Affidavit of Support, you will typically need to provide the following documents:
The Affidavit of Support form that must be filled out and signed by the petitioner/sponsor.
Proof of Income
This can include tax returns, W-2 forms, and recent pay stubs. If using assets, documentation proving their value is required.
Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency
Copies of your birth certificate, passport, or green card.
Proof of Relationship
Marriage or birth certificates to establish the spousal or familial relationship.
What If the Sponsoring Spouse Doesn’t Meet the Income Requirements?
If the petitioner/sponsor’s income is insufficient to meet the requirements, they have a few options:
Use a Joint Sponsor
A joint sponsor is someone who is willing to assume financial responsibility for the immigrant. The joint sponsor must meet the income requirements independently.
Combine Income and Assets
If the petitioner/sponsor’s income is close to the requirement, they can use assets to bridge the gap.
Provide an Explanation
The petitioner/sponsor can also include a written explanation of any special circumstances or assets that may help demonstrate the ability to provide support.
Begin Your Family-Based Green Card Process
It’s essential to consult with an excellent immigration attorney to ensure that all of your Affidavit of Support documentation is accurate and complete, as any errors or omissions can result in delays or denials.
By understanding green card financial requirements and the Affidavit of Support, you can navigate the green card application process more effectively, bringing your spouse or relative one step closer to lawful permanent residence in the U.S.
Contact Heckler Law Group for a free case evaluation, so you can complete your family-based green card process in the most straightforward way possible.