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Green card for a relative: how much money a sponsor should have

A pre-immigration family green card applicant will need a financial sponsor in the United States. Some green card holders can immediately find a job and support themselves. However, a financial sponsor is needed if things don't go according to plan. The publication told about this in more detail. Citizen path.

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As a general rule, every person who immigrates on a family visa petition must have a financial sponsor. Whoever submits Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of a family member (or Form I-129F on behalf of the groom) must also agree to be a financial sponsor and file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. If a person doesn't have enough income, there are options.

Economic grounds for inadmissibility

To be eligible to enter the United States and become a permanent resident (green card holder), a foreign national must meet the requirements and also prove that he or she is not ineligible. There are many reasons for inadmissibility, one of them is economic.

In fact, a foreign citizen who is considered a "burden to society" is unacceptable by law. The Department of State and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) define a “burden to society” as a person who “is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as evidenced by either the provision of government income assistance or placement in a specialized institution for long-term care at the state expense ”.

On the subject: Mistakes and actions of immigrants that can lead to the loss of a green card

This immigration law helps to ensure that new immigrants do not have to rely on public benefits. Examples of government benefits include Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. If the new immigrant uses certain community benefits in the future, the agency that granted the benefits may require the financial sponsor to pay the money.

Form I-864 for Financial Sponsors, Affidavit of Support

Regardless of which family member signed the visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative or Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance), they will also need to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This voluminous document is a contract between the sponsor and the US government in which the sponsor promises to support the alleged immigrant if he or she cannot do so on their own. As a rule, the sponsor must prove that his income is 125% of the established US poverty level.

How compulsory earnings depend on the size of the family (the family includes a sponsor and immigrants):

  • If the sponsor's family consists of 2 people (including the sponsored relative), then the sponsor needs to earn at least $ 21 per year.
  • If the family size is 3 people - $ 27 450
  • 4 people - $ 33 125
  • If the family consists of 5 people - $ 38 800
  • 6 people - $ 44
  • 7 people - $ 50
  • And for a family of 8, the sponsor needs to earn at least $ 55
  • Further, for each family member, you need to add $ 5

The above rules apply to non-military members in 48 states (as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). For sponsors on active duty in the U.S. military, or sponsors in the states of Alaska or Hawaii, the revised rules can be found at USCIS website.

Examples of financial sponsorship

Example 1

Jessica is a US citizen who has applied for a green card for her spouse. Eduardo also has a 10-year-old child from a previous marriage. So Jessica has filed a separate visa petition for her stepson. Their total family size is three. It includes Jessica and two immigrants. Consequently, Jessica must earn a minimum of $ 27 per year to sponsor her family members. She must submit two separate I-450 affidavits. Each prospective immigrant must have their own petition. As such, she must file a separate Form I-864 for each person.

Example 2

Rajesh, a US citizen, has applied for a green card for his adult son Nilesh, an Indian citizen. Nilesh also has a dependent spouse and two minor children listed on the immigrant's petition. While Nilesh is highly educated and will likely find a well-paying job quickly, Rajesh should act as the family's financial sponsor. He currently only lives with his wife. Thus, the new household size is six people. Rajesh needs an annual income of at least $ 44 to act as a financial sponsor for four immigrants (Nilesh, his wife and two children). Since all prospective immigrants are listed on one I-475 petition, the Rajesh only needs one written I-130 petition.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

When the income of the financial sponsor is insufficient

If the financial sponsor's income is inadequate, personal assets such as checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds or property may be considered when determining financial ability. Assets must be converted into cash within one year. In addition, assets are not recorded at their full monetary value. The cost will be adjusted.

Most people do not have the funds required to participate in the program. Therefore, it is easier to find a family member or co-sponsor who can contribute. If there is a relative (spouse, adult child, parent, brother, or sister) living in the same household as the main sponsor, he or she can usually participate as a household member who contributes to income. On the other hand, a co-sponsor is an additional sponsor that does not have to be associated (with any party) and does not have to reside at the same address.

Example 1 (household member)

Margaret is a naturalized US citizen who lives in the US with her husband William. Margaret's mother is a widow and they want to sponsor her so she can live with them. Margaret does not work, therefore she has no personal income. Her spouse is working with an income sufficient to meet the financial sponsorship requirements. Margaret must file Form I-864 because she is the one who must file the petition for her mother. However, since William is a family member, he can include his income in the calculation by completing Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Family Member.

Example 2 (co-sponsor)

Jean Paul is a permanent resident who wants to help his Haitian wife get a green card and move to the United States. Jean Paul is young and still in college. In fact, he has no income due to the fact that he is a full-time student. Paul lives alone, so he has no family members to help him sponsor his wife. Jean Paul's father is a co-sponsor. Jean Paul must file Form I-864 even if he has no income. His father then also files Form I-864 as a co-sponsor.

On the subject: USCIS to Tighten Rules for Sponsoring Immigration of Relatives to the United States

When the Affidavit of Support Obligations Terminate

The financial sponsor's obligation under Form I-864 Affidavit of Support ends if whoever becomes a lawful permanent resident on the basis of this affidavit:

  • Becomes a US citizen;
  • Can get a loan for 40 quarters of insurance coverage under the Social Security Act;
  • No longer has legal permanent resident status and has left the United States;
  • Is eligible for deportation, but applies for and receives, as part of the expulsion procedure, a new authorization to adjust status based on a new affidavit of support, if any;
  • Dies.

However, divorce does not end the financial sponsor's I-864 obligations.

Very few people can avoid an Affidavit of Support

This is unusual, but there are a few exceptions to the affidavit requirement. Perhaps the most common exception is for the parents of a petitioned child (under the age of 18) who will immediately acquire US citizenship. Immigrant Beneficiary is a child who becomes a US citizen immediately after receiving a residence permit or entering the United States permanently. A child should not be filed with Form I-864. In this case, the applicant must file Form I-864W.

Individuals who have worked in the United States for many years may also be exempted from filing Form I-864. To qualify, a green card applicant must earn or receive a loan for 40 eligible quarters (credits) of work in the United States, as defined by the Social Security Act. If you believe you qualify, obtain an SSA income statement as proof.

Additional exceptions may apply to widows or widowers who filed a petition on their own, as well as to spouses or children who have been battered.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Taxes and immigration status: what you need to know in order not to make mistakes

How to get a visa for talented people and move to the USA

What immigration forms can you fill out online and how to do it

How to get illegal immigration status in the USA: all the ways

The 'public burden' rule: what a green card applicant needs to know

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