What Are the Affidavit of Support Requirements for Green Cards?
Often we get this question:
“If I want to apply for a Green card, what are the Affidavit of Support Requirements?”
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally requires a petitioner to file an Affidavit of Support, which ensures that the intending immigrant has a sufficient financial source and will not be a public charge depending on government agencies for support, welfare, or public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. If a sponsored beneficiary is found to have relied on public aids from Federal or State agency for support, the petitioner will be made to reimburse the government through a legal proceeding.
You are probably aware of the saying that for every general rule, there is an exemption. There are special circumstances when you do not need to prove the income level of your household to qualify as a sponsor because there are types of prospective immigrants who are not required to be sponsored at all.
There is no obligation to support the following types of intending immigrants:
- A prospective immigrant who has been credited with 40 quarters of work, through which the minimum income set by the Social Security Administration is achieved, is not in need of a financial sponsor. In computing qualifying quarters, the prospective immigrant should exclude any working period when he or she received public benefits from a Federal or State agency.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) can guide you on how to compute works earned and how much of them can be credited to you. The SSA can also show you how to produce evidence of qualifying quarters of work.
The intending immigrant may also claim the qualifying quarters earned by a parent while the intending immigrant was under 18, and the work earned by a spouse during the marriage.
- Similar exemption is given to self-petitioning widows or widowers who have an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Widower, and Special Immigrants.
- Self-petitioning battered spouses or children holding an approved Form I-360 are also exempt.
- An intending immigrant is exempt when he or she will acquire US citizenship under Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA). A child who is adopted by or born of a biological US citizen parent, and who did not acquire citizenship at birth, may be petitioned without requiring a filing of an Affidavit of Support on the child’s behalf.
Since the requirements of an affidavit of support are terminated when an intending immigrant becomes a citizen of the United States, it follows that the child who shall become a US citizen upon entering into the United States does not need an Affidavit of Support.
In order that a child could be exempt from the Affidavit of Support requirements, the following prerequisites must be met:
- At least one parent of the child must be a US citizen.
- At the time of the adjustment of status or during admission, the child has not turned 18.
- The child must be in the custody of a US citizen parent and is residing in the United States.
- For a foreign adopted child to qualify, the adoption proceeding must have been legally completed before the child’s admission to the United States. The adoptive parents or an adoptive unmarried US citizen acting as a parent must have carefully observed the adopted alien child before and during the conduct of the adoption proceeding.
In lieu of filing a Form I-864 for an Affidavit of Support, you must file a Form I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption form.
To better understand whether or not you or any of your family member can be exempt from filing an affidavit of support, you should consult a US Immigration attorney with a license to practice. You can prevent scam artists, offering inferior immigration consultation and services, from ripping you off. We have provided you a contact form on the right side just so you could write us about your immigration concern.
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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