Affidavit of Support
A longstanding bar to immigrating into the U.S. is if the immigrant will become a public charge. To counteract this possible allegation, the USCIS allows third-party citizens, permanent residents and some employers to act as an indemnifier to the federal government if the new immigrant receives means-tested public assistance. This guarantee is provided by contract with the federal government which continues for 10 years or until the immigrant becomes a citizen.
Questions arise as to whether state-provided assistance can also be reclaimed under this contract. We think that it can. When this agreement is provided for a fiancé(e) visa or marital visa at adjustment of status, later divorce will not dissolve this contract. An ex-spouse could be long gone and the obligation continues.
The contract is called an Affidavit of Support, and with it the obligator must prove its annual income is at least 125% above the changing level of poverty income based upon the number of members being supported in a family. Co-signers can be included and assets can be substituted for income per a specific formula.
Submission Process for Affidavit of Support
The contract is signed before a notary and filed on USCIS Form I-864, with 3 years federal tax returns, an employment letter and all other accompanying documentation. There is no filing fee.
Affidavit of Support Relating to an Inadmissibility Issue
When non-immigrants or immigrants are deemed inadmissible at the consulate or suspect of their means of support, while in the U.S., such as students, parolees and diversity immigrants, then third parties can supplement these applications with another form of Affidavit of Support proving income of 100%. It is a similar contract with the federal government which expires when the non-immigrant vacates the U.S. It is processed on USCIS Form I-134 in a similar fashion.