An Affidavit of Support is a document family-based immigrants must file when seeking to become permanent residents of the United States. This legally enforceable document proves that you have a sponsor willing to take financial responsibility for you while you are new to the country.
An Orlando immigration lawyer with our firm can help you navigate the U.S. immigration system, prepare and file an Affidavit of Support, and gather the other information you need to apply for a family-based immigrant visa.
An Affidavit of Support Is Part of Getting a Visa
Per the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, you need an Affidavit of Support (also known as Form I-864) to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status in the United States for family-based reasons. You may apply for this type of visa if you are:
- The spouse of a U.S. citizen
- Engaged to a U.S. citizen
- The close family relation of a U.S. citizen (i.e., a parent, child, or sibling)
- The close family relation of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
- A child being adopted by a U.S. citizen
You can also seek a work immigration visa to stay in the U.S. permanently. You do not need an Affidavit of Support for a work visa. However, you will need an employment sponsor. A work visa lawyer with our firm can explain more about this type of immigration application and what goes into getting approved.
To consult with an experienced immigration lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
An Affidavit of Support Shows You Have a Financial Sponsor
An Affidavit of Support states that you have someone willing to financially sponsor you while you settle in the U.S. The affidavit acts as a guarantee that new immigrants will not seek public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or food stamps.
If you apply for and receive public benefits, the affidavit makes your sponsor legally responsible for repaying the agency that supplied the assistance.
The Sponsor Who Signs an Affidavit of Support Must Meet Certain Criteria
Usually, the party who signs your Affidavit of Support is the same family member who agreed to sponsor your immigration application (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative). According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the sponsor must prove their income level is at or above 125 percent of the federal poverty level (or 100 percent for military personnel sponsoring a spouse or child).
If the family member sponsoring you does not meet the financial requirements, other members of the sponsor’s household can agree to contribute their income and assets. These family members will need to sign a legally binding contract (Form I-864A, Affidavit of Support Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member).
When Does a Sponsor’s Responsibility End?
Your financial sponsor’s responsibility ends when one of the following occurs:
- You become a U.S. citizen.
- You earn 40 U.S. work credits (usually 10 years of work).
- You permanently leave the U.S.
Extenuating circumstances may also apply, depending on your situation. An immigration lawyer from our firm can evaluate your situation and explain your options.
Documents You Must Submit Along With Your Affidavit of Support
When applying for a family-based visa, you will need to supply various other documents and information in addition to your application and Affidavit of Support. Depending on your case, we can help you gather and submit the following:
- Birth certificate
- Photographs of yourself
- A police certificate from your home country detailing any criminal history
- Court or prison records
- Marriage or divorce certificates
- Adoption paperwork
- Proof of relationship to the individual sponsoring your petition
- Medical examinations from an approved physician
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Do You Need an Immigration Attorney to File an Affidavit of Support?
The U.S. immigration system is complicated and constantly changing. An experienced immigration lawyer with our firm can help you navigate the system and relieve some of the stress of seeking a visa. We can:
- Explain the immigration process and address your concerns
- Respond to frequently asked questions about immigration
- Prepare and file your Affidavit of Support, along with other necessary immigration forms
- Help your sponsor prove their financial eligibility
- Gather and submit additional supporting documents
- Protect your rights and help you understand your responsibilities
- Track and manage deadlines
- Help you prepare for immigration interviews, USCIS hearings, and other legal proceedings
What Else Can an Immigration Lawyer Help With?
We can also assist clients with:
- Immigrant (permanent) work visas. You can seek LPR status for work-related purposes if you have “extraordinary” skills, an advanced degree, are a manager or executive at a multinational company, or make a substantial business investment. We can review your case and explain if you qualify for an immigrant work visa.
- Nonimmigrant (temporary) visas. We can help you obtain a temporary visa if you wish to enter the country for a set amount of time to perform a specific purpose, such as education, temporary or seasonal work, tourism, or medical treatment.
- Green cards. “Green card” is a common term for the photo ID that verifies your LPR status. You should receive a green card in the mail shortly after you arrive in the U.S. on an immigrant visa. We can help if your green card does not arrive, you have trouble renewing your green card after 10 years, or you want to change your status from temporary to permanent.
- Naturalization applications. If you want to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, we can help you with the application and explain the process.
- Asylum and refugee applications. If you cannot return to your home country because you are the victim of crime, human trafficking, or otherwise unsafe, we can help you apply for an asylum visa or refugee status.
- Deportations. If your ability to remain in the U.S. comes under threat, we can fight deportation.
Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns for a Free Consultation
We can help with your Affidavit of Support and other details of your immigration application. Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns to schedule a free immigration case consultation. A team member is available 24/7 to share more about working with an experienced immigration lawyer with our firm. Hablamos Espanol.