What Is an Affidavit of Support?
Obtaining a green card for your spouse doesn’t have to be confusing. Here’s an overview of the marriage-based green card process, explained in plain language.
Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)
Simply put, the “Affidavit of Support” (Form I-864) is a signed document where the sponsoring spouse accepts financial responsibility for the spouse who is seeking a green card.
For simplicity, we’ll call the person signing this Affidavit of Support the “financial sponsor.” (This is usually the same person who is serving as the green card sponsor.)
Here are some key things you need to know:
- The financial sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. green card holder, at least 18 years old, and living in the United States.
- The financial sponsor must have an annual income that is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The more people there are in your household, the higher your income will need to be to meet the requirements. (For details, download this PDF.)
- You can also use your assets to meet the financial sponsorship requirements. Assets include cash, stocks and bonds, and property (for example, your home).
- It is possible to have a secondary co-sponsor help with this part of the process if the sponsoring spouse does not meet the income or asset requirements.
- The Affidavit of Support is essentially a contract between the financial sponsor and the U.S. government. The government has the right to recover from the financial sponsor any public benefits (such as food stamps or Medicaid) that the spouse seeking a green card uses after he/she obtains a green card.
- The financial sponsor’s obligations under the Affidavit of Support end only when one of four things happen:
- The death of either spouse;
- The spouse seeking a green card becomes a U.S. citizen;
- The spouse seeking a green card has worked for 40 quarters in the United States; or
- The spouse seeking a green card moves out of the United States permanently.
- If you have been a financial sponsor for others in the past (either as the primary sponsor or as a secondary co-sponsor), everyone you sponsored in the past will need to be counted as you get ready to file a new Affidavit of Support—unless one of the events mentioned above has happened and your obligations to that person have ended.
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Boundless provides you with an easy-to-use, step-by-step online tool so you can complete your green card application process with confidence.