How much should I make for the purpose of sponsoring my spouse’s Green Card application?
Not only with a marriage-based Green Card application, but also with other categories of family-based immigration across board, the sponsor (US citizen petitioner) must have income provable as higher than 125% of Federal Poverty Level (“FPL”).
Joint Sponsor (I-864)
If your income as a Petitioner (or Sponsor) cannot meet the Federal Poverty Line as above, you will need a joint sponsor who is willing to sign the I-864 (Affidavit of Support) for you. He is responsible for reimburse government if you become public charge later after becoming a lawful permanent resident. To prove that the joint sponsor has sufficient financial capability to sponsor your application for LPR, he/she needs to submit following documents:
1. Copy of US passport or I-551 card (Green Card)
2. Copy of Tax Return and W2 or I099
Sponsor (including Joint sponsor)’s Responsibility
The immigration petitioners carry contractual obligation to financially support their intending immigrant by signing Affidavit of Support (I-864). Therefore, this affidavit is legally enforceable against the sponsor, as well as any joint sponsor or contributing household member. This contractual obligation will last as far as the intending immigrant becomes a US citizen.
More importantly, this contract does not end if a petitioner and a beneficiary (the intending immigrants) later divorce. But, in case that the sponsor dies, the contract ends. Despite this, if the sponsor’s estate may have to pay obligations that arose before the sponsor died.
Means-Tested Benefits and Affidavit of Support (I-864)
If the intending immigrant become to take Means-Tested Benefits, any federal, state or local government can file a suit against the sponsor to recover the benefits which has rendered to the beneficiary through the Means-Test-Benefits. Federal means-tested public benefits have been defined to include only Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and SSI. But, please note that government agencies cannot sue to collect reimbursement for benefits that the immigrant received more than 10 years ago. (INA Section 213A(b)(2)(C).
I-864 vs. I-864A
If the sponsoring petitioner’s income is short of 125% of Federal Poverty Line, the income of any sponsor’s household members may be added to the sponsor’s income. The following people can contribute to reach the threshold of the income needed for sponsoring.
a.The sponsor’s spouse if residing with the sponsor (if the spouse is the intending immigrant he or she need not reside with the sponsor)
b.The sponsor’s daughter and son if residing together with the sponsor
c.Any other relative designated by the regulation who is residing in the household
d.Any dependents listed on the sponsor’s tax return for the most recent tax year; and,
e.The intending immigrant
Combining Intending Immigrant’s Income
If the intending immigrant is physically in the US and has employment authorization and qualifies as a household member because they are residing with the sponsor, or are the sponsor’s spouse or claimed dependent, the income of the intending immigrant’s income can be combined.
In this case, the joining household must sign I-864A which is a contract between the sponsor and the household member to jointly and severally liable for all of the sponsor’s obligations under the affidavit of support.
A la carte service for Affidavit of Support
Law Office of Hong-min Jun provide with a la carte service those who need assistance in preparing for the Affidavit of Support.