11. What is a ‘substitute sponsor’ and how can I be one?
A ‘substitute sponsor’ is a sponsor who files an I-864, Affidavit of Support form, in place of a visa petitioner who has died. In order to be a ‘substitute sponsor’, you must be related to the intending immigrant in one of the following ways:
- Child (if at least 18 years of age)
Note: You must also be a U.S. citizen or national or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, be at least 18 years of age, domiciled in the United States, and meet all of the financial requirements of a sponsor pursuant to INA 213A.
12. Can a sponsored immigrant sponsor other immigrants?
Immigrants who are currently the beneficiaries of sponsorship obligations may be sponsors. They must meet the income requirements on their own or obtain a ‘joint sponsor’ in the same manner that other petitioner-sponsors qualify. This situation would most likely occur when permanent residents petition for their spouses or unmarried sons and daughters under the second preference, since most other petitioners would be U.S. citizens.
13. Are citizens adopting immigrant children required to file Affidavits of Support?
Yes, all persons who immigrate as immediate relatives, including all orphans, must have Affidavits of Support unless they are self-petitioning beneficiaries of approved Forms I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Special Immigrant.
14. Is there a battered-spouse or child exception to the Affidavit of Support requirement?
Yes, prospective immigrants who have the status of battered spouses or children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may immigrate without Affidavits of Support. To qualify for this status, foreign nationals must be the beneficiaries of approved I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow or Special Immigrant applications classifying them under this ‘self-petitioning’ category.
15. Is an Affidavit of Support required for diversity immigrants – visa lottery applicants – or any other groups of immigrants?
The new Affidavit of Support, Form I-864 may only be used for family-based and certain employment based immigrants. For other types of immigrants, such as diversity immigrants or lawful permanent residents returning after long absences from the U.S. where there are concerns about inadmissibility on public charge grounds, the earlier Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be used.