1. What is an Affidavit of Support?
If you are bringing a relative to live permanently in the U.S., you must accept legal responsibility for financially supporting this family member. You accept this responsibility and become your relative’s sponsor by completing and signing a document called an Affidavit of Support. This legally enforceable responsibility lasts until your relative becomes a U.S. Citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually ten years.)
2. For whom is an Affidavit of Support required?
You must complete and submit Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, if you are bringing a relative to the U.S. An Affidavit of Support is required for all immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which include parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21, including orphans and relatives who qualify for immigration to the U.S. under one of the family-based preferences:
First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older
Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents and the unmarried sons and daughters (regardless of age) of lawful permanent residents and their unmarried children
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their unmarried minor children
Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their unmarried minor children
3. What is the definition of ‘relative’ for employment based sponsors?
‘Relative’ includes the spouse, adult son or daughter, child, parent or sibling of the person filing the I-140, employment petition or who has a relative with five per cent or more ownership interest in the petitioning company.
4. Where can I find the law?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the admission of all immigrants to the U.S. For the part of the law concerning Affidavits of Support, please see INA § 212(a)(4) and section 213A. The provisions are codified in Title 8, United States Code, as sections 1182(a)(4) and 1183a. The specific requirements for Affidavits of Support can be found in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations at 8 CFR part 213a.
5. Who is required to be a sponsor?
If you have filed an immigrant visa petition for your relative, you must be the sponsor.
- You must also be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident
- You must have a domicile in the U.S. or a territory or possession of the U.S.