16. Are Affidavits of Support required for persons other than immigrants?
Currently, some aliens entering the U.S. temporarily, particularly students and parolees, may be required to have Affidavits of Support filed on their behalf. These situations are not affected by the new legally enforceable Affidavit of Support requirements. Sponsors of aliens who do not fall within the definition of Section 213A will continue to use the I-134 Affidavit of Support form. Refugees are not subject to the new Affidavit of Support requirement.
17. Can a religious group, non-governmental organization, venture capitalist or bail bondsman sponsor an immigrant as a joint sponsor?
No, only a natural person can be a sponsor. Religious and other groups usually sponsor refugees who are not required to have Affidavits of Support.
18. What are the income requirements for an Affidavit of Support?
You must meet certain income requirements, whether you are a sponsor, a ‘joint sponsor’, or a ‘substitute sponsor’.
1. You must show that your household income is equal to or higher than 125 per cent of the U.S. poverty level for your household size
2. Your household size includes you, your dependents, any relatives living with you, and the immigrants you are sponsoring
Note: For example, if you have a spouse and two children and you want to sponsor your brother and his wife, you must prove that your household income is equal to or higher than 125 per cent of the U.S. poverty level for a family of six.
3. You must also include in your household size any immigrants you have previously sponsored under this part of the law
Note: In the above example, if you had previously sponsored your parents and your sister, your household size would be nine persons.
4. If you, the sponsor, are on active duty in the Armed Forces of the U.S., and the immigrant you are sponsoring is your spouse or child, your income only needs to equal 100 per cent of the U.S. poverty level for your family size
19. What does the requirement that the sponsor demonstrate the ability to maintain an income at 125 per cent of the poverty level mean?
Sponsors will be judged on their ability to support the immigrants they are sponsoring at 125 per cent of the poverty level for their household size based on the information they provide in the Affidavit of Support and accompanying documentation. This information must demonstrate that the sponsor and his or her household can reasonably be expected to maintain an income at or above the level required to provide for themselves and all immigrants they have sponsored or are sponsoring.
20. Does the petitioner have to file an Affidavit of Support if he or she cannot meet the income requirements and there is a joint sponsor?
Yes, the law requires that the petitioner must be a sponsor and file an Affidavit of Support, even if he or she cannot meet the income requirements. The petitioner remains fully liable, along with the joint sponsor, for any benefits the sponsored immigrant(s) may use. The ‘joint sponsor’ must file a separate Affidavit of Support.