Let’s start with basics: an Affidavit of Support is a legally required document to be completed by the petitioning sponsor in most Family-Based Green Card cases. A “petitioning sponsor” is a person who has filed an USCIS-approved immigrant petition. If an Affidavit of Support is required for your application, then your petitioner must be able to prove that he or she is able to meet the minimum income requirement. Specifically, your petitioner must make at least 125%* of the federal poverty guidelines (which you can access here for 2009: http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/09poverty.shtml). If your petitioner’s income does not meet the income requirement, then there are a number of other alternatives to assist him or her with the requirement. For example, your petitioner can meet the requirement by including income from relatives or dependents listed on his or her Federal Income Tax return or by finding a co-sponsor who will also need to submit an affidavit. Your co-sponsor must be a US Citizen, national or Permanent Resident, at least 18 years old and be able to meet the income requirements on his or her own. However, he or she does not have to be related to you, the intending immigrant.
*If you are an active member of the armed forces petitioning for a spouse or child, then you only need to show support at 100% of the poverty level.
Please contact our firm for more information about the Affidavit of Support or about the sponsor or co-sponsor’s responsibilities.