One key document which plays an instrumental role is an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), which serves as proof of financial responsibility to intending immigrants seeking entry. Here we explore its significance within the Michigan immigration process as well as the requirements and responsibilities it entails.
What Is an Affidavit of Support?
An Affidavit of Support is an essential document in immigration. It is a legally binding contract between an intending immigrant (the beneficiary), their sponsor (the petitioner), and U.S. citizens and permanent residents who agree to provide financial support (petitioner and petitioned, respectively).
This document ensures adequate support and does not become an expense on public services in America; by signing it, sponsors commit themselves to assist if an intending immigrant experiences financial difficulty during his/her application.
Michigan Affidavit of Support Process
An Affidavit of Support is required when filing family and specific employment-based immigration applications in Michigan, typically when seeking to secure citizenship through family sponsorship or specific employment visa categories. It should generally accompany immigration petitions submitted as part of Green Card applications through family sponsorship and employment visa categories.
If you are applying for family-based immigration, you can get a US citizen or permanent resident who wants to sponsor immediate family members for Green Cards, Form I-864 must be submitted as part of the application package. This rule covers spouses, unmarried children under 21, parents of U.S. citizens, and specific other preferences based on family ties.
For some employment-based visa categories, either an employer or self-petitioning individual must submit an Affidavit of Support as part of their Green Card application process.
This step becomes particularly essential if employment plays a significant role in qualifying an intending immigrant for permanent residency status.
Requirements of Support Affidavit
An Affidavit of Support requires close consideration of every detail. Below are a few essential requirements:
Eligibility for Sponsor
When signing an Affidavit, sponsors must either be citizens of the U.S., permanent residents (Green Card Holders) or at least 18 years old.
Sponsors must demonstrate they have enough income or assets to provide for an intending immigrant and any dependents while meeting household expenses and needs. Additional household members or joint sponsors could help meet threshold requirements if their income falls short.
Filing With the Correct Form
For filing of Affidavit of Support under section 213A of INA, Form I-864 should be utilized. Different forms are often appropriate depending upon individual situations, so selecting an applicable one should always be your goal.
To prove their income, sponsors should present supporting documentation such as tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and bank statements from their most recent tax year. These should cover every step in the sponsorship process from beginning to end.
Filing an Affidavit of Support Fee
There is an associated filing fee when filing an Affidavit of Support. The amount is subject to change and must be paid when submitting.
Responsibilities and Obligations of Sponsors
By signing the Affidavit of Support, sponsors take on specific duties and obligations that must be upheld:
When sponsoring immigrant candidates, they agree to provide financial assistance so they don't rely on public service for essential needs such as food.
Duration of Responsibility
The financial obligation placed on sponsors by an Affidavit of Support lasts until either their intended immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, works for ten years in America, passes away, or leaves permanently from America.
Reimbursement of Public Benefits
Should the sponsored immigrant obtain certain means-tested public benefits, their sponsor may be obliged to repay the government for them.
For many would-be immigrants in Michigan, an Affidavit of Support is an integral and non-negotiable aspect of the immigration process. It guarantees that the intended immigrant will not become financially burdensome to U.S. Government while giving adequate support upon beginning life anew in America.
Sponsors and intending immigrants should approach this process with great caution, taking note of the legal responsibilities involved and meeting all requirements regarding fulfilling obligations through it - an Affidavit of Support can open doors towards a successful immigrating journey in Michigan!
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