Take Affidavit of Support Seriously

Many U.S. citizens and permanent residents signed an affidavit of support for an immigrant without knowing what responsibilities they have promised to take. The Affidavit of Support (I-864) is an enforceable contract by the sponsored person, the local, state or federal government or any agency providing a means-tested public benefit. The sponsor and joint sponsor are jointly and severally liable. Even when the immigrant divorces the sponsor, in addition to any alimony payment, the sponsor and/or joint sponsor may have a continuing responsibility to support the immigrant at 125% of poverty guideline. Defense to enforcement of the affidavit on regard to damages include mitigation and set off. A sponsored immigrant, in a divorce settlement, can surrender her right to sue the sponsor to enforce the I-864. The contract is enforceable until the sponsored immigrant is (1) naturalized, (2) ceases to be an LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident) and departs the U.S., (3) obtains a new grant of AOS (adjustment of status) in a removal proceeding; (4) has earned or been credited with 40 qualifying quarters in social security; or (5) dies.

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