As a Miami immigration lawyer, I tell my clients that it is crucial to be aware of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines when applying for a green card. Below are some frequently asked questions.
I am sponsoring a family member for his/her green card application. Why should I be concerned about the U.S. Poverty Guidelines?
As part of the green card application process, you will need to fill out an an Affidavit of Support on USCIS Form I-864 on the immigrant’s behalf. This is to prove that, according to the numbers set by the Poverty Guidelines, your household income is high enough to support the immigrating family members at 125% of more of U.S. poverty line levels. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer for clarification.
Why are the immigration authorities concerned about whether sponsors will be able to support the immigrating family members at an acceptable level?
The rationale is to ensure that the immigrating family member will not need to rely on public assistance (often referred to as welfare) while living in the United States. Prospective immigrants who are viewed as likely to become a “public charge” are considered legally inadmissible to the U.S., and will be denied admission with an immigrant visa or green card. Again, if you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.
Why do I have to sign Form I-864?
By signing Form I-864, you promise the U.S. government that you will either support the immigrant (for approximately ten years or until certain events occur, such as the immigrant’s death) or will reimburse any and all U.S. government agencies that supply the immigrant with financial or related assistance. Again, if you have any questions in regard to this, you should consult a Miami immigration lawyer.
What is the increase in the U.S. Poverty Guidelines like for 2016?
As an example, last year someone supporting a family of four would have had to show an income of $30,312, this year the amount required is higher at $30,375.
If you have would like to learn more about the U.S. Poverty Guidelines, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at murraysilva.com.