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Who should submit an affidavit of support?

An affidavit of support is an important document that a resident of California or any other state signs to accept financial responsibility on behalf of a foreign resident, typically a relative, who seeks to reside permanently in the United States. Federal law dictates that a number of individuals are required to submit an affidavit of support.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service dictates that all the immediate relatives of United States citizens and relatives that qualify to immigrate to the U.S. under one of four family based preferences require an affidavit of support. It should be noted that these relatives may consist of parents and spouses, as well as children under the age of 21. Orphans can be included in this category as well.

The first preference consists of unmarried adult daughters and sons of American citizens, with “adult” defined as a person older than or at least 21 years of age. The second preference refers to spouses of permanent residents, as well as daughters and sons of permanent residents and any unmarried children they may have. The third family based preference consists of married daughters and sons of United States citizens, as well as their spouses and unmarried children of minor age. Finally, the fourth preference refers to the siblings of adult age American citizens, including their spouses and any unmarried children who are minors.

Additionally, federal law requires that an affidavit of support is needed in certain cases of employment based immigration. These include instances when an American citizen or the relative of a permanent resident has filed an immigrant visa petition. This is also the case when the relative in question has an ownership interest, defined as five percent or greater, in the entity that originated the petition.

This article is intended to provide information on affidavits of support and should not be taken as legal advice.

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