Form I-864 is a legally binding document that you should fully understand before filling it out. By law, you are financially responsible for the immigrant during the stated duration. There are certain details you need to know because this isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
If the immigrant receives government assistance but has to pay them back, you are financially responsible for these costs. In most instances, a sponsored immigrant doesn’t qualify for public benefits. Government agencies look at your income when deciding on whether to accept or deny the immigrant’s application for assistance.
Federal poverty guidelines
You need to confirm that you have enough income and assets to maintain 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for the immigrant and your entire household. A few exceptions apply. If you are an active-duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces or the petitioning sponsor, you only need to maintain 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. This same benchmark applies if the immigrant is your unmarried child under 21 years old or your spouse.
Other household members are also financially responsible for the immigrant when you record their income in consideration for sponsoring them. Consult with an immigration lawyer to fully understand your duties and responsibilities when sponsoring an immigrant.
Sponsored immigrants can sue
When a sponsored immigrant fails to receive the promised financial support from you, they can sue you. The judge may rule that you have to pay the attorney fees in addition to the costs you owe the immigrant.
Sponsoring an immigrant is a serious task that has various legal implications. Sponsors are financially responsible down to the law for their sponsored immigrants. Never make assumptions about aspects of the law. You can check with an attorney to ensure that you’re not missing important information about your legal responsibilities as a sponsor in New Jersey.