Family Applicants: Do you need an affidavit of support?

Last update: September 18, 2018

What is an affidavit of support?
An affidavit of support is a contract between Sponsors and the U.S. Government. The goal of the affidavit of support is to make sure that applicants do not become ‘public charges’. A ‘public charge’ is someone who is dependent on the Government for living expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing.
In short, applicants will not become a ‘public charge’ because sponsors will be compelled to help them financially through the affidavit of support.

Do all family applicants need an affidavit of support?
The overwhelming majority of family Green Card applicants need an affidavit of support, but not all do. Among applicants who do not need an affidavit of support are the following:

  • Applicants who are foreign born minors who will automatically become a U.S. Citizen when they enter the United States, for instance through the ChilD Citizenship Act of 2000
  • Applicants who can justify 40 qualifying Social Security quarters either on their own, or with the help of parents and/or a spouse

What is the Child Citizenship Act of 2000?
Children meeting the following requirements automatically becomes a U.S. Citizens upon being admitted in the United States as an ‘immigrant for lawful permanent residence’ (with the ‘temporary Green Card stamp in their passport):

  • They have at least one American citizen parent by birth or naturalization;
  • They are under 18 years of age;
  • They live in the legal and physical custody of the American citizen parent.

What is a Social Security quarter?
Each year, a U.S. Social Security contributor can receive up to four quarters. In 2016, a Social Security contributor gets one quarter for every $1,260 of earnings.

How can parents and spouses help applicants get Social Security credits?
The quarters of U.S. Social Security received by applicants’ parents while were under the age of 18 can be credited to the applicants to help them reach 40 qualifying quarters.
The quarters of U.S. Social Security received by sponsors while they are married to applicants can be credited to applicants to help them reach 40 qualifying quarters.

I do not need an affidavit of support, what do I do?
The sponsor needs to fill form I-864W.