What is an affidavit of support?

An affidavit of support is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government. The sponsors guarantees that, even if the applicant were not to have any income of his or her own, he or she would not become a public charge or rely on assistance programs. Instead the sponsor will help financially.

What is a public charge?

An individual who is dependent on the government for living expenses such as food, shelter, and clothing.

What are assistance programs?

In the United States, they are programs designed to help individuals who are below the poverty line (“means-tested”), such as:

  • Food stamps
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • State Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP)