Do you have a really good friend who is a United States citizen? Do you think they will be willing to sponsor your Green Card application? The US understands the value of friendship and how some friends can mean almost as much as family.
Therefore, the US government allows a US citizen to financially sponsor their friend’s immigrant petition with Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. While only a family member can petition for your Green Card application, your friend can provide support as a “co-sponsor.”
If you are still abroad, your US citizen friend can financially support your petition by filing Form I-864 when you are at the US embassy or consulate. If you are already present in the US, then they can file Form I-864 with your application for Adjustment of Status.
However, as a US citizen sponsoring your friend, you will be required to meet certain requirements to become their financial sponsor. You must also understand your responsibilities. If your sponsor receives any social benefits, then you will be responsible to repay the US government. However, you are not liable for any of their debts or credit card or medical bills.
What Federal Benefits Will Make You Liable to the US Government?
While immigrants are generally prohibited from receiving any social aid from the government. If your sponsor receives benefits from the following means-tested public benefits programs, you will become financially liable to the US government:
- Food stamps
- State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Excluded Government Assistance Programs
However, your immigrant friend can freely accept the following benefits without resulting in any liability to you:
- Emergency Medicaid
- Head Start Programs
- Short-term, non-cash emergency relief
- Job Training Partnership Act programs
- Immunizations, testing, and treatment for communicable diseases
- Benefits provided under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts
- Receiving certain types of foster care or assistance for adoption under the Social Security Act
- Access to Means-tested programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
- Receiving Student Assistance under the Higher Education Act and the Public Health Service Act