As an I-864 sponsor, you are financially responsible for the immigrant you are sponsoring. This means that if the immigrant receives certain means-tested public benefits or becomes dependent on the government for support, you may be required to reimburse the government for the cost of those benefits.
A means-tested public benefit is a type of government assistance program that is based on a person’s income or financial resources. Examples of means-tested public benefits include Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
When an immigrant receives means-tested public benefits, it can affect the financial responsibility of the I-864 sponsor. If the immigrant becomes dependent on these benefits, the sponsor may be required to reimburse the government for the cost of those benefits. Also, the sponsored immigrant has the right to sue their sponsor for financial support if the sponsor fails to provide the necessary support and the immigrant becomes reliant on means-tested public benefits. This is known as a “contractual support” obligation, and it is enforceable in court.
As an I-864 sponsor, you are legally obligated to provide financial support to the immigrant you are sponsoring to make sure they don’t become a “public charge,”, but you do not have to pay the immigrant directly. This means that you must provide financial support at a level that is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of their household size if necessary. You can find the income requirements by clicking here.
Article originally from Linh Tran Layton’s Blog