Affidavit of Support Domicile

If you’re planning to petition for a foreign national family member to gain permanent residency status in the United States, one critical factor you must prove is that your relative won’t rely on public assistance or become a public charge once they are admitted into the country. This evidence is presented through the necessary Form I-864: Affidavit of Support.

Requirements for a Sponsor or Joint Sponsor

As a sponsor or a joint sponsor, you must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  2. Be at least 18 years old
  3. Have a domicile in the United States

The first two requirements are fairly straightforward. However, the concept of having a “domicile in the United States” can be a point of contention, occasionally leading to petition denials. As defined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “domicile” refers to a place where an individual has a residence that they intend to keep for the foreseeable future. There usually aren’t any problems if the petitioner/sponsor resides and works in the U.S.

Domicile Requirements and Challenges

Challenges can emerge when the petitioner/sponsor resides overseas. Despite living abroad, a petitioner may still sponsor a foreign national if they can successfully re-establish domicile in the U.S. on or before the admission of the foreign national as a green card holder. The petitioner/sponsor has to provide strong evidence supporting their intention to re-establish a U.S. domicile. This can be demonstrated by:

  1. Securing employment in the U.S.
  2. Enrolling children in U.S. schools
  3. Selling residences overseas
  4. Establishing a U.S. mailing address
  5. Providing proof of a rent or mortgage agreement in the U.S.
  6. Maintaining active U.S. bank accounts and using them regularly

Remember: If the petitioner fails to meet the domicile requirement and hence doesn’t qualify as a sponsor, a joint sponsor cannot be authorized to compensate for this insufficiency. In such a scenario, the applicant’s green card petition would face rejection.

What is the domicile requirement for an immigrant visa?

Green Cards for Family Members

Additional Outside Resources

We Can Help!

You may have questions regarding re-establishing your U.S. domicile or assessing if you meet the criteria to be a sponsor. We invite you to reach out to our team at Richards and Jurusik for detailed guidance and assistance. Our goal is to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information to make your immigration process smoother and less stressful. The immigration lawyers at Richards and Jurusik have decades of experience helping people to work and live in the United States. Read some of our hundreds of 5-star client reviews! Contact us today for an assessment of your legal situation.

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