Mar, 24th, 2023
In the context of U.S. immigration, a spouse guarantee typically refers to the financial responsibility that a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) assumes when sponsoring their foreign spouse for a green card.
When a U.S. citizen or LPR sponsors their foreign spouse for a green card, they must complete and sign an affidavit of support, which is a legally binding contract that commits the sponsor to financially support their spouse while they are in the United States. The affidavit of support is intended to ensure that the sponsored spouse does not become a public charge and relies on public benefits.
To meet the financial requirements of the affidavit of support, the sponsor must demonstrate that their income is at least 125% of the federal poverty level for their household size. If the sponsor's income is not sufficient, they may need to obtain a joint sponsor who can also provide a financial guarantee.
The sponsor's obligation to financially support their spouse continues until their spouse becomes a U.S. citizen, dies, or is credited with 40 quarters of work (approximately 10 years of work). If the sponsored spouse receives any means-tested public benefits, such as food stamps or Medicaid, the U.S. government can seek repayment from the sponsor.
In addition to the affidavit of support, a U.S. citizen or LPR sponsoring their spouse for a green card must also provide evidence that they have a bona fide marital relationship. This can include documentation of joint assets, joint leases or mortgages, joint bank accounts, and photographs or other evidence of shared activities.
It's important to note that marriage fraud, which involves entering into a sham marriage for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits, is a serious crime that can result in severe legal penalties for both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse. Therefore, it's essential that the sponsor and their spouse have a genuine and bona fide marital relationship.
In summary, a spouse guarantee involves a U.S. citizen or LPR assuming financial responsibility for their foreign spouse when sponsoring them for a green card. This financial responsibility is formalized through an affidavit of support, which commits the sponsor to financially support their spouse while they are in the United States. The sponsor must meet certain income requirements and can be held financially responsible if their spouse receives public benefits. The sponsor must also provide evidence of a bona fide marital relationship to demonstrate that the marriage is genuine.
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