Financial Support and Obtaining Your Marriage Green Card

Fountain Pen on Ledger

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs, or green card holders) are the only U.S. residents with the rights to obtain permanent residence or green cards for their spouses.  Anyone who immigrates to the United States through a petition filed by a family member must be able to prove that he or she has financial support from the family member in the U.S.  The financial sponsor must file an Affidavit of Support.  An Affidavit of Support is a form that a qualified individual (a sponsor) files on your behalf when you are applying for a green card through your marriage to a U.S. Citizen or LPR spouse.  The purpose of the form is to show that you have the financial means to live in the United States without needing welfare or financial benefits from the U.S. government.  The law requires that the sponsor demonstrate that he or she is able to assist you financially.  The sponsor must show that he or she has an annual income of not less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.  Failure to file a qualifying Affidavit of Support showing sufficient income levels with your Adjustment of Status makes you inadmissible as a public charge.  USCIS will not allow anyone to immigrate if they do not have financial means to live in the U.S. and will reject anyone who will become or is currently a “public charge.”  If you have any questions regarding your marriage green card application or Affidavit of Support, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel!

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If You or Your Spouse “Entered Without Inspection,” There May Still Be Options!

Border and IDs

All noncitizens entering the U.S. are required to present themselves to a USCIS immigration officer for inspection.  This inspection meant that they will be assessed and that they must demonstrate the right to enter the country based on approval obtained prior to entry in the U.S.  If you do not have an approved means for entering the United States, then the Customs and Border Patrol or USCIS officer may refuse entry to you.

If you have entered without inspection (EWI) and without the proper documentation, there are a limited number of legal immigration options available to you.  If you or your spouse EWI, that means that you do not have legal immigration status in the United States.   That also means that you cannot file to change or adjust your status, as you do not have a legal status to begin with.  It is not possible to adjust status even if you marry a U.S. citizen or have U.S. citizen parents or children that will petition for them. However, there are a few exceptions that might allow an adjustment of status. The two most common are the LIFE Act and a waiver implemented in new immigration law as of 2012.