You may not be required to prove your financial ability to be eligible for immigration benefits! There are certain groups of people who are either exempt from public charge, or may get a waiver for public charge when applying for a green card or other benefits with USCIS. These include:
- Refugees (or current refugees applying for adjustment to permanent resident status)
- Asylum applicants (or current asylees applying for adjustment to permanent resident status)
- Amerasian Immigrants (for their initial admission)
- Individuals granted relief under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA)
- Individuals granted relief under the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)
- Individuals granted relief under the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA)
- Individuals applying for a T Visa or have one and are trying to become a permanent resident and get a green card
- Individuals applying for a U Visa or have one and are trying to become a permanent resident and get a green card
- Applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Certain applicants under the LIFE Act Provisions
If you have any questions or concerns regarding if you need to prove your financial ability or file an Affidavit of Support, feel free to contact us at Your Immigration Angel!
For immigration benefits adjudicated by USCIS, whether a person is likely to become a public charge is often considered when someone is trying to become a permanent resident and obtain a U.S. green card. It is also considered when someone applies for certain non-immigrant or other temporary benefits, for example by extending non-immigrant status within the United States.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if you are seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident, you are inadmissible if “at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, you are likely at any time to become a public charge.” If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status is not granted. Public charge does not apply in naturalization proceedings.
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!
Every hopeful immigrant knows that there are constraints on the availability and issuance of United States Green Cards. The limited availability of U.S. visa creates the main backlog on green card applications. Employment-based green cards for foreign workers and their families are also limited by the United States government, and the 2015 cap has been set at 144,000 per year, world-wide. Family-sponsored preference categories for 2015 are limited to 226,000 visas per year. USCIS also places a total annual cap on the amount of visas that can be issued to foreign nationals from any particular country. For 2015, no country can receive more than 7 percent of the total annual number of family-sponsored and employment-based visas or approximately 25,600 visas.
That’s Right! Your Lawful Permanent Resident status will not expire!
Once you have your U.S. Green Card, you are a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. Your status will not expire as long as you maintain certain ties to the U.S. However, your rights to remain in the U.S. can be jeopardized and taken away under certain conditions. Losing this right to reside in the United States means that you can be removed or deported. If you are convicted of a crime, you are at risk of losing your right to reside in the U.S. If you live outside of the U.S. while you are a LPR, you may also lose your status. In the latter situation, USCIS may consider your LPR status “abandoned.” There are a number of factors that contribute to a judge determining that you have abandoned your LPR status. It is important to make sure that you don’t risk losing your status if you intend to live, travel or work abroad while you are a LPR of the United States. For assistance in assessing your particular circumstances, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel today!