Affidavit of Support
The affidavit of support is provided primarily as part of the permanent resident application process, although occasionally it is used in the nonimmigrant visa context. Its purpose is to overcome the “public charge” exclusion ground contained in Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a)(4). All temporary visitors and intending immigrants must show that they are not likely to become a public charge while in the United States.
An individual can be considered to be a public charge if he/she relies solely on government-provided benefits in order to live. Individuals can be considered to be public charges if they are institutionalized for a mental or physical health reason and the costs are fully borne by the federal government. Individuals who receive emergency health care, food stamps, unemployment benefits, or medical benefits to pay for prenatal care and the birth of a child do not fall under the public charge provisions.
Prior to 2002, the affidavit of support was an unenforceable...
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. http://www.uscis.gov