USCIS Publishes Poverty Guidelines for 2022: Increases Stipulated Income Level for Family Sponsor of Foreigners

The United States government recently issued its 2022 Poverty Guidelines. These numbers, which are updated yearly, are crucially important to any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who seeks to sponsor a family member (possibly a parent, spouse, child, sister or brother) for a U.S lawful permanent resident status.

One of the requirements of the application process is that the U.S. petitioner will need to complete a form known as an Affidavit of Support Form I-864 on behalf of the applicant. The purpose of the Affidavit of support is to demonstrate that, according to the figures set forth within the U.S. Poverty Guidelines, the U.S. sponsor’s household income is high enough to support the immigrating family member(s) at 125 percent or more of the U.S. poverty line levels after taking into consideration anyone already living with or are dependent on the U.S. sponsor.

(The amount the sponsor must show goes down to 100 percent for sponsors living in Alaska or Hawaii or who are members of the U.S. Armed Forces). The basis of this requirement is to make sure that the immigrating family member will not need to be reliant on means-based public assistance (often referred to as welfare) while residing in the U.S. Potential family-based immigrants who are viewed as likely to become a “public charge” are deemed legally inadmissible to the U.S. and be denied admission (which means that they will not be granted an immigrant visa or green card regardless of the qualifying family relationship).

When filling out and signing a Form I-864 Application, the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner enters into a contractual agreement with the U.S. government. The petitioner also known as the sponsor agrees to either support the immigrant (for approximately ten years or until one of the various events takes place such as:

  • The immigrant’s death
  • The immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen or
  • The sponsor pays back any and all U.S. government agencies that provide the foreigner with financial or any related need-based assistance during the time the Affidavit is in effect.

As customary, increases in the U.S. cost of living led to the Poverty Guidelines amounts being raised in 2022. For example, while last year a U.S. petitioner supporting a family of four would have had to show an income of $33,125. This year the amount required is slightly higher at $34,687. For a household of two (a U.S. citizen sponsoring a spouse or one parent), the amount has gone from $21,775 to $22,887.

Ask an Immigration Attorney for More Information

If you are in doubt and want to know if you meet the requirements found in the Poverty Guidelines call the Gambacorta Law Office today at 847 908 4913.