Affidavit of Support and the 40 qualifying quarters of work

The Affidavit of Support: Do I need it?

 

Question: I have already worked in the United States for some time. Does my sponsor still need to submit the affidavit of support?

 

Answer: Under INA §212(a)(4)(C), an alien who seeks permanent residence as an immediate relative or as a family preference immigrant is inadmissible as an alien likely to become a public charge, unless the visa petitioner submits an affidavit of support (INS Form I-864) that meets the requirements of §213A. This requirement also applies to employment-based immigrants, if a relative either filed the Form I-140, or has a significant ownership interest in the firm that did file the Form I-140. Section 213A(a)(3)(A), however, provides that the obligations under a Form I-864 terminate once the sponsored alien has worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters of coverage, as defined under title II of the Social Security Act. The affidavit of support regulation reflects this provision.

 

Question: Assuming that I can show that I have worked 40 qualifying quarters, is an affidavit of support still required if, at the time I seek permanent residence through admission or adjustment of status, I am able to show that I have already has worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters of coverage?

Answer: The policy of the Service is that an affidavit of support is not required if, at the time you seek permanent residence through admission or adjustment of status, you can show that you have already worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters of coverage.

The basis for this policy is that it represents the most reasonable interpretation of this requirement. The obligations under the Form I-864 come into force when the sponsored alien acquires permanent residence. But if, at that time, the sponsored alien already has worked, or can be credited with, 40 qualifying quarters of coverage, then the obligation will expire at the very moment that it begins. Requiring the affidavit of support in this situation, therefore, would serve no purpose.

Question: What if my parent has qualifying quarters of work, but I don’t. Is there anything that can be done?

Answer: INA §213A(a)(3)(B), specifies how an you can be credited with qualifying quarters worked by someone else. If you can claim qualifying quarters worked by a parent, you may claim all the qualifying quarters worked by the parent before the your eighteenth birthday. Note that the statute does not require the parent-child relationship to have existed when the parent works the qualifying quarters. So you can claim even those of the parent’s qualifying quarters that the parent worked before your birth or adoption. You can also claim qualifying quarters worked by a spouse. However, you may only claim those quarters that the spouse worked during the marriage. It must also be the case either you are still married to the person who worked the qualifying quarters, or that that person is dead.

Question: What if I received public assistance?

Answer: You may not claim any qualifying quarter of coverage worked after December 31, 1996, if the person you worked that qualifying quarter – whether it was you, a spouse or a parent, if you have received any Federal means-tested benefit during the same period.

 

245(i) and how to determine if your under 245(i)

PERM: 245(i): Am I or am I not under it?

Question: I have heard a great deal of 245(i) and how people who are here illegally can still adjust status in order to obtain Lawful Permanent Residency. I can’t figure out who is under 245(i) and who is not. Can you explain?

Answer: In general, 245(i) allows someone who filed either a Labor Certification or a family based petition prior to April 30, 2001. They would pay $1,000 fine and then they can apply for adjustment of status.

Question: What if my sister applied for me and it will take another 12 years for the visa number to become current? Can I fall under 245(i) with another application?

Answer: Yes, 245(i) is ‘grandfathered’ and can be transferred to another quicker application (like PERM) and still be eligible under 245(i).

Question: What if the adjustment application is denied? Can I file another application and still be under 245(i)?

Answer: Yes. Regardless of how many applications you have, you can keep paying the $1,000 penalty fee along with the normal application fees until an adjustment application is approved.

Question: How about dependants of the person who qualifies for adjustment of status? Who exactly qualifies?

Answer: If the relationship existed at the time the application was filed, the spouse and children are grandfathered. This means that even if there is a divorce or the child becomes older than 21 years of age, they are still grandfathered.

However, if the relationship with the principal did not exist until after April 30, 2001, then the dependants do not independently qualify under 245(i), but rather, must apply with the principal alien. In other words, they are under 245(i) as long as the relationship still exists with the principal person.

If the principal person applied for adjustment of status and then gets married or has another dependant, that person cannot then apply for adjustment of status under 245(i).

Thus, whether you are grandfathered under 245(i) is of critical importance as to whether you can eventually apply for lawful permanent residency. Therefore, you need to be very careful in determining whether you qualify under the above referenced rules.

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