U.S. citizens who are in sincere relationships with foreign-born fiances or spouses are not concerned with proving the authenticity of those relationships. “Have we met in person within the immediate 2 years prior to filing?” Yes. “Are we planning a life together?” Yes. “Do we have a demonstrated shared life together as evidenced by a variety of photos taken over the course of the relationship, joint financial accounts, jointly owned real estate, leases; children?” Yes. So what is left to fret over? The required, dreaded Affidavit of Support form.
Many U.S. citizen petitioners get anxious about the affidavit of support stage of the fiance spouse visa process. Why? Simply put—it’s all about money!
The Affidavit of Support or AOS is a document, USCIS form I-864, an individual (usually the U.S. citizen petitioner) signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. An AOS is legally enforceable; the petitioner-sponsor’s responsibility usually lasts until the relative becomes an U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).
Though the definition of the AOS is straightforward, there are caveats and exceptions that render what should be a pretty easy process (the completing of the form) into an immigration paperwork nightmare for some.
Will the petitioner-sponsor’s income meet the required federal income guidelines to support a fiance/spouse and the children of the fiance/spouse? If there is a divorce in year 3 of the marriage and the former spouse is not a U.S. citizen and is unemployed or disabled, is the petitioner-sponsor still financially responsible for the former spouse for another 7 years? You can begin to see why many petitioner-sponsors are anxious about the AOS.
But the above questions are not the only concerns expressed by petitioner-sponsors.
Fiance Spouse Visa Lawyer,