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  • INS 213a. affidavit of support

    INA: ACT 213A - REQUIREMENTS FOR SPONSOR'S AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT 1/



    Sec. 213A. (a) Enforceability.-


    (1) Terms of affidavit.-No affidavit of support may be accepted by the
    Attorney General or by any consular officer to establish that an alien is
    not excludable as a public charge under section 212(a)(4) unless such
    affidavit is executed by a sponsor of the alien as a contract-



    (A) in which the sponsor agrees to provide support to maintain the sponsored
    alien at an annual income that is not less than 125 percent of the Federal
    poverty line during the period in which the affidavit is enforceable;


    (B) that is legally enforceable against the sponsor by the sponsored alien,
    the Federal Government, any State (or any political subdivision of such
    State) or by any other entity that provides any means-tested public benefit
    (as defined in subsection (e)), consistent with the provisions of this
    section; and


    (C) in which the sponsor agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of any Federal
    or State court for the purpose of actions brought under subsection (b)(2).


    (2) Period of enforceability.-An affidavit of support shall be enforceable
    with respect to benefits provided for an alien before the date the alien is
    naturalized as a citizen of the United States, or, if earlier, the
    termination date provided under paragraph (3).


    (3) Termination of period of enforceability upon completion of required
    period of employment, etc.-


    (A) In general.-An affidavit of support is not enforceable after such time
    as the alien (i) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined
    under title II of the Social Security Act or can be credited with such
    qualifying quarters as provided under subparagraph (B), and (ii) in the case
    of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after
    December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit
    (as provided under section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work
    Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) during any such period.


    (B) Qualifying quarters.-For purposes of this section, in determining the
    number of qualifying quarters of coverage under title II of the Social
    Security Act an alien shall be credited with-


    (i) all of the qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of
    the Social Security Act worked by a parent of such alien while the alien was
    under age 18, and


    (ii) all of the qualifying quarters worked by a spouse of such alien during
    their marriage and the alien remains married to such spouse or such spouse
    is deceased.


    No such qualifying quarter of coverage that is creditable under title II of
    the Social Security Act for any period beginning after December 31, 1996,
    may be credited to an alien under clause (i) or (ii) if the parent or spouse
    (as the case may be) of such alien received any Federal means- tested public
    benefit (as provided under section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and
    Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) during the period for which
    such qualifying quarter of coverage is so credited.


    (C) Provision of information to save system.-The Attorney General shall
    ensure that appropriate information regarding the application of this
    paragraph is provided to the system for alien verification of eligibility
    (SAVE) described in section 1137(d)(3) of the Social Security Act.


    (b) Reimbursement of Government Expenses.-


    (1) Request for reimbursement.-


    (A) Requirement.-Upon notification that a sponsored alien has received any
    means-tested public benefit, the appropriate nongovernmental entity which
    provided such benefit or the appropriate entity of the Federal Government, a
    State, or any political subdivision of a State shall request reimbursement
    by the sponsor in an amount which is equal to the unreimbursed costs of such
    benefit.


    (B) Regulations.-The Attorney General, in consultation with the heads of
    other appropriate Federal agencies, shall prescribe such regulations as may
    be necessary to carry out subparagraph (A).



    (2) Actions to compel reimbursement.-



    (A) In case of nonresponse.-If within 45 days after a request for
    reimbursement under paragraph (1)(A), the appropriate entity has not
    received a response from the sponsor indicating a willingness to commence
    payment an action may be brought against the sponsor pursuant to the
    affidavit of support.


    (B) In case of failure to pay.-If the sponsor fails to abide by the
    repayment terms established by the appropriate entity, the entity may bring
    an action against the sponsor pursuant to the affidavit of support.

    (C) Limitation on actions.-No cause of action may be brought under this
    paragraph later than 10 years after the date on which the sponsored alien
    last received any means-tested public benefit to which the affidavit of
    support applies.


    (3) Use of collection agencies.-If the appropriate entity under paragraph
    (1)(A) requests reimbursement from the sponsor or brings an action against
    the sponsor pursuant to the affidavit of support, the appropriate entity may
    appoint or hire an individual or other person to act on behalf of such
    entity acting under the authority of law for purposes of collecting any
    amounts owed.


    (c) Remedies.-Remedies available to enforce an affidavit of support under
    this section include any or all of the remedies described in section 3201,
    3203, 3204, or 3205 of title 28, United States Code, as well as an order for
    specific performance and payment of legal fees and other costs of
    collection, and include corresponding remedies available under State law. A
    Federal agency may seek to collect amounts owed under this section in
    accordance with the provisions of subchapter II of chapter 37 of title 31,
    United States Code.


    (d) Notification of Change of Address.-



    (1) General requirement.-The sponsor shall notify the Attorney General and
    the State in which the sponsored alien is currently a resident within 30
    days of any change of address of the sponsor during the period in which an
    affidavit of support is enforceable.


    (2) Penalty.-Any person subject to the requirement of paragraph (1) who
    fails to satisfy such requirement shall, after notice and opportunity to be
    heard, be subject to a civil penalty of-


    (A) not less than $250 or more than $2,000, or


    (B) if such failure occurs with knowledge that the sponsored alien has
    received any means-tested public benefits (other than benefits described in
    section 401(b), 403(c)(2), or 411(b) of the Personal Responsibility and Work
    Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) not less than $2,000 or more than
    $5,000.


    The Attorney General shall enforce this paragraph under appropriate
    regulations.


    (e) Jurisdiction.-An action to enforce an affidavit of support executed
    under subsection (a) may be brought against the sponsor in any appropriate
    court-


    (1) by a sponsored alien, with respect to financial support; or


    (2) by the appropriate entity of the Federal Government, a State or any
    political subdivision of a State, or by any other nongovernmental entity
    under subsection (b)(2), with respect to reimbursement.


    (f) Sponsor Defined.-


    (1) In general.-For purposes of this section the term "sponsor" in relation
    to a sponsored alien means an individual who executes an affidavit of
    support with respect to the sponsored alien and who-


    (A) is a citizen or national of the United States or an alien who is
    lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence;


    (B) is at least 18 years of age;


    (C) is domiciled in any of the several States of the United States, the
    District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States;


    (D) is petitioning for the admission of the alien under section 204; and


    (E) demonstrates (as provided in paragraph (6)) the means to maintain an
    annual income equal to at least 125 percent of the Federal poverty line.


    (2) INCOME REQUIREMENT CASE.--Such term also includes an individual who does
    not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(E) but accepts joint and several
    liability together with an individual under paragraph (5)(A). 1a/



    (3) Active duty armed services case.-Such term also includes an individual
    who does not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(E) but is on active duty
    (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United
    States, is petitioning for the admission of the alien under section 204 as
    the spouse or child of the individual, and demonstrates (as provided in
    paragraph (6)) the means to maintain an annual income equal to at least 100
    percent of the Federal poverty line.


    (4) Certain employment-based immigrants case.-Such term also includes an
    individual-


    (A) who does not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(D), but is the
    relative of the sponsored alien who filed a classification petition for the
    sponsored alien as an employment- based immigrant under section 203(b) or
    who has a significant ownership interest in the entity that filed such a
    petition; and


    (B)(i) who demonstrates (as provided under paragraph (6)) the means to
    maintain an annual income equal to at least 125 percent of the Federal
    poverty line (or in the case of an affidavit for a spouse or minor child of
    the petitioner 140 percent of the Federal poverty line), or


    (ii) does not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(E) but accepts joint and
    several liability together with an individual under paragraph (5)(A). 1a/


    (5) 1a/ NON-PETITIONING CASES- Such term also includes an individual who
    does not meet the requirement of paragraph (1)(D) but who--



    (A) accepts joint and several liability with a petitioning sponsor
    under paragraph (2) or relative of an employment-based immigrant under
    paragraph (4) and who demonstrates (as provided under paragraph (6)) the
    means to maintain an annual income equal to at least 125 percent of the
    Federal poverty line; or



    (B) is a spouse, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child
    (if at least 18 years of age), son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law,
    sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild of a sponsored
    alien or a legal guardian of a sponsored alien, meets the requirements of
    paragraph (1) (other than subparagraph (D)), and executes an affidavit of
    support with respect to such alien in a case in which--



    (i) the individual petitioning under section 204 for the classification
    of such alien died after the approval of such petition; and



    (ii) the Attorney General has determined for humanitarian reasons that
    revocation of such petition under section 205 would be inappropriate.



    (6) Demonstration of means to maintain income.-


    (A) In general.-


    (i) Method of demonstration.-For purposes of this section, a demonstration
    of the means to maintain income shall include provision of a certified copy
    of the individual's Federal income tax return for the individual's 3 most
    recent taxable years and a written statement, executed under oath or as
    permitted under penalty of perjury under section 1746 of title 28, United
    States Code, that the copies are certified copies of such returns.


    (ii) Flexibility.-For purposes of this section, aliens may demonstrate the
    means to maintain income through demonstration of significant assets of the
    sponsored alien or of the sponsor, if such assets are available for the
    support of the sponsored alien.


    (iii) Percent of poverty.-For purposes of this section, a reference to an
    annual income equal to at least a particular percentage of the Federal
    poverty line means an annual income equal to at least such percentage of the
    Federal poverty line for a family unit of a size equal to the number of
    members of the sponsor's household (including family and non-family
    dependents) plus the total number of other dependents and aliens sponsored
    by that sponsor.


    (B) Limitation.-The Secretary of State, or the Attorney General in the case
    of adjustment of status, may provide that the demonstration under
    subparagraph (A) applies only to the most recent taxable year.(h)



    (h)2/ Federal Poverty Line Defined.-For purposes of this section, the term
    "Federal poverty line" means the level of income equal to the official
    poverty line (as defined by the Director of the Office of Management and
    Budget, as revised annually by the Secretary of Health and Human Services,
    in accordance with section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
    of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 9902)) that is applicable to a family of the size
    involved.


    (i) Sponsor's Social Security Account Number Required to Be Provided.-


    (1) An affidavit of support shall include the social security account number
    of each sponsor.


    (2) The Attorney General shall develop an automated system to maintain the
    social security account number data provided under paragraph (1).


    (3) The Attorney General shall submit an annual report to the Committees on
    the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Senate setting forth-


    (A) for the most recent fiscal year for which data are available the number
    of sponsors under this section and the number of sponsors in compliance with
    the financial obligations of this section; and


    (B) a comparison of such numbers with the numbers of such sponsors for the
    preceding fiscal year.



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