If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and your relations with your sponsor (often a spouse, but sometimes a stepparent or a business) has deteriorated and you are unable to support yourself, you may have a legal claim to collect support from your sponsor.
Under U.S. Immigration law, many sponsors of immigrants are responsible to make sure the person they sponsor to bring into the U.S. does not fall into poverty once they get here.
U.S. Law provides that, in many immigration cases, a sponsor must promise to maintain a lawful permanent resident at 125% of the federal poverty line annually.
In 2018 dollars, that’s $15,175 annually for a single-person household. If there are two children in the LPR’s household, that amount increases to $25,975 annually.
The promise is enforceable regardless of the reasons the relationship deteriorated. The sponsor’s promise is made on the I-864 Affidavit of Support submitted to United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) during the LPR process. Often, the sponsored immigrant will not even see a copy of this document, because it is submitted directly to USCIS without the LPR’s signature.