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What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Old Dec 14th 2004, 8:05 am
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Default What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Ok, I've looked for a clear answer to this question, but I can't find one!
I realise a sponsor must reinburse any government agency that I claim from, but I'm still confused.
I'm assuming the only way I (or my sponsor) can owe the government money is if I knowingly seek help.
I mean, if I get sick and run up a huge medical bill (I have no insurance yet), is my sponsor liable for that? Obviously I'd make every effort to pay something like that off myself.
I just want to know exactly what I'm getting my sponsor into.
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Old Dec 14th 2004, 8:43 am
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
Ok, I've looked for a clear answer to this question, but I can't find one!
I realise a sponsor must reinburse any government agency that I claim from, but I'm still confused.
I'm assuming the only way I (or my sponsor) can owe the government money is if I knowingly seek help.
I mean, if I get sick and run up a huge medical bill (I have no insurance yet), is my sponsor liable for that? Obviously I'd make every effort to pay something like that off myself.
I just want to know exactly what I'm getting my sponsor into.
Hi there,

Read this link: http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffa...ets/affaqa.htm

And especially this which talks about means-tested benefits:

MEANS-TESTED PUBLIC BENEFITS

1. What programs are Federal means-tested public benefits?

Federal means-tested public benefits include public benefits funded in whole or in part by the Federal government and that the Federal agency administering these funds has determined to be a means-tested public benefits. To date, Federal agencies have announced the following four programs as means-tested public benefits: Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF.)

2. What programs are State means-tested public benefits?

State means-tested benefits are any public benefit for which no federal funds are provided that a State, State agency, or political subdivision of a State has determined are State means-tested public benefits. Each State must determine which, if any, of its public benefits are means-tested. We encourage States to publicly announce which programs they determine are means-tested benefits.

3. How does a potential sponsor find out if a particular program is a Federal or State means-tested public benefit?

We encourage Federal and State agencies to publicly announce which, if any, of their programs are means-tested public benefits. If a person is uncertain about a particular benefit, they should check with the benefit-granting agency to determine if the granting agency considers it to be a means-tested public benefit.

4. What programs does the law exempt from the definition of means-tested public benefit?

The following programs are not included as means-tested public benefits: emergency Medicaid; short-term, non-cash emergency relief; services provided under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts; immunizations and testing and treatment for communicable diseases; student assistance under the Higher Education Act and the Public Health Service Act; certain forms of foster care or adoption assistance under the Social Security Act; Head Start programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; and Job Training Partnership Act programs.

***********
Hope that helps a bit,
Rene
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Old Dec 14th 2004, 9:35 am
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

CF,

In addition to the information that Rene provided read the I-864 affidavit of support itself. You'll find that your sponsor is not only obligated to the governement for those certain government benefits, your sponsor is also obligated to you.

As for things like large medical bills, affidavit of support or not someone is going to have to assume responsibility for the bills. Either that or the provider is not going to allow the bills to be run up in the first place.

Regards, JEff

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
Ok, I've looked for a clear answer to this question, but I can't find one!
I realise a sponsor must reinburse any government agency that I claim from, but I'm still confused.
I'm assuming the only way I (or my sponsor) can owe the government money is if I knowingly seek help.
I mean, if I get sick and run up a huge medical bill (I have no insurance yet), is my sponsor liable for that? Obviously I'd make every effort to pay something like that off myself.
I just want to know exactly what I'm getting my sponsor into.
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Old Dec 14th 2004, 11:51 am
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
Ok, I've looked for a clear answer to this question, but I can't find one!
I realise a sponsor must reinburse any government agency that I claim from, but I'm still confused.
I'm assuming the only way I (or my sponsor) can owe the government money is if I knowingly seek help.
I mean, if I get sick and run up a huge medical bill (I have no insurance yet), is my sponsor liable for that? Obviously I'd make every effort to pay something like that off myself.
I just want to know exactly what I'm getting my sponsor into.
Hi:

Your questions are excellent ones.
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Old Dec 14th 2004, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by jeffreyhy
CF,

As for things like large medical bills, affidavit of support or not someone is going to have to assume responsibility for the bills. Either that or the provider is not going to allow the bills to be run up in the first place.

Regards, JEff
I would except responsibility for the bills. I'm just trying to determine whether or not that decision would be taken out of my hands and the sponsor made to pay.
If something like a medical emergency happened, hopefully I'd be working by then, and therefore would at least be able to make payments to pay it off.
It just scares me to death that I'd be asking someone (who barely knows me) to put their financial security on the line for something that is out of my control.

CF
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Old Dec 14th 2004, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
I would except responsibility for the bills. I'm just trying to determine whether or not that decision would be taken out of my hands and the sponsor made to pay.
If something like a medical emergency happened, hopefully I'd be working by then, and therefore would at least be able to make payments to pay it off.
It just scares me to death that I'd be asking someone (who barely knows me) to put their financial security on the line for something that is out of my control.

CF
Hi CF,

Your main sponsor will be your spouse, anyway, who will know you very well. It wouldn't be like asking someone who barely knows you to pay up. And, even if you use a co-sponsor, it will most likely be someone important enough in your lives (or at least your spouse's life) to be willing to step up and help if needed, anyway...again, not someone who barely knows you (or your spouse). That's what the whole affidavit thing is about...to have someone here in the USA that will step in if you end up needing that type of help.

Best Wishes,
Rene
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Old Dec 21st 2004, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Ok, just one more question...

Does the sponsor (or co-sponsor) have to have earned the minimum income requirement for the last three years?
I'm asking because it says on the form that the sponsor needs to submit tax returns for the last three years.

Thanks
CF
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Old Dec 21st 2004, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

I know this isn't the question you're asking and you were just providing a "what if" scenario, but IMO it would be incredibly irresponsible to not carry some form of health insurance. Particularly if you are concerned about the liability you might be saddling your sponsor with. You might have gathered from the other posts that the responsibilities of the sponsor are ill-defined, but regardless of who will ultimately be held responsible, I think we can safely say that this is not the country to live in without health insurance. There is little to no safety net and our medical costs are much much higher than what costs are in most other countries.

Even if you do not have access to employer-provided insurance, you can buy a "catastrophic" policy for a relatively low monthly premium. These types of policies have a high deductible so the insurance doesn't "kick in" unless you cross a certain threshold in medical spending for the year. Practically speaking what that works out to is, you pay for your own doctor's visits and medication, and hope you don't have to go too often. But if god forbid you got in an accident or got really sick and had to be hospitalized, the insurance will limit your financial exposure to a set amount of money (say, $5,000 - though of course it depends on the policy you buy).
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Old Dec 21st 2004, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
Ok, just one more question...

Does the sponsor (or co-sponsor) have to have earned the minimum income requirement for the last three years?
I'm asking because it says on the form that the sponsor needs to submit tax returns for the last three years.

Thanks
CF
They don't necessarily have to have earned the minimum requirement in each of the last three years but they do have to provide the most recent three years' tax returns. The adjudicating officer has some discretion when it comes to the affidavit of support. If the overall financial picture appears to be sound, they might be satisfied with that sponsor even if not all three years met the requirement. Current employment also carries a lot of weight.
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Old Dec 22nd 2004, 2:18 am
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Default Re: What exactly are Sponsors liable for?

Originally Posted by ControlFreak
Ok, just one more question...

Does the sponsor (or co-sponsor) have to have earned the minimum income requirement for the last three years?
I'm asking because it says on the form that the sponsor needs to submit tax returns for the last three years.

Thanks
CF
Hi:

No. You are conflating two separate requirements. I've had cases where a valid I-864 show negative income for all three years on the tax returns.
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