poverty guidelines

Federal Poverty Guidelines – Every year, the U.S. Census Bureau provides updated figures on what is considered to be the poverty threshold. These numbers are often used for statistical purposes only and can sometimes be difficult to understand. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) annually issues its poverty guidelines, which serves as a measure for people to determine if they qualify for certain government benefits.

How do the Poverty Guidelines Impact Those Seeking an Immigration Benefit?

In the context of family-based immigration, the HHS Poverty Guidelines assist the U.S. Government in determining whether or not an applicant will receive sufficient financial support when they arrive in the United States. The government does not want to allow people to come into the country and later become a “public charge,” someone who relies on the government for financial aid and other types of government-funded assistance.

The Affidavit of Support

Part of a family-based petition requires a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident sponsor to procide evidence of their income. This level of income must exceed or meet 125% of the federal poverty guideline level for their household size.

What if a Sponsor Cannot Meet 125% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines?

In most cases, it may be easy for a petitioning family member to evidence that their income exceeds 125% of the HHS Poverty Guidelines but sometimes it is not always this simple. There are alternative methods that can be used to meet this requirement, such as using another household member’s income to supplement the affidavit of support.

Consider setting up a consultation with an immigration attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We are here to assist with your inquiries.

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