Before a U.S. citizen and a non-U.S. citizen go about the teaming process for Green Card access, the American citizen should be aware of the responsibility involved in how a sponsorship works and the mandatory financial obligations regardless of a prenuptial agreement. Signing a Form I-864, which is mandatory in order to sponsor a non-U.S. citizen, is at the top of the list.
While a prenuptial agreement ideally means both parties will part with what they came into the relationship with, the Form I-864 is in direct conflict with it the first 10 years. The form requires:
The sponsor to be responsible for the non-U.S. citizen until he/she gets American citizenship.
The non-U.S. citizen to 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (NOLO‘s estimate is three months for a work quarter or 10 years of work).
Financial liability to cease if the non-U.S. citizen dies or leaves the United States.
For non-U.S. citizens who were already working before applying for a Green Card (fiance visas only work for a U.S. citizen living outside of the U.S.), their work credits can be factored into the total of 40. An Austin family attorney should be consulted before the wedding date and eligible content within a prenuptial agreement. For the sponsor, the Austin family attorney will almost certainly notify the U.S. citizen that Poverty Guidelines will require that the sponsor economically take care of the non-U.S. citizen in the even of involuntary or voluntary unemployment. The Poverty Guidelines require that a sponsor be able to financially support the non-U.S. citizen in addition to his or her own obligations at 125 percent of the income level categorized as poverty-level income. (For Armed Forces soldiers and veterans, the percentage is 100 percent instead.)
For more information on planning prenuptial agreements and financial planning during the Green Card years, contact The Jackson Law Firm today.
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