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Breach of affidavit of support I-864 contract and arrears?

Minneapolis, MN |

in 2001 a friend immigrated to the US on a fiancee VISA and married his ex wife.
In Oct 2001 His ex and her mother executed a joint I-864 affidavit of support contract.
He became a Permanent resident.
in Oct. 2008 he permanently separated from his wife
in April 2011 he obtained his citizenship.

Between 2008 and 2011 he made little to no income to support himself and only lived on loans from his family overseas that he still trying to repay. His income was significantly below 125% federal poverty level.
In April 2012 he filed for divorce and In Feb 2013 he received his divorce decree.

It's now 6/2013. Can he sue the ex-wife and her mother for back support arrears? or is it too late because he is now a US citizen? is there a statute of limitations?

He was not eligible for public assistance because he was not a US citizen, but he was making under 125% poverty level according to his income before becoming a US citizen. The sponsor failed to support him before he received his citizenship. The affidavit of support states that they should have maintained him at or above 125% poverty level. Can he sue for back support?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Affidavits of Support are contracts with the US government wherein the person who signed them agrees to reimbures the Federal government for the costs of certain means tested benefits, if the immigrant requires and is given those benefits. The US government can sue to obtain that reimbursement.

    Affidavits of Support cannot be withdrawn once accepted by the government. They remain in effect until one of the following events take place:
    1. The person for whom it was filed has legally worked for 40 quarters in the US.
    2. The person for whom it was filed becomes a US citizen.
    3. The person for whom it was filed permanently leaves the US.
    4. The person for whom it was filed dies.
    5. The person who submitted the Affidavit of Support dies.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.

  2. If he was on public assistance, the state can sue his ex-wife for payment. Once he became a citizen the obligation ended.

    Business Immigration Attorney. For H, L, J, EB5s, PERM and EB1/2/3 Petitions. Call 800-688-7892 or visit Law Office of Anu Gupta. The advice suggested here is for general information only and not to be construed as legal advice.

  3. If he obtained "means tested benefits" the state can sue the ex wife for reimbursement. The sponsor's obligation ends upon the naturalization of the beneficiary.

    Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

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