My husband is an immigrated US citizen. His brother is now here originally as a student and has now married. He wants my husband to sponsor him. I don't worry that his brother is a good person and will try to work. I am concerned about what would happen to us if his brother met a catastrophy examples: hit by car, disabled and not able to work; hits someone else and doesn't have sufficient insurance; doesn't have health insurance and gets some huge hospital bill; etc. We have a decent income, but already have a lot of obligations. What is our liability if something really big happens financially to his brother? Are we obliged to any financial debt he might incur or just suffienctly to make sure he doesn't become a financial burden to the US government?
Also are we financially liable in any way to his American wife and her child?
If your husband files an affidavit of support for his brother and his brother becomes a US legal permanent resident based on this affidavit of support, then he may become financially liable for the expenses incurred by any Federal, State or local agency, or a private agency that provided any covered means-tested public benefit to your brother-in-law. Such agency may ask your husband to reimburse it for the amount of the benefits it provided. If your husband fails to make the reimbursement, the agency may sue your husband for the amount that the agency believes your husband now owes. In addition, if your husband fails to provide sufficient support to his brother, he may sue your husband for this support as well. You are unlikely to be disturbed by the private lenders or private agencies with which your brother-in-law may incur debts. However, in some states state or local agencies indeed are trying to enforce affidavits of support that are enforceable contracts. The good news that this obligation ends when your brother-in-law becomes
A U.S. citizen;
Has worked, or can be credited with, 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act;
Becomes subject to removal, but applies for and obtains in removal proceedings a new grant of adjustment of status, based on a new affidavit of support, if one is required; or
If your husband dies, you and your children do not have to carry on this obligations except those that are already are tried to be collected.
If your husband includes the family of your brother in this affidavit of support, the same financial obligations will extend on the family of your brother.
Contact an experience immigration attorney to discuss specifics of your case. This response and information are intended to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation.