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Immigration Issues/Immigration Sponsorship


Hello-my boss' daughter has requested him to sponsor her boyfriend from India (whom he has never met and she met while traveling abroad).  She sent him an I-864 form for him to fill out because she can't sponsor him due to the income requirements for sponsorship.  It would appear that even if the daughter/boyfriend were to split up he would still be liable for any government subsidies, health issues, legal issues, etc... for up to 10 years or upon naturalization.  If he were to sign the I-864 form would he be legally liable for any unpaid medical bills, accidents, lawsuits, government reimbursements?
Thanks in advance for your help

Hello Ken,

The I-864 is largely a formality, in my opinion because I have never heard the US government asking for reimbursement from the joint sponsor when the beneficiary takes out government-sponsored benefits such as food stamps etc.  But I understand that your boss is concerned about the potential liability.

First, by signing the affidavit of support your boss is not liable for unpaid medical bills, accidents or lawsuits, but only for potential reimbursement for receipt of government benefits.  You can understand why the US government doesn't ask the joint sponsor to pay back by looking at it from an economic perspective.  Government assistances are normally few hundred dollars, and if the US wants to ask that back from the joint sponsor, it has to use lawyers (its own or contract ones) to take the joint sponsor to court.  The legal fees and cost of doing that would normally outweigh the recovery of a few hundred or just a few thousand dollars.  As such it is not cost-effective to collect.

In sum, I would encourage your boss to help his daughter because the potential risk of financial loss is low.  However, it is not risk-free.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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