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DHS/USCIS RIN: 1615-AC39 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: Affidavit of Support on Behalf of Immigrants 

An Affidavit of Support Under section 213A of the INA (Affidavit) is required for most family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants under INA 212(a)(4). An Affidavit is a legally enforceable contract between the sponsor that completes the Affidavit and the U.S. Government. A sponsor must show on the Affidavit that he or she has enough income and assets to maintain the intending immigrant and the rest of the sponsor’s household at the statutorily required level. If an immigrant sponsored in the Affidavit receives means-tested public benefits during the period the Affidavit is in effect, the benefit granting agency providing the means-tested benefit may request that the sponsor repay the cost of those benefits. That agency can also sue the sponsor for failure to repay the benefits.

DHS intends to update regulations at 8 CFR part 213a by aligning the requirements with the statutory provisions and amending sponsorship requirements to better ensure that all sponsors, as well as household members who execute a Contract Between a Sponsor and Household Member (Contract), have the means to maintain the intending immigrant at the statutorily required level and are capable of meeting their support obligations during the period the Affidavit or Contract is enforceable. DHS also intends to update the provisions concerning household income and which household members may execute a Contract. DHS further intends to update the provisions to allow public benefit granting agencies to more easily obtain information from USCIS in order to seek reimbursement from a sponsor when the sponsored immigrant has received means-tested public benefits. On October 2, 2020, DHS published a notice of proposed rulemaking to outline the above proposed changes and solicit public comment on those proposals. DHS is reviewing public comment and planning to issue a final rule.

Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: Private Sector 
EO 13771 Designation: Other 
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 213a     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: INA sec. 213A    INA sec. 212(a)(4)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

DHS needs these revisions to enhance the integrity of the Affidavit. These revisions will better ensure that sponsors have the means to maintain income at the applicable income threshold and are capable of meeting their support obligations during the period the obligation is in effect.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The Immigration and Nationality Act charges the Secretary of Homeland Security with administration and enforcement of the immigration and nationality laws, including section 213A of the INA. This rule will significantly enhance the ability of USCIS to effectively review and assess Affidavits, as well as strengthen the enforcement mechanism of Affidavits and Contracts so that sponsors and household members who execute Contracts are held accountable if the sponsored immigrant received means-tested public benefits during the period the support obligation is in effect.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

DHS is currently still considering the specific cost and benefit impacts of the proposed provisions.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/02/2020  85 FR 62432   
NPRM Comment Period End  11/02/2020 
Final Rule  12/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Mark Phillips
Chief, Residence and Naturalization Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 5900 Capital Gateway Drive, Suite 4S190,
Camp Springs, MD 20588-0009
Phone:240 721-3000