Proving Financial Independence for The Green Card

Although the US authorities are friendly to immigrants, they don’t need any spongers. Therefore, when applying for citizenship, green cards, and visas, you must convince them that you can support yourself or that you can rely on your relatives or friends.

One of the main conditions for obtaining a Green Card is that you confirm that you will be able to provide for yourself and your family after arrival in the United States. Without that, your immigrant visa will not be issued.

Which kind of documents would be appropriate?

Among the documents showing financial independence are the following:

  • Job offer issued by a US employer;
  • Affidavit of Support made by a sponsor living in the US;
  • Bank statement of a personal account containing the amount of savings and the period for which it was collected;
  • Confirmation of the existence of an income from other sources (if any);
  • Proof of possession of assets or property valuation, income from which you can provide for yourself and your family for at least one year.

What should a job offer include?

A document proving that you have been hired in the United States is also evidence of your financial solvency. If you have found an employer you should submit a certificate with the following information:

  • Job offer;
  • Job specification and job performance;
  • Salary;
  • Worksite address;
  • Estimated runtime.

You should be ready to answer if you can take up your duties immediately after you move to the United States.

How do I need to submit an Affidavit of Support?

An Affidavit of Support is proof of sponsorship by a relative or friend who is a permanent resident or US citizen. Your sponsor will need to complete the I-134 Form. The sponsor must be able to cover your expenses by 25% more than the general poverty rate in the U.S. On average, in many states, it is about $11000 per year. That is, their coverage should be at least $13750 per year.

Information to be provided on Affidavit of Support

  • Sponsor’s annual income;
  • Statement of consent on behalf of the sponsor to confirm your financial solvency by posting a deposit. This will guarantee your ability not to be relied upon by the government.
  • Confirmations on behalf of the sponsor that they are willing to support your family members, subject to all mandatory costs (such as the cost of educating your children).

The document should also indicate the period during which the sponsor undertakes to provide material support ( 3 years from the date of the applicant’s departure from the home country). The sponsor must confirm that they will prepare for the arrival of the immigrant. Finally, the document must specify whether the sponsor is a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

The applicant or sponsor must meet the following criteria:

  • Be older than 18 years;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a permanent residence permit (i.e., be a green card holder);
  • Have a valid United States address and currently reside in the United States;
  • Confirm an income of a minimum of 125% of current federal minimum subsistence level standards;
  • Earn at least 125% of the current federal minimum subsistence level standards.

Will the consulate check the information?

USCIS checks that the application form is complete and that the documents have been collected in sufficient detail. You may be asked to give more information or to send original documents instead of copies (they are promised to be returned). In other words, the authenticity and legality of the documents brought may not be especially verified.

However, if you or the sponsor intentionally provide false information, you may be denied an immigration visa and green card at any time. Form I-864 is checked more thoroughly than 134 and the sponsor may be prosecuted for providing false information.

Please note:

  • The closer to the interview date you confirm your financial solvency, the better.
  • If any certificate is more than one year old, the consul will not accept it because it will be considered outdated.
  • It is assumed that your income will cover all your visa applicant’s expenses with a 25% margin in relation to the U.S. average poverty rate, that is, at least $13750 per year on average.

By becoming a Green Card holder a resident receives all rights of a U.S. citizen except the right to vote. Permanent residents of the U.S. have the right to protect family, to cross the border without a visa, to take credits and mortgages on favorable terms, to get discounts, grants, and scholarships for education, to work, to start a business, and much more.

The rights of green card holders:

Legitimate residency in the US

The Green Card entitles you to reside legally in the USA for 10 years, then the Green Card must be extended.

Free Border Crossing of the United States

The Green Card is also a travel document that allows you to leave the USA and come back. But if you need to stay outside the U.S. for some reason for more than a year, you must obtain a special return authorization before traveling. To do this, you must fill out an application form I-131 at and pay $70. You should do all this at least one month before your departure.

You can call your relatives to visit you

However, they cannot automatically claim to receive their own Green Card.

Right to work within the United States

The Green Cardholder has the right to work anywhere other than in politics. There is no need to collect additional documentation for employment.

Right to social benefits

After 10 years of work experience, a Green Card holder may qualify for social benefits such as financial assistance in case of disability, unemployment, pension, and more.

Visa-free travel

For travelers with a green card, visa-free entry can be made to the following countries: Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and some others.

Low-interest loans

With a green card credit processing becomes much easier and bank interest is significantly reduced. For example, the interest on a home loan for U.S. citizens and residents ranges from about 3% to 4.5%. For foreign citizens, the interest on a loan starts at 7%.


The children of a Green Card holder have free education at state and municipal schools. The cost of education in state universities for Green Card holders is much lower than for international students.

Opportunity to become a US citizen

To apply for U.S. citizenship, you must have lived as a Green Card holder for more than five years, staying in the United States annually for at least six months.

The responsibilities of a Green Cardholder:


All US residents must pay taxes. You must complete your personal tax return annually, starting from the calendar year you received your Green Card. If you avoid a financial report to the government, your status as an American resident will be at risk.

Military Service

All male Green Cardholders between the ages of 18 and 26 are required to register for military service. To do so, you must register at the nearest post office. Lack of military registration may endanger your permanent residency status and affect your naturalization in the future.

Residence in the US

By becoming a Green Card holder, you should make the U.S. your permanent residence. If you have been absent from the U.S. for more than a year or if you regularly travel abroad for more than 6 months, you will encounter some questions at border control. You can be sent to an immigration office where you have to prove that your connection to the United States is strong and reliable.

The evidence can include many things: possession of the real estate, formal employment, or your family’s permanent residence in the United States. You can provide a U.S. driver’s license, personal bank statements, insurance policies – in short, all documents that prove that you are bound to America. If you fail to convince immigration officers, you may lose your Green Card.

To avoid interrogation at border control, it is important to spend at least 180 days a year in the US.

Your Green Card and Address

  • Сhildren who have reached the age of 14 must contact INS and change their old Green Card to a new one with a different photo.
  • If you change your address, you must inform the immigration service about your new place of residence within 10 days.

Last but not least. Perhaps your main concern is not to violate the American law, neither criminal nor tax. Making a criminal case can result in the loss of your Green Card.


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