Q: Do I have to sponsor stepchild as well (I-864)? How risky is it to sponsor an MBA who works at a bank with an I-864?
My Chinese girlfriend is pregnant with our child. We are planning to marry. She wants me to sponsor her with an I-864 so she can stay and raise our child together. The issue is that she has a child from a prior marriage who lives in China. If I sponsor her with the I-864, do I have to sponsor her child as well? I do not want to expose myself to that. Also, practically speaking, what are the chances she or the govt can get money from me based on the I-864? She has an MBA and works at a bank, making slightly more than me. So is it that risky to sign the I-864?
A: If you are not bringing the stepchild to live in the USA then you are not petitioning for that stepchild and do not need to file an I-864 as well. As to the "risks" of sponsoring, you must read the explanation of the obligation you are making that is outlined in the form I-864 itself (pg. 6-7) and make sure you understand what it means. Consult with an experienced attorney if you have any doubts or questions so you can make sure you understand your obligation. Because even though your girlfriend has a good job and degree now, you NEVER know what the future holds and if she ends up relying on government assistance then the government can and likely will come after you for reimbursement. Your girlfriend can also seek spousal support from you (if she needs it) based on the I-864. Do not take this obligation lightly! Best wishes!
A: You do not need to sponsor the stepchild, no, unless you claim the child as a dependent.
The I-864 is a contract between you and the federal government that you will provide a certain level of financial support to the sponsored immigrant. If you want her to immigrate through you, you need to complete and file this form.
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