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How does divorce affect an affidavit of support?

Marrying a U.S. citizen is one of the more common and quickest ways to gain legal permanent residency in the U.S. When you submitted your green card application, your current husband or wife also likely filed an affidavit of support on your behalf.

If you are thinking about ending your marriage, you probably want to know how divorce may affect your legal permanent residency. You also may wonder if the affidavit of support your spouse executed remains valid.

What does the affidavit of support do?

The affidavit of support demonstrates that you have access to adequate financial resources to support yourself after becoming a legal permanent resident.

If you receive certain types of means-tested public benefits, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, the affidavit of support requires your spouse to reimburse the government agency that paid them.

When does the affidavit of support end?

As the person who submitted the affidavit of support on your behalf, your current husband or wife has a legal obligation to support you financially. This obligation usually only ends when one of the following occurs:

  • You become a U.S. citizen
  • You earn 40 quarters of work credits
  • You die
  • You permanently depart the U.S. and abandon your legal permanent residency

It is important to note that divorce does not end your husband’s or wife’s obligations under the affidavit of support. Consequently, if you decide to end your marriage, your spouse is likely to continue to have a legal obligation to provide financial support to you.