Yes, the law requires that the petitioner must be a sponsor and file an Affidavit of Support, even if he or she cannot meet the income requirements. The petitioner remains fully liable, along with the joint sponsor, for any benefits the sponsored immigrant(s) may use. The ‘joint sponsor’ must file a separate Affidavit of Support.
The poverty level is recalculated and published annually for the Office of Management and Budget by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The poverty level is increased by a set dollar amount based on the number of persons in the household. The poverty level guidelines are the same for the continental 48 States; separate levels are established for Hawaii and Alaska.