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Depending on the circumstances, a successful I-864 action to privately enforce the financial payments a sponsor due to the Affidavit of Support can result in the payment of tens of thousands of dollars to the abandoned immigrant spouse. Frequently, immigrants bringing these actions have no independent financial resources and sometimes even suffer abuse at the hands of their sponsors. A large cash infusion can improve the immigrant’s situation in a number of ways:
1) Buy independence. Instead of depending on the kindness of loved ones for support, the sponsored immigrant can now afford a place of their own.
2) Buy time to find gainful employment.
3) Get training and education to make yourself more marketable to employers.
4) Buy needed legal services. Many abandoned immigrant spouses need funds to pay for family law services or for assistance with complex immigration issues caused by the separation.
5) Get some breathing room to relax and figure out what you want to do next with your life.
Fortunately, these benefits are within reach even for immigrants with no financial resources. The I-864 contract allows for fee shifting against the sponsor, meaning the sponsor may have to pay attorneys fees to the immigrant’s law firm. That enables private attorneys to take these cases on contingency. In other words, clients do not need to pay any fees or expenses upfront and would only compensate and reimburse their attorney if the case is successful and money is recovered.