If you have a close family member applying for permanent residency in the United States, they’re going to need a sponsor. While you may sponsor certain people wishing to immigrate, some rules and regulations must be followed. At De Castroverde, our attorneys are well-educated in the complex laws surrounding sponsorship for immigration.
If you have questions such as who can sponsor immigration? What does it take to be a sponsor? Or even what the responsibilities are, an attorney can help answer them for you and ensure everything is taken care of properly. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation and see how we can help you.
What Is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is someone who helps an immigrant in becoming a permanent resident of the United States. They sign an Affidavit of Support and advocate for the person wishing to enter the US. There is also a financial component to a sponsorship as well. There are different types of sponsorships available, and the rules and regulations surrounding each can be complex.
If guidelines and laws aren’t followed exactly, there can be repercussions for both the immigrant and the sponsor. An attorney can help guide you and ensure everything is done properly to help protect you. Reach out to the knowledgeable team at De Castroverde today for the legal help you may need.
Who Can Sponsor an Immigrant in The U.S.?
Anyone who applies to become a permanent resident of the U.S. must have a financially responsible sponsor upon entering the country. You may sponsor an employee, current or prospective adoptive child, or relative. If you file an immigrant visa petition for someone you’re related to, you must be the sponsor. To qualify as a sponsor, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a permanent resident and citizen of the United States.
- Be a minimum of 18 years old.
- You must live in the United States or a U.S. territory.
- You must have an income of at least 125 % of the Federal poverty level. If you’re active-duty military, you only need to prove 100% of the poverty level.
- You must submit an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864.
What Is Form I-864?
Form I-864 is an Affidavit of Support and must be submitted to be considered for sponsorship. This document is signed to show that you accept financial responsibility for the person you wish to sponsor, usually a relative. This form proves that you have the financial means to support them to live in the country without financial support from the United States government.
If you cannot prove, based on income alone, that you meet the income requirements, other assets may be considered when determining your ability to support them financially. Things such as stocks, bonds, property, checking, and saving accounts may also be considered.
Can Non-Family Members Sponsor an Immigrant?
Unfortunately, you must be a family member to support an immigrant who wishes to become a U.S. citizen. If you want to help, you can help to support your friend’s immigration financially. This can make a big difference in them being approved. As a non-family member, you still have to fill out Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support, to provide them with the financial backing.
How Long Are You Required to Sponsor an Immigrant?
It’s essential to be aware of the length of your sponsorship before fully committing. You must financially support the immigrant until they become a United States citizen, usually about 40 quarters of work. This is about the equivalent of 10 years, give or take a few months. Your sponsorship may also end if the person you’re sponsoring leaves the U.S. permanently, or they die.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Sponsor?
There are various responsibilities of sponsoring an immigrant. By signing the Affidavit of Support, you’re accepting the legal responsibility of supporting them financially until becoming a U.S. citizen. Keep in mind that divorce does not end a sponsorship. If someone you sponsor receives certain public benefits, you’ll be responsible for repaying them. Financial responsibility is the key to supporting someone entering the country and should be carefully considered when applying for sponsorship.
What Are the Steps to Apply for Family-Based Immigration?
There are specific steps to successfully sponsor a family member when becoming a United States lawful permanent resident. These are:
- Filing a petition. As a U.S. citizen, you must file the petition, along with accompanying documents, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- USCIS decision. If approved, your case will be sent to the National Visa Center for processing. If denied, you may correct changes and refile your petition.
- Apply for a green card. Once a petition is approved, a visa will be available. The immigrant will apply for residence. First, they must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate, and then once in the U.S., they’ll apply for their green card.
How Can an Immigration Attorney Help?
While the concept of sponsoring a family member seems straightforward, there are many details you need to know. Complex laws and regulations surrounding sponsorship can be overwhelming, and without an attorney, they can be challenging to understand. It can be frustrating to fill out the necessary forms to have your application rejected because you’re missing information or ineligible.
Consulting with an attorney who specializes in immigration can help you successfully sponsor your family member. De Castroverde has handled numerous cases involving sponsorship and immigration and can help you and your family today. Reach out to us to see how we can help.
Contact De Castroverde Today
If you have questions regarding sponsorship, visas, or green cards, please don’t hesitate to seek advice from someone knowledgeable in the laws surrounding them. Reach out to the team of immigration experts at De Castroverde Law Group today for any concerns or questions you may have. We can be reached online or by phone 24 hours a day. Give us a call at 702.222.9999 to set up an appointment today. Our convenient locations make it easy to visit us.