How to Sponsor an Immigrant Family Member Coming to the U.S.

If you have a family member who wants to come to the United States and apply for legal permanent residency, you may be considering becoming their sponsor. Sponsorship represents a commitment to ensure that the individual has the economic support to ensure that they will not become a burden on the American safety net.

Becoming a sponsor is an enormous responsibility, and extremely important to the success of the potential immigrant’s application.  Every person applying for permanent residency must have a financial sponsor. You can fill that role for a relative, an employee or a child that you either have adopted or are in the process of adopting.

In considering your application to be a sponsor, the government will carefully assess your assets in order to ensure that you have the financial wherewithal to provide the support that they may need. The required income level is a minimum of 125 percent of the Federal poverty level except for those who are active-duty military, who must earn at least 100 percent of the Federal povery level. You must have a home that you live in within the U.S. or a U.S. territory and you must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident yourself.

The process of application involves filing Form I-864 which represents an affidavit of support that indicates your ability and willingness to take responsibility for the potential immigrant. It gets submitted at the same time that they are submitting their application for adjustment to permanent resident status.

Some people who wish to become sponsors do not earn enough of an income to meet the 125 percent threshold, but they may have assets such as stocks, bonds or property that can count towards eligibility. Additionally, people can combine their assets and willingness to support a potential immigrant’s application by becoming joint sponsors. Though each joint sponsor must meet the minimum threshold rather than meet the threshold by adding up their incomes, having multiple sponsors willing to provide financial support may be a valuable indication of stability to those reviewing the application. Each joint sponsor needs to submit their own individual Form I-864. Also, if multiple household members are combining their income to qualify for the income threshold, a Form I-864A needs to be submitted for each.

For more information, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Jensen Bagnato.