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Frequently asked questions about immigration sponsorship

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Immigration Law

When people move to the United States, they sometimes need support. In order to avoid relying on government assistance, an immigrant may require someone, usually a family member or partner, to sponsor him or her.

To sponsor an immigrant, you must fill out an affidavit of support.

What is an affidavit of support?

An affidavit of support is a legal contract in which you agree to provide financial support to the immigrant until he or she becomes a U.S. citizen or has worked 40 qualifying quarters, or 10 years.

Who is eligible to sponsor an immigrant?

If you have filed an immigration petition for a relative, you must also be the sponsor. You must also meet the following requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Reside in the United States or a U.S. territory or possession

You must also meet the income requirements. Generally, this means your income must be at least 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size, including the immigrant you are sponsoring. If you are on active duty in the military and are sponsoring a spouse or child, your income only needs to be at or above the U.S. poverty level for your household.

Do all immigrants need sponsors?

Not all immigrants require sponsorship. Immigrants who have already met the work requirements do not need sponsors. Some immigrants who have filed petition I-360, including widows and widowers of U.S. citizens, do not require sponsorship.

Adoptees do not require sponsorship as long as the parents complete the formal adoption process before the child becomes a permanent resident.

Filing your affidavit of support is an important step in helping your family member establish a new life in the United States.