What Is a Financial Sponsor?

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Rights Related to Immigration Sponsorship in the U.S. 

If you seek to immigrate to the United States on a relative petition, you must have a financial sponsor. Sponsorship can be crucial to a successful petition. Sponsors must file an Affidavit of Support and meet certain requirements. If you are unsure about your rights related to sponsorship or immigration, it is strongly recommended that you contact an El Paso immigration attorney

At Winterberg Law Firm, P.C., our El Paso immigration lawyers have extensive experience helping individuals file petitions and affidavits of support. We understand that the immigration process can be frustrating and overwhelming. We are here to help. Contact us online or call (915) 841-9777 to learn more about our services.

Finding a Sponsor

Family-based immigration is one of the most common ways people come to the United States. Family-based immigration is generally based on a relative petition. Your relative must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) establishing your relationship. A relative sponsor may be an immediate relative, including a spouse, child, or parent. Individuals may also use a “family preference visa” if they are a more distant relative. 

A United States citizen is allowed to file a petition for their:

  • Child
  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Sibling

A person must be 21 years or older to file the petition on behalf of their parents or siblings. The rules are more stringent if the relative is a lawful permanent resident and not a citizen. Lawful permanent residents may only file a petition for their spouse or unmarried child. 

Do I Need a Sponsor?

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, anyone seeking to become a U.S. permanent resident through family-based immigration must have a financial sponsor. The financial sponsor must complete an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). The Affidavit of Support shows that the sponsor has sufficient means to support the relative. 

What Are the Requirements for an Affidavit of Support?

A financial sponsor must be able to show in their Affidavit of Support that they have an income level 125% or more above the Federal poverty level. Active duty military supporting their spouse or child must only show they make 100% or more above the poverty level. Income, as well as other assets, may satisfy the financial requirements. 

If you do not make sufficient income to meet the financial requirements, you may be able to use a joint sponsor. Given the complexity of these laws, you should always speak with an El Paso immigration attorney before filing a petition or affidavit. Incorrect information on a form can delay proceedings by months.

Does a Sponsor Have to Prove Their Income?

A sponsor will have to provide financial evidence to support their affidavit. The types of evidence you will need to submit depend on the type of affidavit you submit. 

Financial evidence may include the following:

  • IRS Tax Transcripts
  • Recent pay statements
  • Retirement benefits
  • Proof of significant assets
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) Earnings Statement

Failing to provide adequate proof of your income and assets may result in your petition being denied. 

Do I Need an Attorney?

It is strongly recommended that for any immigration issue, you speak directly with an attorney. An El Paso immigration lawyer will help you understand your rights and legal options. They will walk you through the process, saving you time and money. 

Contact an El Paso Immigration Lawyer Today

If you need to file a relative petition or affidavit of support, contact us online or call (915) 841-9777. We offer cost-effective legal solutions for our clients, always giving every case the personalized attention it deserves. Call today to schedule your initial consultation. We offer experienced advocacy for clients throughout El Paso. 

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Victoria Winterberg

Ms. Winterberg’s law school experience began after joining the Law School Preparation Institute while being a student at the University of Texas at El Paso. She then attended law school at Washburn Univesity School of Law before formally beginning her career. 

Leveraging a unique cultural background and approach to law, Ms. Winterberg uses her expertise in immigration law to bring people together. She has extensive work in all areas of immigration law and has helped countless people win cases and thrive. Immigration-related cases often involve the most vulnerable in the community, and our firm is driven by our ability to protect our clients and their families with each and every case.