Sponsoring an immigrant in Bolingbrook allows someone from another country to take advantage of many opportunities. However, sponsors must fully understand and fulfill the responsibilities, pre-requisites, and obligations during the term of sponsorship.
One aspect of sponsorship that causes a lot of confusion is the income requirements for sponsoring an immigrant in Bolingbrook. Government guidelines allow different options for meeting the requirements, but it is important to pay attention to the details to ensure legal compliance. Many people find it helpful to consult an immigration lawyer for guidance with the sponsorship process.
Overview of Sponsorship
Although most people in Bolingbrook use the term sponsorship to describe the relationship and obligations associated with pledging financial support to an immigrant, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) refers to the arrangement in terms of an affidavit of support. Someone sponsors an immigrant by filing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the INA.
This form is a contract in which the sponsor pledges the use of their financial resources to support a lawful permanent resident. In most cases, the person filing this affidavit is also the person who filed a petition for immigration to start the process.
What is the Affidavit of Support?
The affidavit of support is a legally binding contract with long-term implications. Those signing the agreement are bound by the terms until the lawful permanent resident becomes a citizen or earns sufficient work credits. This process usually takes about ten years of full-time employment, so it is essential to understand all aspects of this contract with the help of an attorney from the beginning.
What is the Purpose of Income Requirements for Sponsors?
Immigration laws and requirements are set up to avoid situations where an immigrant consumes excessive public resources without contributing to the tax base. Not everyone is able to work at substantial employment, and even those with superior employment eligibility may become unable to earn income due to disability or unemployment. Therefore, the USCIS uses the affidavit of support to ensure that if an immigrant cannot earn enough to provide for their own care, the support resources will come from the sponsor rather than the state, federal, or local government.
If a sponsor provides assistance to an immigrant but then lacks the necessary resources to meet personal and family needs, the purpose of the sponsorship requirement is defeated. Additionally, sponsors in Bolingbrook must meet income requirements to show that they can sponsor an immigrant without depriving their own household.
Income Requirements Can Vary
Generally, a sponsor must show that their household income totals at least 125 percent of the U.S. poverty level. The poverty guideline increases regularly and is set at different amounts depending on the size of the household. Income requirements for immigrant sponsorship in Bolingbrook depend on the specifics of each situation, so it is wise to consult with an attorney to determine if these financial prerequisites have been met.
Sponsors who are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces only must show that their household income meets the poverty guideline, so the amount required is 100 percent of the appropriate level rather than 125 percent.
If household income is deemed insufficient, a sponsor may include the cash value of assets such as property, stocks, and savings to make up for any shortfalls. The specific amount needed differs depending on the relationship of the immigrant being sponsored and other factors. Assets of the immigrant may also be included in these calculations.
Assistance Determining Specific Income Requirements for Sponsoring an Immigrant in Bolingbrook
Ascertaining whether your household income meets a government threshold seems like it should be a straightforward process. However, the fact that the threshold varies depending on circumstances means that each situation is unique, requiring special attention. When assets must be used to meet the minimum requirements, the calculations and proving that the threshold has been legally met is even more difficult.
An experienced immigration lawyer could assist with identifying specific income requirements for sponsoring an immigrant in Bolingbrook and help you meet those goals. Alternative measures are in place to help keep the income requirements from serving as a barrier to sponsorship. To learn more about the process and your eligibility to sponsor an immigrant, schedule a consultation with a compassionate immigration lawyer today.