A sponsor is the individual who signs an affidavit of support for a family member or other qualifying individual immigrating to the United States. First and foremost, a sponsor accepts financial responsibility for the immigrant in addition to other legal responsibilities. If your relative or employee is coming to live in the United States permanently, an experienced immigration attorney could walk you through the sponsorship process and explain to you all of the responsibilities and obligations of a sponsor in Oak Brook.
A prospective sponsor’s first responsibility is to complete an affidavit of support. This is a legally enforceable document that remains in effect.
In order to sponsor an immigrant relative, the sponsor must be at least 18 years of age and be either a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States. In the majority of cases, this also means that the sponsor must reside in the United States—or alternatively, in a United States possession or territory.
Any individual acting as a visa sponsor for a relative or other immigrant must fulfill certain duties. One of the responsibilities and obligations of the sponsor in Oak Brook includes taking on financial responsibility for the immigrant.
An individual who signs an affidavit of support and serves as a sponsor becomes legally responsible for all the immigrant’s financial support. This support lasts until either the immigrant becomes a citizen of the United States or completes 40 quarters—which equates to approximately ten years—of work.
A sponsor’s financial obligations for the immigrant may come to an end under certain circumstances. For example, the sponsor’s obligation would end if the sponsored immigrant decides to leave the United States and is no longer a permanent resident. Divorce, on the other hand, does not act to end a sponsor’s legal obligations to the immigrant in question.
Moreover, in the event the sponsored immigrant receives certain public benefits, the sponsor is responsible for repaying those benefits in full to the agency which supplied them. If the sponsor fails to pay back those benefits, the agency can file a lawsuit against the sponsor and take the case to court. In court, the agency may be able to recover the money owed from the sponsor.
In some cases, the incomes of other household members and joint sponsors may be used to help satisfy the minimum income requirements for sponsors. In those instances, these other household members and joint sponsors may also be responsible for providing financial support to the sponsored immigrant.
In the event the sponsor changes their address after becoming a sponsor, they must notify United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of that address change within 30 days. The sponsor does this by filing a Form I-865. If the sponsor fails to take action within the applicable time period, the government may impose a monetary fine.
The immigration laws and rules for sponsoring a relative or other individual on an immigrant visa can be convoluted and confusing. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer could assist you by explaining all the responsibilities and obligations of the sponsor in Oak Brook and making sure that you take all the necessary and appropriate legal actions. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.