How to Sponsor an Immigrant Friend

Let’s think about having a friend who wants to visit the United States, and you’re wondering if you can assist him. Sponsoring an immigrant is an essential part when you are looking to help a friend or a family member to come to the U.S. permanently. After all, having friends and family nearby is preferable, and traveling back and forth to your home country can be exhausting. This article will teach you how to sponsor an immigrant friend to come to the United States.

What exactly is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is someone who agrees to financially support an immigrant’s stay in the United States. A sponsor can be a family member, a group of people, a company, or even someone you don’t know. You will have certain responsibilities as a sponsor for your sponsoring immigrant. A sponsor must be financially secure and able to assist the immigrant financially when necessary.

How to Help an Immigrant Friend?

A friend cannot be personally sponsored to enter the country and receive a green card. This is only permitted for family members. What you can do is, support your friend’s immigration as a co-sponsor. For instance, if your friend has family in the United States who are American citizens or holders of green cards, they can serve as your friend’s sponsor. By submitting Form I-864, on the other hand, you might co-sponsor your friend’s application. 

Remember that being a sponsor carries with it some ongoing responsibilities to the U.S. government, which are detailed below.

Conditions to Sponsor Immigrant Friend

You must meet the following criteria in order to sponsor a foreign national entering the United States:

  • A citizen or legal resident of the United States;
  • Having proof of residence in the United States or one of its territories, being at least 18 years old when completing Form I-130;
  • Possess sufficient resources to satisfy the financial needs; and
  • Complete the I-864 form.

It is significant to remember that if you have a U.S. visa, you cannot sponsor an immigrant.

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support

An individual agrees to use their financial resources to help the intending immigrant listed on Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the INA. When an applicant becomes a lawful permanent residence, the person who signed the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor. Typically, the sponsor is the person who petitioned for immigration on behalf of the intended immigrant.

How to File an Affidavit of Support 

  • When your friend has been scheduled for an interview for an immigrant visa with a consular official abroad or is preparing to submit an application for adjustment to permanent resident status with USCIS or with an Immigration Court in the United States, you should complete Form I-864.
  • You must submit your most recent U.S. federal income tax return as well as evidence of your ongoing employment. You must give a justification if you didn’t have to file a tax return in any of these years.
  • This packet of information should be given to your friend to include with his or her application for permanent resident status once you have completed the affidavit of support, gathered the required paperwork, and had it notarized in the United States or before a U.S. consular or immigration officer. If you are instructed specifically to submit your affidavit of support to the National Visa Center directly, you must do so.

Sponsor responsibilities

When you sign the affidavit of support, you acknowledge that you are legally responsible for providing financial support for the sponsored immigrant(s), often until they become citizens of the United States or have worked for 40 quarters. If either you or the person being sponsored pass away, or if the person being sponsored leaves the country and is no longer a lawful permanent resident, your obligation as a sponsor also expires.

Given the complexity of the sponsoring requirements and procedures, it is crucial to complete them correctly the first time. Raju Law has a wealth of expertise assisting individuals in obtaining green cards through their relatives, friends, and places of employment and can help you stay clear of the frequent problems.

Attorney Profile

Raju Mahajan
Raju Mahajan, Esq.

Principle Attorney and Owner

-JD from LMU Duncan School of Law
-MA from West Virginia State University

Bar Admissions
-Washington DC

Memberships and Affiliations
-American Bar Association
-South Asian Bar Association
-The National Lawyers Guild (NLG).
-American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

Fluent in English and Bengali

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