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Immigration Sponsorship: Financial Obligations and More

Posted on in Immigration

Immigration Sponsorship: Financial Obligations and MoreMany immigrants to the U.S. are dependent on a parent, spouse or sibling to sponsor them for a family-based visa. Sponsorship is a bigger responsibility than many people realize. The sponsor must file an affidavit of support for the immigrant, which is a legally enforceable contract that commits the sponsor to financially support the immigrant until they have either become a U.S. citizen or have been credited by the Social Security Administration with 40 quarters of paid work (10 years). 

If an immigrant you sponsored accepts means-tested public aid, you can be sued and ordered to repay the cost of those benefits. Means-tested public aid programs include:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which provides financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, and utilities for families with dependent children; 
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps; and 
  • Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to low-income people.

What Happens If A Sponsor Dies Before the Immigrant Gets Their Green Card?

If you are immigrating to the U.S. on a family-based visa, and your sponsor dies before you receive your green card, there is still a chance that your application for immigration can be approved. 

If your U.S. citizen spouse dies before your immigration application is submitted or approved, you are still eligible for spouse-based immigration benefits as long as you apply within two years of the death of your spouse. This is true regardless of how long you were married prior to the death of your spouse. Your minor children with your U.S. citizen spouse are also covered under this rule. It is not necessary for you to find a substitute financial sponsor.

If your sponsor was a relative other than a spouse, you will need to find a new financial sponsor and then write a letter to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asking for your application for immigration to be reinstated based on this new sponsor. For example, suppose your U.S. citizen child was sponsoring your (the parent’s) immigration. If that child dies, another U.S. citizen child or a U.S. citizen sibling of yours could become your sponsor.

A Darien Family Immigration Lawyer Can Help

If you hope to immigrate on a family-based visa or sponsor a relative for immigration, contact an experienced Fairfield County family immigration lawyer. With our knowledge of U.S. immigration laws and procedures, we can ensure that your application is completed correctly and that the entire process goes as smoothly as possible. Call Gonzalez Law Office, LLC, at 203-323-1440. 

Sources: 

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/A1en.pdf

https://www.uscis.gov/greencard/affidavit-support

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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