As a Miami immigration lawyer, many of my clients have sponsors for their immigration petition. What happens if the income and assets of sponsor for a family immigrant isn’t enough to meet the U.S. Poverty Guidelines? Here are some frequently asked questions.
My sponsor doesn’t meet the U.S. poverty guidelines. Can my sponsor find a new job?
Yes. If you don’t wish to rely on friends and relatives, the U.S. citizen sponsor, or the immigrant if living in the United States with a legal right to work, may have to find an additional job or a job with better pay and benefits.
Note: After you are approved for your green card there is no obligation that you or your spouse stay with the new job. USCIS will not send inspectors to your or your spouse’s workplace or check up on you. If you and your family can survive on less than the U.S. government thinks possible, that’s your choice. However, note that you cannot on welfare for the first five years after green card approval.
If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
My sponsor doesn’t meet the U.S. poverty guidelines. Can I ask another family member to help out?
Yes. If the sponsor cannot meet the financial minimum on his or her own, the first step is to see if another member of the household in the U.S. is willing to contribute income and assets to the mix. A household member is someone who:
- was listed as a dependent or joint filer on the sponsor’s latest tax return, or
- is related to and shares a residence (home) with the sponsor.
One nice thing about using a household member’s income is that it has to be only enough to make up the shortfall in the main sponsor’s income. Note: the potential household joint sponsors should realize that if for any reason the main sponsor doesn’t support the immigrant, the joint sponsors can be made to provide the full support amount. The household member should be made aware of this requirement. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
My sponsor doesn’t meet the U.S. Poverty Guidelines. Can he/she ask for help from an independent joint sponsor?
Yes. If no one in the sponsor’s household can help boost the sponsor’s income and assets, you can look for a joint sponsor outside the household. Each sponsor needs to meet the basic sponsorship requirements. An independent joint sponsor must also be pretty well off financially. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want so speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Are the minimum requirements the same for independent join sponsors who do not live in the household?
No. Joint sponsors who live outside the household will need to earn enough to cover the entire Poverty Guidelines minimum requirement for their own household and for the incoming immigrant or immigrants (if children will also be coming). The joint sponsor cannot simply make up the main sponsor’s shortfall. As with the household joint sponsor, an independent sponsor can be held 100% responsible for supporting the immigrant. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to consult with a Miami immigration lawyer.
Although independent joint sponsors must meet the entire Poverty Guidelines minimum on their own, they at least will not be responsible for supporting people in the immigrant’s household other than the immigrant(s).
If you have would like to learn more about requirements for sponsors, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.