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What Are the Financial Obligations of Sponsors in Immigration Cases?

Posted on in Immigration

Orlando Immigration LawyersMany 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 sponsored by a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder accepts means-tested public aid, the sponsor may be required 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 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asking for your application for immigration to be reinstated based on this new sponsor. For example, if your U.S. citizen child was sponsoring your immigration, and that child has died, another U.S. citizen child or a U.S. citizen sibling of yours could become your sponsor.

An Orange County Family Immigration Lawyer Can Help

If you hope to immigrate on a family-based visa or sponsor a relative for immigration, contact an experienced Orlando family immigration attorney. 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 Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC at 407-955-5000 to set up a free consultation today. 

 

Sources: 

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

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

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