How to Meet the Financial Requirement to Sponsor an Alien Relative

US Visa Fees for 2012

Under the US law, every relative-based petition for intending immigrants must have a sponsor who can provide financial assistance until the beneficiary becomes a US citizen or a legal permanent resident. The consular officers will verify to the extent possible that the alien immigrants will not resort to public funds or rely on government benefits during their stay inside the US.

Who qualifies to be the Financial Sponsor?

The petitioning sponsors must present evidences to prove that they are financially able to support both the immigrant and their own household. The requirements to become a qualified sponsor to intending immigrants are as follows:

  1. Must be a US citizen or a permanent resident in the US;
  2. Must be at least 18 years of age or older;
  3. Must be living in the US when they file the Affidavit of Support;
  4. Must prove an income level at or above 125 % of the Federal poverty level (or income requirement of 100% of the poverty level if petitioning sponsor is an active duty military personnel).

What if the petitioner’s income does not meet the minimum income requirement?

If the principal sponsor does not meet the financial qualifications by income alone, proof of ownership of valuable assets (e.g. savings, houses, cars, stocks, bonds or property) can be declared to fill in the gap. These assets, however, must be readily convertible to cash within 1 year to be counted for immigration sponsorship purposes.

What if the main sponsor’s income and assets combined are still not enough to meet the immigration sponsorship requirement?

1. Household member’s income

If the combined assets and income of the sponsor is still insufficient to meet the financial requirements, the income of certain household members can be added to your income level. The co-sponsor must have the same principal residence as the petitioning sponsor, and must be willing to make their own income or assets available for support.

2. Independent Joint Sponsor

If the principal sponsor cannot demonstrate the ability to maintain the required income level, the intending immigrant may also obtain assistance from another (independent) sponsor who is willing to contribute financial support and assume joint liability with the principal sponsor. The joint sponsor must substantiate income or assets that separately meet all qualifications including the required income threshold.

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