How to Find an American Sponsor

How to Find an American Sponsor. If you want to immigrate to the United States, you must find an American sponsor who will sign an Affidavit of Support, which insures you do not become a burden to the U.S. taxpayer. This sponsor must be the family member who also files your immigration petition with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on your behalf.

Call the INS office closest to you to find out whether you will need a sponsor or whether you can be exempted. For example, battered spouses and battered children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents do not need Affidavits of Support.

Choose a close family member who is also a permanent lawful resident or citizen of the United States. If you are married to a U.S. permanent lawful resident or citizen, your spouse must be your sponsor. If you are not married, your sponsor must be a parent or an adult son, daughter, brother or sister.

Choose a sponsor who can prove he or she has an income of at least 125 percent of the federal poverty level for his or her entire household. The "household" includes the sponsor and all of the sponsor's own legal dependents, as well as you and any dependents you will bring into the United States with you.

Choose a sponsor who keeps good financial records: He or she will need to provide evidence of tax returns for the last three years, letters from bank officials detailing bank holdings, proof of ownership of stocks, bonds, CDs and any other property.

Find a joint sponsor if your sponsor cannot meet the financial requirements for your support. Joint sponsors must complete the Affidavit of Support and both sponsors then become responsible for your support.

Choose a sponsor you can trust to do all paperwork quickly, correctly, completely and honestly.

  • Check with the INS to find out current poverty level ratings for your sponsor's household size.
  • Lawful permanent residents and "diversity" immigrants who have been out of the United States for long periods may be able to use the old Affidavits of Support, which are not quite so stringent.
  • Have your sponsor complete the affidavit and accompanying paperwork as soon as possible, and send all documents via registered or express mail.

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