Navigating the complex world of immigration law can be daunting for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for Iranian applicants seeking a green card. One critical aspect of the green card process is understanding the role of a sponsor. This article will delve into the importance of sponsorship, the responsibilities and qualifications of a sponsor, and how Iranian applicants can find the right sponsor to support their green card application.
The Importance of Sponsorship in the Green Card Process
Sponsorship plays a crucial role in the green card process for Iranian applicants. It is designed to ensure that the intending immigrant will not become a public charge, meaning they will not rely on government assistance for their financial needs. The sponsor, who must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, must show they are willing to be responsible for providing financial support to the intending immigrant and proving their ability to do so. This assurance helps guarantee that the immigrant can sustain themselves financially in the United States without becoming a burden on taxpayers.
The Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)
The primary document to establish sponsorship is the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). This legally binding contract outlines the sponsor's commitment to support the intending immigrant financially. The sponsor must demonstrate that they have an income of at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for their household size, including the intending immigrant. In some cases, the income requirement may be higher if the sponsor is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or if the intending immigrant is the sponsor's spouse. You can check the income threshold requirements based on your household size here.
The sponsor must provide evidence of their financial stability, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and pay stubs. This documentation proves that the sponsor can fulfill their financial obligations to the intending immigrant. By signing the Affidavit of Support, the sponsor agrees to assume financial responsibility for the immigrant until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has worked in the United States for at least 40 qualifying quarters, or leaves the country permanently.
Who Can Be a Sponsor?
Not everyone can serve as a sponsor for an Iranian applicant seeking a green card. To qualify as a sponsor, you must:
Responsibilities of a Sponsor
A sponsor's responsibilities extend beyond providing financial support to the intending immigrant. As a sponsor, you are also required to:
Joint Sponsors and Household Members
If the primary sponsor does not meet the income requirements, a joint sponsor or household member can help make up the difference. A joint sponsor must meet the same eligibility criteria as the primary sponsor and complete a separate Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).
On the other hand, a household member lives with the primary sponsor and shares income and expenses. This person can be a relative, spouse, or even an unrelated individual. To include a household member's income in your sponsorship income paperwork, the household member must complete Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member. The household member must also provide evidence of their relationship to the primary sponsor and proof of their shared residence.
Choosing the Right Sponsor for Iranian Applicants
Finding the right sponsor is crucial to the success of a green card application for Iranian applicants. Here are some tips to help you find the best sponsor for your situation:
Understanding the role of a sponsor in the green card process is essential for Iranian applicants looking to build a new life in the United States. By carefully selecting a sponsor who meets the requirements and is committed to fulfilling their obligations, you can increase your chances of a successful green card application. Sponsorship is a long-term commitment, and finding the right sponsor is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful immigration process.
--Najmeh Mahmoudjafari, Esq.
Najmeh is the Founder and Lead Immigration Attorney at ImmigraTrust Law (www.ImmigraTrust.com), an immigration law practice in Orange County, California, representing individual and corporate clients in all 50 U.S. States and internationally. Najmeh can be reached at Najmeh@ImmigraTrust.com.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended and does not constitute legal advice. This article does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not provide an attorney/client privilege. For legal advice about your specific case, please contact an attorney.
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