What is a Joint Sponsor?
The Joint Sponsor, also known as Co-Sponsor, is an individual who agrees to sign the affidavit of support on behalf of a primary sponsor. This means that they agree to use their income in order for this person’s financial requirements to be met and maintain eligibility with USCIS.
A Green Card Joint Sponsor is an American citizen or permanent resident who fills out the I-864, Affidavit of Support, for a family member in order to testify that he or she can provide enough financial support for the immigrant’s subsistence. It includes references to assets and liabilities and requires assurance that the immigrant will not become a public charge within five years as a condition for eligibility.
A joint sponsor is married or has a legal relationship with the applicant and can offer financial, residential, employment, and moral support when the immigrating person gets their Permanent Resident Visa. A family member within the U.S. who lives in the same household as an immigrant may also be able to act as a joint sponsor on behalf of that individual.
Eligibility to be a Green Card Joint Sponsor?
The eligibility criteria in order to sponsor someone for permanent residency can change depending upon the situation of the individual and their family member, but they must fulfill ALL of these qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Reside in the United States with legal status or reside in the same household (as required by certain treaties) as the immigrating person’s parent or spouse if named as a joint sponsor.
- If you are married and live separately from your spouse then you may still act as a joint sponsor. You will need to provide evidence that you are separated or otherwise unable to live together due to hardship beyond your control OR have been abused by your partner resulting in your separation.
- Be a citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States
- Have an income that equals at least 125% of the federal poverty guideline
- Have enough money on hand for you and your parents (including your new family member) so that you will not need public benefits within the next 12 months.
- Willing to assume the responsibility of supporting the intended immigration to the main guarantor
Documents needed for Joint Sponsor
The following is a list of documents and evidence that a joint sponsor would be required to submit:
- Proof of U.S. citizen or permanent resident status (i.e. copy of U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, citizenship certificate, or green card)
- Most recent federal income tax return or IRS tax return
- Relevant Forms W-2, 1099, and/or K-1
- A letter from the employer describing the employment situation of the joint guarantor (if the joint guarantor is self-employed, it may be adjusted)
- The most recent salary statement of the joint guarantor’s employer (may be adjusted if the joint guarantor is a self-employed person)
- Form I-864A for each person whose income and/or assets will be combined with the joint sponsor’s to achieve the minimum yearly income criteria.
How do I become a Joint Sponsor?
The I-864 form is a legal document that should be filled out by every joint sponsor. They’ll list the names of all the immigrants they’ll be personally supporting on their application. In the case of two joint sponsors, each will only mention the immigrants for whom they will be legally responsible.
Read Also: How to Report a Change of Address to USCIS
Responsibility of Joint Sponsor
Providing financial support: Joint sponsors take on the financial responsibility of supporting their spouse’s partner, as well. They must maintain a minimum annual income which is 125% higher than Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size until they’re no longer responsible to help financially support this person.
Reimbursing the government for use of public benefits: The goal of having a financial co-guarantor is to prevent green card holders from becoming a “public charge.”
Update your address: They must notify USCIS every time they relocate until their obligations as a joint sponsor expire. Within 30 days of relocating, they must provide their new address on Form I-865 (formally known as the “Sponsor’s Notice of Change of Address”).
When will these responsibilities starts and ends?
Starts: The joint sponsor’s responsibilities begin only after the marriage-based green card is approved.
Ends: When the marriage green card holder experiences any of the following experiences, the joint sponsor’s responsibility ends:
- Become the U.S. Citizen
- Worked in the United States for 40 quarters (10 years)
- No longer hold a green card and have left the United States
- Is deceased
- Obtain new green card approval after entering the repatriation (deportation) procedure
What are the benefits of being a joint sponsor?
There are a number of benefits that apply to both sponsors and joint sponsors.
Firstly, there is the opportunity for sponsors to use their personal time and money in order to help out a family member in need while also providing a green card.
Secondly, most people have more time now than they will when they retire so this may be another investment opportunity for them.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that by being on the joint sponsorship visas you make sure your loved one doesn’t become dependent on government assistance programs like welfare as well as getting the chance at long-term social security retirement funds so living off of money from assets provides an extra safety net.
In many ways then it seems like working together has advantages for all involved!
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The Green Card Joint Sponsor program is a great option for people who are looking to bring their loved ones over from other countries. This temporary visa allows the sponsor and their relative to live in the U.S., as long as they can prove that they have enough money, assets, and insurance coverage in place.
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