What is a green card sponsorship?
A Green Card Sponsorship is a process for sponsoring an immigrant to live and work in the United States. It does not grant citizenship, but immigrants who receive green card sponsorship are able to live and work in the U.S. under certain limitations and conditions.
You can sponsor somebody by petitioning for them to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. This is usually done through family or employment. When sponsorship has been approved, the person becomes your “Marriage Green Card” applicant and they are in line to get their green card (i.e.: immigration visa).
You may have heard people refer to this process as “chain migration” or various other names because one person sponsors another person who then sponsors someone else who finally becomes a lawful permanent resident after being sponsored by yet another individual.
Who can be sponsored for a green card?
To be a sponsor for an immigrant, one must meet these three requirements: they must reside in the US or its territories; have permanent residency status as well as citizenship (or at least 18 years of age); and lastly, come from a family member such as your spouse or fiancé.
A US Citizen can sponsor a green card for his or her spouse, parents, unmarried children under 21 years of age. Permanent residents may not be sponsored for a green card, but they may petition for the removal of conditions on their residency, which would result in an unconditional permanent resident status.
International visa holders may not even obtain work permits to the United States if they are pursuing employment opportunities and visa sponsorships without trying to receive conditional relief first. The opportunity to remove conditional status gives international visa holders three years before they have to apply for a green card from another country.
What is a green card sponsor income requirement?
An individual making more than 125% of the federal poverty guideline must have a sponsor with an income at least equal to 125% (or 150%) of the poverty level to apply for and be eligible for lawful permanent resident status. In addition, an individual whose household income is less than 100% of the federal poverty guidelines can still use another family member’s sponsor’s income only as long as it does not exceed 100%.
It would be hoped that someone willing to commit themselves financially to another person would make enough money to support themselves and their new spouse.
Starting in 2021, sponsors will need to have a minimum annual income of 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. In Alaska and Hawaii, the requirements are higher.
|Sponsor’s Household Size||In 48 Contiguous States and D.C.||In Alaska||In Hawaii|
Minimum annual income requirements for military sponsors in 2021: 100% Federal Poverty Guidelines
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How is the sponsor’s household size determined?
You must include the following information when determining the number of people in your household:
- Yourself (petitioner-spouse of U.S. citizen)
- Your foreign spouse (beneficiary)
- Any dependent children under 21 years of age
- Any other dependents listed on your most recent federal income tax return
- Anyone who intends to apply for a green card and immigrate to the United States with their spouse.
- Anyone else sponsored in the affidavit of support
Read Also: Green Card Joint Sponsor
What type of source of income can a sponsor include?
A sponsor can list any of the following types of income as part of his or her household size:
- Wages, salary, and bonuses (this includes non-cash benefits such as stock options)
- Net self-employment income from a business that you own 100%
- Income from rental property owned in your name
- Retirement Benefits
- Interest and dividends credited to a bank account in your name
- Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants that are used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. You must include this amount even if it is exempt from tax.
- Income from other legal sources
Sponsors of green cards must meet certain financial qualifications. If sponsors do not have enough income to afford the necessary funds on their own, then other members in the household including siblings, parents, and children can contribute by providing their yearly earnings as well.
The I-864A form is a special contract between you and your partner or spouse(Household Member). You can include the income of other adults in your household, but only if they are willing to share their earnings with you.
Can I count my assets if my income isn’t sufficient?
You may utilize your assets as a substitute for income if your total combined household income falls short of the minimum yearly income requirement.
You can also calculate the assets of other family members ( related to your birth, marriage, or adoption).
The benefits of having a US citizen as your sponsor
The benefits of having a US citizen as your sponsor are as follows:
- Visa Processing Time – Much shorter than for those with a family member sponsor
- There is also no need to qualify for wages or skills.
- You don’t have to work in the USA while waiting and income earned might not be accepted by USCIS for the good moral character requirement, assets must be liquid (homeownership not necessary).
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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a list of green card sponsor income requirements. If you are an employer who wants to help your employee get their permanent residency, the USCIS’s guidelines can help you understand what it takes to be considered financially qualified as a sponsor.
You should also note that there is no maximum limit on how much money sponsors have in order to qualify for sponsorship under this category, but there is a minimum amount required based on whether or not the applicant will need government assistance due to health or disability reasons.
You or your employer must meet certain income requirements to sponsor a green card. If you are not sure what these requirements entail, then call our office today and we can help answer any questions that you may have or we also can help you with USCIS immigration documents translation. Our expert translators will provide you an accurate and precise translation of any immigration document that you need.
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Read Also: Immigration Work Permit – Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD)