Who is a joint sponsor?
In U.S. immigration law, a joint sponsor is someone who agrees to take financial responsibility for an intending immigrant.
An intending immigrant is the person for whom a family member, employer, or other sponsor is petitioning for permanent residence (green card).
This typically applies to family-sponsored immigrants or employment-based immigrants when the original sponsor (petitioner) does not meet the financial requirements to support the immigrant.
For example, in family-based immigration, the petitioner (sponsor) may need a joint sponsor if their income does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. government to support the intending immigrant.
The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, and they need to meet the income and sponsorship requirements.
The joint sponsor’s financial information is used to supplement the original sponsor’s financial standing, ensuring that the immigrant has adequate financial support to avoid becoming a public charge.
Who needs a joint sponsor?
A joint sponsor is typically needed in U.S. immigration cases when the original sponsor (petitioner) does not meet the financial requirements to support the intending immigrant.
Here are some situations where a joint sponsor might be required:
- Family-Based Immigration:
- In family-sponsored immigration, the petitioner (sponsor) must demonstrate the ability to financially support the intending immigrant. If the petitioner’s income is insufficient to meet the required threshold, a joint sponsor can be used to supplement the financial support
- Employment-Based Immigration:
- In certain employment-based immigration categories, financial sponsorship requirements may need to be met. If the sponsoring employer or petitioner does not meet these requirements, a joint sponsor may be necessary
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864):
- The Affidavit of Support is a legally binding contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government, ensuring that the immigrant will not become a public charge. If the original sponsor’s income falls below the required level, a joint sponsor can step in to provide additional financial support.
Joint sponsor requirements
To be eligible to act as a joint sponsor, an individual must meet the following requirements:
- U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency:
- The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
- Age and Domicile:
- The joint sponsor must be at least 18 years old and must be living in the U.S.
- Financial Eligibility:
- Legal Obligation:
- By signing the Affidavit of Support, the joint sponsor is making a legally binding commitment to provide financial support to the sponsored immigrant. This obligation continues until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has earned or can be credited with 40 quarters of work, dies, or leaves the U.S. permanently
- Documentation of Income:
- The joint sponsor must provide documentation to prove their income, which include federal tax returns, W-2 forms, pay stubs, and other relevant financial documents
Joint sponsor checklist of required documents
When acting as a joint sponsor for an immigrant in the U.S., the following documents must be provided:
|Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)
|Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency
|If joint sponsor is a green card holder:
If joint sponsor is a U.S. citizen (at least one of the following):
|Proof of income
|Proof of assets (only if joint sponsor doesn’t meet the minimum income requirements)