What a Joint Sponsor for a Green Card Application Should Know
1. When is a joint sponsor needed?
An I-864 joint sponsor may become necessary when a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioner files an affidavit of support, but finds that their earnings do not sufficiently exceed the poverty guidelines.
A joint sponsor signs a legally binding contract in which they pledge that they will take responsibility for financially supporting the intending immigrant, along with the primary affidavit of support sponsor.
2. Who can be a joint sponsor?
Generally, a joint sponsor is someone who has a relationship with the green card applicant. This is likely, because the joint sponsor becomes the financial backup for the green card recipient. Nevertheless, it is fine to be a joint sponsor even if she or he doesn’t have solid relationship with the green card applicant.
Not sure if you are eligible to be an I-864 sponsor or joint sponsor? Schedule a consultation with a skilled immigration attorney for $100 only!
3. What are the obligations of a joint sponsor?
The obligations of a joint sponsor are the same as that of any I-864 affidavit of support sponsor.
Repayment of Public Charge Benefits
An I-864 joint sponsor is legally liable for paying back any public benefits, such as welfare and SNAP that are received by the sponsored immigrant. If the joint sponsor does not repay the cost, the government can sue the sponsor and obtain a court order for repayment.
Reporting a Change of Address
4. Can a joint sponsor withdraw their support?
5. When will the obligations of a joint sponsor end?
The period of joint sponsorship ends when one of the following events occurs:
In circumstances where someone has sponsored an intending immigrant who is subject to removal that joint sponsor would be relieved of their duties once the alien receives a new grant of permanent residency with a new I-864 affidavit of support if required.
6. How to become a joint sponsor?
If a green card applicant finds that they need a joint sponsor, they should ask that person to complete a USCIS Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
Evidence that should be submitted with the Form I-864 includes copies of proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency, most recent federal tax return, along with most recent W-2 or 1099 of the joint sponsor. Most recent two of pay stubs and a letter of sponsorship statement to briefly describe the relationship between the joint sponsor and the green card applicant are also excellent forms of compelling evidence. These papers support the joint sponsor’s claim that they will be able to financially support the green card applicant, if necessary, so that they will not become subject to the public charge by accepting government aid.
At DYgreencard, we can help you prepare an I-864 Affidavit of Support with all supporting documents that meet USCIS (or NVC if applicable)’s requirements. It will be fully reviewed by an immigration attorney to make sure its accuracy and completeness. Learn more about what we can do for you, or get stared today!
7. What is the difference between a joint sponsor and a substitute sponsor?
A joint sponsor and a substitute sponsor are not the same thing. As stated above, a joint sponsor is only necessary if the original I-864 sponsor does not meet the required income or assets threshold.
By way of difference, a substitute sponsor steps in if the original signer of the Form I-864 has passed away. Unfortunately, a substitute sponsor cannot just rely on the deceased sponsor’s I-864 form and evidence. They will need to submit their own Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and their own accompanying evidence of financial stability.
The joint sponsor and the substitute sponsor are both subject to the same obligations under the law. Thus, they would only have their I-864 form approved if they earn 125% above the federal poverty guidelines or have qualifying expendable assets.
Regardless of the type of sponsor you need to become, it is prudent to educate yourself about your obligations before entering into this legally binding financial commitment.