What Information Do I Need to Know About Family Sponsors?

If you are in the process of obtaining a family-based immigrant visa or you are someone who plans to sponsor a qualified relative, then it is important that you are familiar with Form I-130, which is a Petition for an Alien Relative. This application is a necessity in these types of cases, as it is an important step in sponsoring relatives who wish to obtain a visa. In order for a relative to sponsor an immigrant, the person wishing to sponsor must be a U.S. citizen and a permanent U.S. resident in order to begin this process.

It is important to note that there are some aspects that are extremely important and can cause your application to become invalid. Below you will find information about family sponsors, specific information required, and the forms needed.

Is Form I-130 the Only Form Needed to File?

There are two main steps in securing permanent residence for a relative, which are the following:

  • The U.S. citizen or permanent resident must file Form I-130 on behalf of the relative who has a qualifying relationship.
  • Once the I-130 application has been approved, a visa number should become available and the beneficiary can apply for permanent residence.

Keep in mind that filing Form I-130 is only the first step of this process. In addition, if your Form I-130 is approved, that does not mean not you have permanent residence or have the right to legally work or live in the U.S. However, approval of Form I-130 does recognize that you meet the qualifying necessary requirements for sponsorship.

What Other Documents Are Necessary?

The answer to this question varies, as it all depends on the types of family relationships and scenarios. However, here are a few key factors that you should certainly keep in mind if you plan to sponsor a family member or if you are a beneficiary planning to be sponsored.

If you are a permanent resident sponsoring a relative, you will need to show the following:

You must submit a photocopy of your Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card or any other documents that show proof that you are a resident. In addition, you must submit copies of your passport, Form I-797 approval notice of permanent residency, or an immigration visa stamp.

If you are a U.S. citizen sponsoring a relative, you will need to show the following:

You must submit a copy of a valid U.S. passport, a copy of your government-issued birth certificate, or a copy of your naturalization certificate. If you do not have a passport or birth certificate, then secondary evidence may suffice in this type of situation. However, you must contact the Department of Health and request a “Letter of No Record,” along with birth documentation, a hospital certificate, or other documentation proving that you were born in the U.S.
If you have any questions regarding evidence of permanent residency or U.S. citizenship, do not hesitate to contact us to speak to a family immigration lawyer.

What Evidence is Needed to Prove Qualifying Relationship to Beneficiary?

In addition to showing proof of your own standing as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must also prove that you have a qualifying relationship with the relative that you plan to sponsor. It is imperative that you show clear and credible evidence to avoid any setbacks. You will need to show the following:

  • Show clear proof of relation to beneficiary. For instance, if you are sponsoring a sibling, then you must show proof of both of your birth certificates.
  • Use government-issued, official copies. This will help with credibility in showing immigrant officials.
  • Confirm that your country has adequate recordkeeping for families. Not all countries have adequate recordkeeping for families and the U.S. government recognizes that. There are specific guidelines in these scenarios and you can speak to a family based immigration lawyer if this issue has emerged.
  • Any documentation should be translated into English. Avoid any hassle or delays by obtaining certified English translations of your documentation if it is not in English.

Form I-864 as a Financial Promise

If you are a sponsor, it is your responsibility to promise the U.S. government and your relative that you will financially support the relative if it is at all necessary. This is a legally binding contract between you, the U.S. government, and your relative. You can be held responsible if your relative is not able to support himself or herself.

Contact a Family Immigration Lawyer

This process can be extremely overwhelming and stressful, which is why you should contact a immigration lawyer Los Angeles to get the help you need. We are experts in these types of cases and will do whatever we can to help you and your relatives.