Who Can Sponsor an Illegal Immigrant? A Guide for Aspiring Sponsors

Who Can Sponsor an Illegal Immigrant?
Who can sponsor an illegal immigrant? (Photo courtesy | Facebook)

 

Wondering if you can sponsor a loved one’s green card? It’s a big commitment.

Make sure you understand the financial requirements, paperwork hassle, long waits, and eligible family relationships before taking on this journey.

In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with a guide on who can sponsor an illegal immigrant.

What is an illegal immigrant?

An immigrant living in the United States without official permission is referred to by various terms, including being undocumented or unauthorized.

This can occur when a person enters the country or remains here without going through the legal process required.

As they do not have approved status, they are at risk of being forced to leave by government authorities.

There are often motivations like family reunification, work, education, or seeking refuge from difficult circumstances back home for choosing to migrate.

However, without protection under the law, this population faces struggles such as being taken advantage of and treated poorly and problems with law enforcement like arrest and detention during their stay.

Who can sponsor an illegal immigrant?

Under U.S. immigration regulations, it is not permissible to directly advocate for a green card for an undocumented immigrant.

Green card eligibility is contingent upon possessing legal immigration status within the United States.

Undocumented individuals lack this legal status and, as a result, are ineligible for green card sponsorship.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to this regulation.

For instance:

  1. If you are married to an undocumented immigrant who has resided continuously in the United States for a minimum of three years (or two years if married to a U.S. citizen), you might qualify to sponsor them for a green card as a spouse.
  2. If you are related to an undocumented immigrant who has lived continuously in the United States for at least three years (or two years if related to a U.S. citizen), you may be eligible to sponsor them for a green card as a relative.
  3. If you are employed by an undocumented immigrant who has resided continuously in the United States for at least three years (or two years if employed by a U.S. citizen), you may have the opportunity to sponsor them for a green card as an employee.
  4. If you are in the process of adopting an undocumented immigrant child who has lived continuously in the United States for at least three years (or two years if adopted by a U.S. citizen), you could potentially sponsor them for a green card as an adoptive parent.

What Are the Requirements for Sponsoring an Illegal Immigrant?

Even if you fall within the aforementioned exceptions, sponsoring an undocumented immigrant necessitates adherence to specific requirements and procedures.

Some of these stipulations and processes include:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (possessing a green card).
  2. At the time of submitting the sponsorship application, you must be at least 18 years old.
  3. Residency in the United States or its territories is a prerequisite.
  4. Providing evidence of your income and assets capable of sustaining both yourself and the sponsored relative is mandatory.
  5. Submission of Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) is required, accompanied by supporting documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees (if applicable), police certificates (if applicable), and medical examination reports (if applicable).
  6. Payment of filing fees is obligatory; the amount varies based on your relationship with the sponsored relative.
  7. A waiting period of several months or years is unavoidable before the sponsored relative can initiate the application for adjustment of status (if eligible) or consular processing (if residing outside the U.S.).

Why sponsor an illegal immigrant?

Supporting an undocumented immigrant through sponsorship can be both fulfilling and demanding.

Several advantages accompany the act of sponsoring an undocumented immigrant, including:

  1. Facilitating the realization of their aspiration to attain lawful permanent residency, granting them access to the associated rights and privileges.
  2. Strengthening familial bonds and creating enduring memories together.
  3. Contributing to their economic well-being and aiding in their social integration into American society.

However, sponsoring an undocumented immigrant also presents certain challenges:

  1. Potential legal repercussions may arise if the sponsored individual engages in criminal activities or violates immigration laws while residing in the U.S.
  2. Demonstrating eligibility and maintaining legal status during the waiting period for their green card application can be challenging.
  3. Limited flexibility or options may be encountered regarding their location or employment while awaiting the processing of their green card application.

Conclusion

The primary objective of this article was to furnish you with details about individuals eligible to sponsor undocumented immigrants and the associated requirements and procedures.

We trust that this information has enhanced your understanding of the subject and its implications for both sponsors and sponsored relatives.

If you require assistance with any aspect of sponsoring an undocumented immigrant, reach out to us today for expert guidance and support.

Our team includes proficient immigration attorneys ready to assist with various cases involving sponsorship matters.

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