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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


333 N. Randall Road, Suite 104, St. Charles, IL 60175

Phone: 630-443-0600


58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432

Phone: 815-727-4500


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

What Does it Mean to Sponsor Someone?

Posted on in Immigration
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Chicago immigration attorney, sponsor someoneWhen an individual wants to immigrate to the United States through a family connection, he or she cannot simply pick up and do so. Potential immigrants require a sponsor to support them financially, and in other ways, while they get on their feet (if they are permitted to immigrate in the first place). The job of sponsor can be daunting, and very often neither the potential immigrant nor the U.S. citizen understands it fully. Therefore, it is critical that the job be understood by both.

The Affidavit of Support

The process is started by the U.S. citizen sponsor, who files an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). The most important part of the petition is the Affidavit of Support (AOS), which is a “legally binding contract” between the signatory and the U.S. government.

By signing the AOS, the sponsor agrees to financially support the incoming immigrant at (at least) 125 percent of the federal poverty metric. Additionally, the sponsor’s assets are ‘deemed available’ for use in service of supporting that potential immigrant. 

Be advised, however, that even if you lack the financial assets to qualify to be a sponsor, you can still complete the paperwork, and either have another family member sign on to your AOS as a co-sponsor or you can seek a separate person to complete another separate AOS. If both affidavits together meet the financial minimum, then the petition will be allowed to continue on in the process. 

When Does Financial Responsibility End?

Contrary to popular belief, if your petition is granted and your relative immigrates to the United States, you will remain responsible for that person’s financial well-being until one of four factors occur: he or she either becomes a U.S. citizen, leaves the country permanently, passes away, or (the most common outcome) is credited with 40 quarters of work, which usually takes at least 10 years. Many sponsors labor under the mistaken belief that as soon as the person arrives, his or her obligation ends—this is not the case. 

One important clarification that must be made is that if your relative, after arriving, winds up requiring public assistance or benefits such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, or Medicaid, then the government may enforce the sponsorship contract and bring an action against you to recover the amount of money paid to the immigrant. Any ‘means-tested’ public benefit granted to the immigrant is seen as an amount that should be the province of a sponsor. This does not include assistance programs that have no means test, such as emergency relief or any assistance under the Higher Education Act.

Seek Experienced Legal Assistance

It is entirely understandable to want to have one’s family nearby, especially as our loved ones age. Consulting a dedicated Chicago immigration attorney can help ensure that your loved ones are allowed to go through the process unhindered. The knowledgeable professionals at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are happy to do our best to assist you. Contact our offices today to set up a free consultation.



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Whether you are going through a divorce, injured in an accident, need to file a workers' compensation claim, charged with a crime, immigrating to the United States, or need to file for bankruptcy, Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help. Our trial lawyers have over 35 years of experience helping clients throughout Northern Illinois from five offices in Lombard, Bloomindale, Joliet, St. Charles, and Chicago.

Steven Mevorah has assembled experienced attorneys under one roof so that his clients need not search for a new attorney each time they need help. Mr. Mevorah has also established a wide network of additional attorneys so that his clients merely need to stop by Mevorah Law Offices LLC to find the attorney they need.

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