Can you sponsor a non-family member for immigration to the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2022 | Immigration Law |

If you are a naturalized or U.S.-born citizen, you are entitled to a variety of privileges. One of these is the ability to lawfully sponsor a foreign national’s entry into the United States. 

You cannot help a non-relative foreign national obtain a green card. However, you can sponsor someone’s entry into the country. Basically, this means consenting to provide financial support for the foreigner in question during their stay in the U.S. Some of the people you can sponsor include your business partners or a friend. 

So how do you sponsor a foreign national to the U.S.?

The process of sponsoring a foreign national into the U.S. begins by filling and submitting form I-864, also known as an Affidavit of Support, to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). By signing this document, you are consenting to assume financial responsibility for the individual you are sponsoring during their stay in the country. This is an enormous responsibility that you should never take lightly.

The provisions of the Affidavit of Support may vary depending on your case. That said, the USCIS will require you to meet the following conditions before sponsoring a foreign national’s entry into the country:

  • Be a citizen of the U.S. or a permanent resident 
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Provide proof of U.S. residency or be a resident of any of the U.S. territories
  • Meet the financial threshold to sponsor an individual or group to the U.S.
  • Fill and submit form I-864 to the USCIS in a timely manner

While you cannot present a friend for a green card consideration, you can still offer to sponsor their stay in the country. However, it is important that you understand exactly what you are getting into before taking this route. 

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