Ask the Consul
I have been told I need a Joint Sponsor for the petition I am filing. What does this mean?
August 20, 201
Whenever a petition is filed, the petitioner is also required to show evidence that they have enough income to support the intending immigrant(s). The petitioner does this by filing an Affidavit of Support, also known as the Form I-864, along with the petition. If the petitioner’s income for their entire household (their current household plus the total number of immigrants they are sponsoring) is less than 125% of the federally determined poverty income guidelines, the consular official may request that the petitioner find a joint sponsor that meets the guidelines.
A joint sponsor is someone who is not in the petitioner’s household and who meets the following requirements: 1) is a citizen, national or lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States; 2) is at least 18 years of age and 3) lives in any of the 50 States of the United States or any territory or possession of the United States. If the Joint Sponsor meets these requirements, they can file a separate Form I-864 on behalf of the intending immigrant.
Two joint sponsors can be used on the same immigrant petition but none of the individuals in the petition may have more than one joint sponsor. It is also not necessary for all the intending immigrants on the same petition to have the same joint sponsor. For example, let’s assume a petitioner is filing for an immigrant family of four and the petitioner does not meet the income requirements, the petitioner can get one joint sponsor that meets all requirements to sponsor the entire family. If, on the other hand the petitioner can’t find a joint sponsor that can sponsor all four people, the petitioner could find two joint sponsors that may sponsor two family members each.
The aim of the Affidavit of Support is to create a legally binding contract between certain immigrant visa applicants, their sponsor (s) and the U.S. government. This ensures that newly-arrived aliens to the United States will be able to subsist for an extended period above the poverty level and encourage them to be self-reliant as they pursue their future in a new country.