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What does an immigration sponsor do?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2021 | Immigration |

You know that becoming an immigration sponsor is a very important decision in New Jersey. You also know that the task comes with certain responsibilities. However, like many new sponsors, you’re not sure what exactly these responsibilities are. If that’s you, keep reading.

Repaying the cost of means-tested public benefits

Means-tested public benefits are those that help low-income people. They include food stamps, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for seniors and people with disabilities. The obligation duration is the time for which the immigrant has used public benefits. If you fail to repay the cost of these immigration benefits, the agency that provided them can sue you for reimbursement.

Guaranteeing support

If someone is coming to the United States as an employee, their employer must sign a contract promising to provide them with housing and a part of their living expenses. If you are sponsoring your spouse or a child, you must show that there is enough money to pay for their support.

If the immigrant receives public benefits within the first ten years of becoming a lawful permanent resident, the authorities may use your income as part of determining whether they are eligible.

Legal responsibilities

A sponsor is responsible for the immigrant’s conduct until they become a citizen or acquire permanent residence. This means that if your spouse gets arrested, you may be financially liable for their bail and legal fees.

Is it possible to get out of sponsorship?

Usually, sponsorships end when the sponsor or the individual getting sponsored dies. It may also end when the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen and self-supporting (in which case, they no longer need sponsorship) or when the immigrant gets removed from the United States.

If you’re planning on becoming a sponsor, it’s best to familiarize yourself with immigration law. Remember that when sponsors fail to fulfill these obligations, they often face certain consequences, including fines and even imprisonment.