Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Immigration Corner: A Matter of Money

Published:Tuesday | May 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My mother is a green-card holder and filed for my sister (her daughter). My mother is 85 years old and does not work. She receives a small social security cheque each month. The National Visa Center is awaiting completion of the affidavit of support, but because my mother is not working, the one we submitted was returned with a request for more financial information.

I need your assistance with the financial section of the form. Does she need to get a sponsor?

- JG


Dear JG,

As the petitioner in a family immigration case, your mother must submit an affidavit of support, documenting her income and her ability to support the intended immigrant(s). Even if the petitioner's income is zero, the petitioner must submit an affidavit of support in accordance with the immigration rules.

In this case, where your mother has income but it is insufficient to meet the guidelines necessary to demonstrate that she has the financially ability to support the beneficiary and any derivative beneficiaries, she has a couple of options.

One option is to use her liquid assets to supplement the shortage between what she earns and what the guidelines requires her to earn in order to support the number of immigrants who will be migrating. The assets must be liquid, i.e., able to be converted to cash and must be five times the shortage between what is earned and what the US government guidelines require.

The other option is that if the petitioner does not have liquid assets, she needs a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor can be family or friend green-card holder, or US citizen who earns enough money to support themselves and their family and the intended immigrant and their family. In some cases, where there are several persons migrating and the petitioner's income and or assets are insufficient, the case has to have more than one joint sponsor. You cannot combine joint sponsors to satisfy one intended immigrant, but you can have more than one joint sponsor per family.

- Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. info@walkerhuntington.com