Visa Sponsorship Basics

Posted by Matthew Green | Apr 01, 2014 | 0 Comments

As a U.S. resident, citizen or temporary worker, you are capable of sponsoring a parent, relative, or friend to come and visit the United States. In short, sponsorship means that a person (the sponsor) is taking on the responsibility to take care of the visitor's expenses during her stay in the U.S.

One common visa is the B-2 visitor visa. This is also referred to as a “Tourist Visa” and a potential foreign visitor can apply for this type of visa in her home country. If the purpose is for something other than a temporary pleasure visit, the individual must apply for a different type of visa. Other reasons for a trip to the U.S. generally include business, work, or study.

Having a visa sponsor is not the only eligibility factor, however. There are many things that the U.S. Consulate and other personnel consider before approving an applicant's petition. A qualified visa sponsor will show the government that the visitor has a way to pay for her trip and will not become a financial burden on the U.S. and it allows for the government to note a clear relationship with a U.S. resident or citizen.

If an individual is qualified to receive an B-2 visa, she will be expected to participate in an interview. The interview is given by a consular officer. Here, the applicant is expected to bring along any pertinent documentation to the interview. This documentation includes a valid passport, photographs, and receipts showing that all the necessary fees have been paid.

During the interview, the consular officer will be observing whether the applicant is qualified for admission into the U.S. and to make sure that the applicant is applying for the appropriate visa. After the interview is complete, the officer may request the applicant to submit additional information before a decision can be made.

There is a lot of paperwork that goes into sponsoring another individual. The most common documentation related to visa sponsorship include:

  • Affidavit of Support, Form I-134
  • A Letter of Invitation
  • Forms proving the sponsor has the financial means to support the trip.

If you are considering sponsoring another individual's visit to the U.S., here are some facts that you should know:

  • As stated above, a sponsor must complete documentation related to the sponsorship. The applicant should take this documentation with her to the interview.
  • If you are sponsoring a family (husband, wife, and children), you do not need to complete separate documents for each member of the family.
  • A sponsor must prove that she is financially capable of paying for the expense of the visit. However, there are currently no specific rules as far as how much money you must have in order to meet this requirement.

This is a very brief and general review of concerns and considerations related to visa sponsorship. If you have questions about the visa sponsorship process, contact my office. My associates and I can answer your questions and advise you on your best options.

About the Author

Matthew Green

Managing Attorney. The Law Offices of Matthew H. Green focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged with a crime. He knows how frightening it can be for some...

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