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Immigration Law Associates, PC


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The poverty guidelines for the year 2011 are significantly higher than those of 2010.  Poverty guidelines are established by the Department of Health and Human Services and affect those who are sponsoring an immigrant. 

In most cases, when someone is applying for a green card, they will need a sponsor. This sponsor will be financially responsible for the immigrant for 10 years.  The purpose of this is to prevent the immigrant from becoming a public charge.  For example, if the immigrant loses their job and has no source of income, the sponsor will be obligated to financially provide for the immigrant so that the immigrant does not end up living on the streets and using the government’s welfare money.

 Normally, this sponsor is the person who is petitioning for the immigrant.  The petitioner’s annual income must meet poverty guidelines to ensure that the Petitioner will be able to provide for himself/herself, their family, and the immigrant.  If the Petitioner does not meet poverty guidelines, then the immigrant will need a joint sponsor.  This sponsor will have to meet the poverty guidelines. 

When counting ones household size to determine whether one meets the poverty guidelines, the sponsor has to count:

  1. Themselves;
  2. Any dependants they claim on their taxes;
  3. The immigrant(s) they are supporting. 

To see the 2011 poverty guidelines and to determine whether you meet them, please click here.

Filed under: Immigration Issues

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