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Does my spouse need an American Sponsor?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am now married to my partner - he is an illegal alien [Mexico], that came here legally on a visa, and just overstayed his visa. We were married last week, and are going to start the process of getting his green card. I don't make the 19,000+ to sponsor him, and we heard today from a layman that a sponsor wasn't needed for a marriage entry. Was that guy right? In order for my husband to be a citizen - do I need to make the 19000+, or is that just a rule to bring other family members over?

I am a natural born citizen, born in San Diego, California. He entered the United States on a visitor's visa in October 1999, and hasn't left the US since.

Attorney Answers 3


You should not take advice of a layman. The first step towards your spouse becoming a U.S. citizen is for him become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). All family-based immigrants must show they will not become a public charge. As part of the process, an affidavit of support will need to be filed. If you do not make sufficient income, your spouse will need a co-sponsor.

Wendy R. Barlow, Esq, The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C., 111 Broadway, Suite 1306, New York NY 10006, (866) 456-­8654,, The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this answer, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the answer without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed attorney. Provision of information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C., nor is it intended to do so.

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In order from you spouse to get his LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENT CARD, he needs a sponsor who meets the 2013 HHS Poverty guideline (I-864P). Citizenship is not equal to LPR card. Your partner can apply for the citizenship LATER when he gets LPR card.

Bottom line. You do need a co-sponsor if your income does not support the requirement. You do need to talk to an immigration attorney because you will get confused when you take advice from lay people. Immigration law is very statutory with very complicated/unclear language.

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You do not need a sponsor to file a family-based petition, but you will need one for your spouse to be able to adjust to the status of a permanent resident. If you do not make enough, you need to find a co-sponsor.

Nothing in this post shall be construed as a legal advice. If you need advice regarding your particular situation, please contact my office directly. This information is transferred without an intent to creat an attorney-client relationship.

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