When you immigrate to the United States, you may need a sponsor to help support your application. This person agrees to provide financial support if needed. But what if your sponsor changes their mind and wants to withdraw support?
There are a few things to know about what happens when an immigration application sponsor changes their mind.
Withdrawing an affidavit of support
An affidavit of support is a legally binding contract between a sponsor and the government. The sponsor promises to maintain the immigrant at 125% of the federal poverty line. The contract lasts until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has worked for 10 years, leaves the country permanently or dies.
That means a sponsor cannot simply withdraw support once you have a visa, even if they change their mind. The affidavit must remain valid until you meet one of those conditions. However, your sponsor can withdraw support before USCIS processes your visa application.
Consequences for the immigrant
If a sponsor does successfully withdraw support, it can jeopardize your status. Without a valid affidavit, the government may deem you a “public charge.” This means they believe you might need government benefits for income. Immigrants who become public charges may face deportation.
Getting a new sponsor
The good news is that you can seek a new joint sponsor if your original sponsor wishes to withdraw support. The new sponsor must file a new affidavit of support to replace the old one. As long as the new affidavit is valid, you should retain your status.
While rare, some sponsors may change their minds after filing an affidavit of support. You should immediately seek a new joint sponsor if this happens to you. Doing so will help you preserve your immigration status.