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Immigration Lawyer
Washington DC

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In most cases, anyone who wants to immigrate to the United States on a long-term basis must have a current citizen or legal permanent resident act as their sponsor. Taking on a sponsorship role for a prospective immigrant is a big financial responsibility, and it imposes numerous requirements and obligations that, if not met, could lead to the sponsored immigrant losing their lawful status and potentially being deported.

When it comes to sponsoring an immigrant in Washington DC, it can be immensely helpful to have guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. Beyond assisting with the initial visa application, qualified legal counsel could also ensure you understand all the obligations you have as a sponsor, whether you are supporting a family member or a new employee.

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Obligations of an Immigrant Sponsor

Acting as an immigrant’s sponsor is not just a formality. Once a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident takes on this role, they also accept financial responsibility for the person they are sponsoring, as well as for any family members they bring with them. This means that if an immigrant cannot find gainful employment, the sponsor is financially responsible for supporting them.

Additionally, if the immigrant receives public benefits, the U.S. government can file suit against their sponsor for reimbursement. Finally, immigrant sponsorship currently constitutes a “domestic support obligation” under federal law, which means individuals in Washington, DC, who are sponsoring an immigrant, cannot discharge financial obligations from sponsorship through any kind of bankruptcy.

A sponsor’s obligations do not end until that immigrant achieves U.S. citizenship, acquires 40 work credits, which is equivalent to about ten years of work, permanently leaves the United States, or passes away. Hours worked by an immigrant prior to seeking sponsorship and obtaining a Green Card count toward the aforementioned requirement, as do hours worked by their spouse if that person is acting as their sponsor.

How Sponsors Participate in the Immigration Process

In most circumstances, the sponsor must begin the visa application process on behalf of the prospective immigrant they are sponsoring. Depending on whether the sponsor is a family member or a prospective employer of the immigrant in question, they must fill out either Form I-130 or Form I-140 from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They should submit these forms along with their supporting documents to the National Visa Center.

Additionally, sponsors must file Form I-864, which is an Affidavit of Support meant to assure the U.S. government that a prospective immigrant will not be a burden on public programs and that their sponsor has the capability to financially support them if necessary. Generally, a prospective sponsor’s income level must equal or exceed 125 percent of the current federal poverty level for them to remain eligible for sponsorship. However, sponsorship of an immigrant in Washington, DC may still be possible for individuals who do not meet that criterion by themselves. A qualified immigration attorney could determine if an individual is eligible for sponsorship.

Speak with a Washington, DC Attorney About Sponsoring an Immigrant

Being willing to help a loved one or prospective employee immigrate to a new country is very admirable, but it also places a substantial financial and legal burden on you. In light of that, it is best to go into this process with as much information as possible and ideally with support from a seasoned legal representative as well. You also need their help in understanding the intricacies of immigration laws and the immigrant visa.

A knowledgeable immigration attorney could make sure you are well-prepared for sponsoring an immigrant in Washington, DC. Call today to schedule a meeting.


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Navigating the maze of U.S. immigration law can be tricky for anybody, especially if English is your second language or you have unique circumstances motivating you to move here. Fortunately, if you are unsure about any areas of immigration or the naturalization process, help through an immigration lawyer (Washington DC) is available at the Hacking Immigration Law LLC.

Retaining one of our dedicated Washington DC immigration lawyers could help you both with USCIS and other U.S. immigration authorities. To find out how immigration attorneys could help you with your specific case, call us today to schedule a consultation.
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im is a great attorney who always has his human side “ON”. The clients come first to him. When approached for time sensitive issues, he was readily available and was prompt. I have had to reach out to him for myself & have recommended him to others. He always welcomed everyone and gave patient hearing. And he would not mind recommending other attorneys’ if he feels that they would better serve that particular case. Even if it means one less client for him. That sums up who Jim is. Thank you Jim!

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Jim and his team are extremely knowledgeable individuals. It is great to have someone like this on your side. I have and will continue to recommend Hacking Law Practice, LLC to anyone who needs legal advice on immigration issues.

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This firm was amazing helping me with my husband’s case. Jim and his team were very responsive to all my questions and concerns. i wish I had consulted them earlier as my husband’s case was stuck in Administrative Processing for over a year and a half. Two months after I gave my case to Jim, my husband was granted his visa. Would definitely recommend them and already have recommended them to my friends.

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The attorneys at the Hacking Immigration Law are dedicated to helping the foreign-born people of St. Louis to live and work in the United States. This dedication is reflected in the kind and grateful words of the clients they have helped. Read what others have to say about the hard work that the Hacking Immigration Law has done to help those in St. Louis.

Does paying for premium processing on an H1B case mean I will find out sooner if our case was selected in the lottery?

Premium processing is an add-on service that USCIS offers for a variety of immigration cases, primarily in the employment-based visa categories.Premium processing costs an additional $1225 in USCIS filing fees.

What is the H-1B visa lottery and how does it work?

In 2014, USCIS received more than 172,000 H-1B visa applications on the April 1st deadline, exceeding Congress’s cap by 87,000 applications.

Can an Unmarried Son or Daughter of a Lawful Permanent Resident Keep Their F2B Visa Classification After Their Sponsoring Parent Naturalizes?

The immigration laws treat the adult, unmarried children of citizens differently than the adult, unmarried children of lawful permanent residents.

What is the "newspaper of general circulation" for PERM job postings?

The Department of Labor requires employers to advertise positions that they intend to submit a PERM application on to publish the job position in the local newspaper of general circulation.

Can I Apply for Citizenship with an Expired Green Card?

In the past, USCIS and some immigration attorneys believed that you could not become a naturalized citizen if you did not have a valid green card (LPR) card to bring with you to your naturalization interview.

Is there such a thing as expedited removal of an immigrant and, if so, what is it?

Most people believe that removal orders or “deportation” orders only happen when you go to the immigration court and see an immigration judge. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Does testing positive for HIV make someone inadmissible to the United States?

On January 4, 2010, the United States officially removed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection from the list of “communicable diseases of public health significance” that make an individual ineligible for admission to the United States.

Are there any special visas for translators who assisted US forces in Afghanistan or Iraq?

Under United States immigration law, there are two Special Immigrant Visas available for Iraqi citizens or nationals who have worked for the United States.