REINSTATMENT OF REMOVAL

“Reinstatement of removal” is a summary removal procedure pursuant to § 241(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)(5), 8 C.F.R. § 241.8. With limited statutory and judicial exceptions, the reinstatement statute applies to noncitizens who return to the United States without authorization after having been removed under a prior order of deportation, exclusion, or removal.

Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 241 (a)(5) states, “if the Attorney General finds that an alien has reentered the United States illegally after having been removed or having departed voluntarily, under an order of removal, the prior order of removal is reinstated from its original date and is not subject to being reopened or reviewed, the alien is not eligible and may not apply for any relief under this chapter, and the alien shall be removed under the prior order at any time after the reentry.”

Reinstatement of removal is applied to noncitizens who reenter the United States illegally after having been removed under an order of deportation and makes such individuals ineligible for all forms of discretionary relief, including adjustment of status, under the INA. It does not apply to noncitizens who were ordered deported or excluded but failed to comply with the order.

For more information about reinstatement of removal, call the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell, LLC at (212) 258-0713.

White House Announced New Actions Intended to Attract and Maintain STEM Talent in the United States.

In a Federal Register notice published on January 21, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced, “The Secretary of Homeland Security is amending the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List [for OPT] by adding 22 qualifying fields of study.”

“The government uses the STEM Designated Degree Program List to determine F-1 students’ eligibility for the 24-month extension of their post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), based on their science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree,” noted Berry Appleman and Leiden in an advisory. “Additions to the list make more students eligible for the STEM OPT extension.”

The 22 new fields added to the list for STEM OPT are Bioenergy, Forestry, General, Forest Resources Production and Management, Human-Centered Technology Design, Cloud Computing, Anthrozoology, Climate Science, Earth Systems Science, Economics and Computer Science, Environmental Geosciences, Geobiology, Geography, and Environmental Studies, Mathematical Economics, Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science, Data Science, General, Data Analytics, General, Business Analytics, Data Visualization, Financial Analytics, Data Analytics, Other, Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Social Sciences, Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods. (More details are available in the Federal Register notice.).

See this article from Forbes for more information.

TO BUILD A BETTER IMMIGRATION SYSTEM CONGRESS NEEDS TO ACT

America needs an immigration system that respects our long traditions as a welcoming nation and builds a foundation for meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The current system is sorely outdated and badly in need of reform. Congress must act swiftly, using not only its legislative power but also its oversight and budget authorities to secure lasting reform.

Our immigration court system suffers from profound structural problems that have severely eroded its capacity to deliver just decisions in a timely manner. The root cause of this dysfunction is a conflict of interest built into the system: immigration courts are a part of the Department of Justice (DOJ) – the very same law enforcement agency that is charged with prosecuting immigration cases in federal courts. This structural flaw has been taken advantage of to manipulate the immigration court for political purposes, fundamentally compromising the integrity of the courts as well as public confidence in its outcomes. America needs a just and efficient immigration judicial system not just to ensure due process, but also to ensure the success of the enforcement system and the legal immigration system. It is imperative to make immediate reforms to guarantee judicial independence, fairness, and consistency in decision-making.

WHAT CONGRESS CAN DO

  • Congress can create an Independent Immigration Court. To operate in a balanced and fair manner, the immigration courts must be separate and independent from DOJ. Congress should pass legislation creating an independent, Article I immigration court.
  • Restore due process. Congress should ensure that DOJ and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reverse policies that rush cases at the cost of due process and encourage them to rescind policies that unduly restrict access to asylum and other forms of relief.
  • Support the right to counsel. Having legal counsel is the single most important factor in ensuring migrants get a fair day in court and in ensuring due process. Congress should pass legislation guaranteeing appointed counsel and access to counsel, and fund Executive Branch programs that support the right to counsel. The Immigration Courts: Nothing Like What You Have Imagined Read more at www.aila.org/immigrationcourts Ineffective management of the immigration court system continues to impair the quality and quantity of judicial decisions; the court backlog has skyrocketed to approximately 1.3 million cases.
  • America needs an immigration system that respects our long traditions as a welcoming nation and builds a foundation for meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The current system is sorely outdated and badly in need of reform. Congress must act swiftly, using not only its legislative power but also its oversight and budget authorities to secure lasting reform.
  • Our immigration court system suffers from profound structural problems that have severely eroded its capacity to deliver just decisions in a timely manner. The root cause of this dysfunction is a conflict of interest built into the system: immigration courts are a part of Department of Justice (DOJ) – the very same law-enforcement agency that is charged with prosecuting immigration cases in federal courts. This structural flaw has been taken advantage of to manipulate the immigration court for political purposes, fundamentally compromising the integrity of the courts as well as public confidence in its outcomes. America needs a just and efficient immigration judicial system not just to ensure due process, but also to ensure the success of the enforcement system and the legal immigration system. It is imperative to make immediate reforms to guarantee judicial independence, fairness, and consistency in decision-making.
  • WHAT CONGRESS CAN DO
    • Congress can create an Independent Immigration Court. To operate in a balanced and fair manner, the immigration courts must be separate and independent from DOJ. Congress should pass legislation creating an independent, Article I immigration court.
    • Restore due process. Congress should ensure that DOJ and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reverse policies that rush cases at the cost of due process and encourage them to rescind policies that unduly restrict access to asylum and other forms of relief.
    • Support the right to counsel. Having legal counsel is the single most important factor in ensuring migrants get a fair day in court and in ensuring due process. Congress should pass legislation guaranteeing appointed counsel and access to counsel, and fund Executive Branch programs that support the right to counsel. The Immigration Courts: Nothing Like What You Have Imagined Read more at www.aila.org/immigrationcourts Ineffective management of the immigration court system continues to impair the quality and quantity of judicial decisions; the court backlog has skyrocketed to approximately 1.3 million cases.

See AILA America as a Welcoming Nation: A Roadmap dated April 14, 2021, available at www.aila.org.

AS 2021 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, THERE IS A SIGN THAT THE NEW YEAR MAY BE BETTER THAN THE LAST

The direction of COVID-19 variants remains difficult to predict, but the CDC now recommends lifting the travel restrictions imposed in Proclamation 10315. And, the President, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has done that.

” In light of these changed circumstances, and based on the recommendation of the CDC, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to revoke Proclamation 10315.  The travel restrictions imposed by that proclamation are no longer necessary to protect the public health.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) and 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) and 1185(a), hereby find that, except as provided in Proclamation 10294 of October 25, 2021 (Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic), or any other applicable proclamation, the unrestricted entry into the United States of persons described in section 1 of Proclamation 10315 is no longer detrimental to the interests of the United States.  I therefore hereby proclaim the following:

Section 1.  Revocation.  Proclamation 10315 is revoked.

Sec. 2.  Review of Agency Actions.  The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall review any regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions developed pursuant to Proclamation 10315 and, as appropriate, shall consider revising or revoking these agency actions consistent with the policy set forth in this proclamation.

Sec. 3.  Effective Date.  This proclamation is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on December 31, 2021.

Sec. 4.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This proclamation shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This proclamation is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.”

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

NORKA M. SCHELL, ESQ.

MASK MANDATE

Dear Client and Visitors,

Please be advised that effective Monday, December 13, 2021, New York State has ordered an indoor mask mandate.

Please plan to wear a proper-fitting mask at Servcorp | 17 State Street. If you do not have one, feel free to ask the front desk.

Thank you.

LAW OFFICES OF NORKA M. SCHELL, LLC

 

U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Labor Departments Reach Settlements with Facebook Resolving Claims of Discrimination Against U.S. Workers and Potential Regulatory Recruitment Violations

On October 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Labor announced separate settlement agreements with Facebook regarding its use of the permanent labor certification program (PERM). The Justice Department’s settlement resolves its claims that Facebook routinely refused to recruit, consider or hire U.S. workers, a group that includes U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, asylees, refugees, and lawful permanent residents, for positions it had reserved for temporary visa holders in connection with the PERM process. Additionally, the Labor Department’s settlement resolves issues it separately identified through audit examinations of Facebook’s recruitment activities related to its PERM applications filed with the Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC).

In December 2020, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that from at least Jan. 1, 2018, until at least Sept. 18, 2019, Facebook routinely reserved jobs for temporary visa holders through the PERM process. Specifically, the lawsuit alleged that, in contrast to its standard recruitment practices, Facebook used recruiting methods designed to deter U.S. workers from applying to certain positions, such as requiring applications to be submitted by mail only; refused to consider U.S. workers who applied to the positions; and hired only temporary visa holders. According to the lawsuit, Facebook’s hiring process for these positions intentionally discriminated against U.S. workers because of their citizenship or immigration status, in violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA generally prohibits employers from discriminating against workers because of their citizenship or immigration status.

In early 2021, the Labor Department initiated audit examinations of Facebook’s pending PERM applications to determine compliance with regulatory requirements. As a result of these audits, OFLC identified potential regulatory recruitment violations and sought additional information from Facebook in an effort to confirm that Facebook followed all applicable regulatory requirements regarding the posting and advertisement requirements for these positions.

Under the DOJ settlement, Facebook will pay a civil penalty of $4.75 million to the United States, pay up to $9.5 million to eligible victims of Facebook’s alleged discrimination, and train its employees on the anti-discrimination requirements of the INA. In addition, Facebook will be required to conduct more expansive advertising and recruitment for its job opportunities for all PERM positions, accept electronic resumes or applications from all U.S. workers who apply, and take other steps to ensure that its recruitment for PERM positions closely matches its standard recruitment practices. Today’s civil penalty and backpay fund represent the largest fine and monetary award that the Division ever has recovered in the 35-year history of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

“Facebook is not above the law, and must comply with our nation’s federal civil rights laws, which prohibit discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Companies cannot set aside certain positions for temporary visa holders because of their citizenship or immigration status. This settlement reflects the Civil Rights Division’s commitment to holding employers accountable and eradicating discriminatory employment practices.”

Under the DOL OFLC settlement, Facebook will conduct additional notice and recruitment for U.S. workers and will be subject to ongoing audits to ensure its compliance with applicable regulations.

“This settlement is an important step forward and means that U.S. workers will have a fair chance to learn about and apply for Facebook’s job opportunities,” said Seema Nanda, Solicitor at the Department of Labor. “No matter an employer’s size or reach, the Department of Labor is committed to vigorously enforcing the law.”

The Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits citizenship or immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment, or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.

Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, can file a charge. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email [email protected]; sign up for a free webinar, or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites.

The Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) provides national leadership and policy guidance to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor under the INA, as amended, concerning the admission of foreign workers to the United States for employment.

A permanent labor certification allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently in the United States. In most instances, before the U.S. employer can submit an immigration petition to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the employer must obtain a certified labor certification application from OFLC. The Secretary of Labor must certify to the USCIS that there are not sufficient U.S. workers able, willing, qualified, and available to accept the job opportunity in the area of intended employment and that employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

Suspected violations relating to the PERM labor certification process can be promptly referred to OFLC at [email protected]

HOW DOES AN IMMIGRANT LOSE HIS OR HER LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS?

An immigrant can lose his Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status when he or she demonstrates his or her intent to no longer reside in the United States as an LPR after departing the United States. In addition, abandonment of LPR status by a parent is imputed to a minor child who is in the parent’s custody and control. While LPRs are permitted to travel outside the United States, depending on the length and circumstances of the trip abroad, the trip may lead to a determination that the LPR abandoned his or her LPR status.

If the evidence suggests that an applicant abandoned his or her LPR status and was subsequently erroneously permitted to enter as a returning LPR, the applicant is ineligible for naturalization. This is because the applicant failed to establish that he or she was lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of the subsequent reentry and failed to meet the continuous residence requirement for naturalization.

Visa Bulletin For November 2021

Number 59

Volume X

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center.

Unless otherwise indicated on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo, individuals seeking to file applications for adjustment of status with USCIS in the Department of Homeland Security must use the “Final Action Dates” charts below for determining when they can file such applications. When USCIS determines that there are more immigrant visas available for the fiscal year than there are known applicants for such visas, USCIS will state on its website that applicants may instead use the “Dates for Filing Visa Applications” charts in this Bulletin.

1.  Procedures for determining dates. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; USCIS reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations in the charts below were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by October 8th. If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The final action date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. If it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a final action date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new final action date announced in this bulletin. If at any time an annual limit were reached, it would be necessary to immediately make the preference category “unavailable”, and no further requests for numbers would be honored.

2.  Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.  Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

4.  Section 203(a) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Family-sponsored immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents:  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences

A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCE CASES

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and “U” means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action date listed below.)

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 01DEC14 01DEC14 01DEC14 15JAN99 01MAR12
F2A C C C C C
F2B 22SEP15 22SEP15 22SEP15 15MAR00 22OCT11
F3 22NOV08 22NOV08 22NOV08 15MAY97 08JUN02
F4 22MAR07 22MAR07 15SEP05 08FEB99 22AUG02
22MAR05
22MAR05
22DEC10
01FEB16
01FEB16

B.  DATES FOR FILING FAMILY-SPONSORED VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart below may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file applications, regardless of priority date.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 4.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.

Family-
Sponsored 
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 
F1 15MAY16 15MAY16 15MAY16 01AUG00 22APR15
F2A 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21 01JUN21
F2B 22SEP16 22SEP16 22SEP16 01OCT00 01OCT13
F3 22AUG09 22AUG09 22AUG09 08SEP00 01OCT03
F4 01OCT07 01OCT07 01JAN06 01JUN99 01FEB04

5.  Section 203(b) of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of Employment-based immigrant visas as follows:

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2022/visa-bulletin-for-november-2021.html

BRINGING YOUR PARENTS TO VISIT YOU IN THE UNITED STATES. IS THE TOURIST VISA THE ANSWER?

The B-2 “Visitor for Pleasure” visa, along with its cousin the Visa Waive Program, are the most widely used vehicles for entry into the United States.

The B-2 visitor visa has many specific uses, but more importantly, it also has specific situations where its use is expressly prohibited.

The B-2 visitor visa category can be one of the most complex and difficult to address because the issues and factors involved in the decision are almost entirely subjective. Moreover, the decision of the consul occurs far from the immigration lawyer and is not subject to review or formal appeal. If the reason for the denial is known, applicants may present “better” evidence in subsequent visa applications.

Generally speaking, an individual is allowed a B-2 visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act to temporarily visit the United States for pleasure. The term “pleasure” refers to “legitimate activities of a recreational character, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal, social, or service nature. By statute, a B-2 visitor is expressly precluded from coming for the purpose of study (with a few well-defined exceptions) or performing skilled or unskilled labor, or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation.

B-2 visitors to the United States generally may be admitted for not more than one year and may be granted extensions of stay in six-month increments. So long as their passports are sufficiently valid, admissible B-2 visitors should be admitted for a minimum of six months, regardless of whether less time is required; exceptions may only be made for “good cause.”

What would the US Consul consider in determining B-2 visa eligibility?

The applicant must maintain an unabandoned foreign residence; he or she must intend to enter the United States for a period of specifically limited duration, and the applicant must be seeking admission for the sole purpose of engaging in legitimate activities relating to pleasure; the applicant must have adequate funds to avoid unlawful employment and to complete the purposes of the proposed visit, etc.

The criteria listed above are intended only as guidelines, and meeting them is not to be considered conclusive of the applicant’s intent. Denial of the visa “is required by law” where the consular officer is not satisfied with the applicant’s intent to return or abide by the terms of nonimmigrant status.

How do I Financially Sponsor Someone Who Wants to Immigrate to the United States?

Under U. S. law, every person who immigrates base on a relative petition must have a financial sponsor. If you choose to sponsor your relative’s immigration by filing a Petition for Alien Relative, you must agree to be the financial sponsor and file an affidavit of support when the time comes for the actual immigration. If you do not meet the financial qualifications at that time, you still must file your Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and accept responsibility, but you and your relative also must find other individuals who meet the requirements and are willing to make this commitment by filing affidavits of support.

What is the purpose of the affidavit of support?

The affidavit of support helps ensure that new immigrants will not need to rely on public benefits such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. If a person for whom you file an affidavit of support becomes a permanent resident and is later given certain public benefits, the agency that gave the benefits can require that you repay that money.

Anyone applying to be a permanent resident through a family member must have a financial sponsor. A sponsor is also required for a family member coming to work for a relative, or for a company in which a relative, or for a company in which a relative owns 5 percent or more of the company.

The person filing the petition sponsoring the person’s immigration must file an affidavit of support. If he or she does not, then their sponsorship is not complete, and the person will not be given permission to immigrate based on that person.

The law requires a sponsor to prove an income level at or above 125 percent of the Federal poverty level. (For active-duty military personnel, the income requirement is 100 percent of the poverty level when sponsoring a husband, wife, or children.) If your income does not meet the requirement, your assets such as checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, or property may be considered in determining your financial ability. Federal poverty levels are updated each year by the Department of Health and Human Services. You can check current minimums at their website at www.aspe.hhs.gov.