Do you need to be related by blood to sponsor an immigrant? 13 Answers as of September 19, 2013

I want to sponsor my sister's step daughter. Is this possible?

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Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
No, this is not a qualifying relationship for immigrant visa petitions.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/19/2013
Perez-Jenkins Law, LLC | Patricia Perez-Jenkins
The only people who can sponsor someone are Spouses sponsoring spouses, Parents (even step-parents) sponsoring children, Children sponsoring parents, and Siblings sponsoring other siblings. Those are the only categories for relatives sponsoring other relatives. Uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc are not allowed to sponsor.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/16/2013
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
No. You cannot sponsor a niece or nephew. You would need to sponsor your sibling and they may be able to derive benefits through that petition.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/16/2013
Law Office of Adebola Asekun | Adebola O. Asekun
If by sponsor you mean to file petition for your sister's step daughter, note that there is no provision under current immigration law that allows you to do this. Your sister, if she is a U.S. citizen, can file petition for her step daughter assuming the step daughter/step mother relationship took place before the step daughter's 18th birthday. Responding to the larger question regarding existence of a blood relationship, the simple answer is "not always" and a person may still file petition for non blood relative as shown in the example with your sister and her step daughter. Also note that existence of a blood relationship is not always sufficient and in fact in some cases blood relationship will preclude the filing a petition such as where the relationship is within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity. You should encourage your sister to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to explore the various options that may be availing to her with respect to her step daughter.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/16/2013
Law Offices of N.J. SAEH PC | Noel J. Saleh
No, in fact you could not even sponsor your sister's biological daughter for an immigrant visa. If you are referring to sponsoring meaning filing an Affidavit of Support. Yes, you can file an I-864 as co-sponsor.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/16/2013
    Mulder Law office, PA
    Mulder Law office, PA | Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire
    You can sponsor your sister and her daughter can be a derivative depending on her age.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2013
    Kapoor Law Firm, PLLC
    Kapoor Law Firm, PLLC | Shiv K. Kapoor
    No, unfortunately that's not possible. Even if she was your sister's biological child, you couldn't sponsor her.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    The Islas Muñoz Law Firm, PLLC
    The Islas Muñoz Law Firm, PLLC | Pamela Genghiní Muñoz
    It depends on what you mean by "sponsor." If you mean to file a petition on behalf of a foreigner so that they can apply for residency, then you have to be either the spouse, parent, or child over 21 of that foreigner, or if you're a U.S. citizen you may also petition your brothers or sisters. Under this definition you would not be able to petition your sister's step daughter. If on the other hand another person is petitioning the immigrant for resident status but they need additional income to meet the minimum income requirements, then yes, you may serve as a co-sponsor and allow your income to be counted towards the minimum requirement for the number of people in both (yours and their) households.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    Alena Shautsova
    Alena Shautsova | Alena Shautsova
    You can sponsor your sister and her dependents. Not possible to sponsor your niece.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    It should be ok. You are helping your sister.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    Law Office of Eric Fisher | Eric Fisher
    You do not need to be related by blood to be a co-sponsor.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    Immigration Law Offices, LLP
    Immigration Law Offices, LLP | Fakhrudeen Hussain
    You can petition for your sister and her step daughter may become a derivate (may be part of that application) based on whether your sister got married to her husband before the step daughter was 18. You cannot directly petition your sister's step daughter or her own daughter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2013
    Vladimir Parizher
    Vladimir Parizher | Vladimir Parizher
    I believe the answer to this question yes. But, you need to clearly understand what would be your responsibilities, and whether you want to do or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/13/2013
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