What risks do we face by sponsoring our son and his wife? 2 Answers as of September 15, 2010

My son moved out of the country about 5 years ago. He married a national of that country about 6 months ago. He now wants to move back to the US with his wife and has asked us to be his sponsor. What potential risks do we face by sponsoring them?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
I have received your inquiry, and I would like to help. There are a ton of questions I would need to have answered before I can know what to say. Are you and your spouse American citizens? Are you native born or naturalized? Is your son an American citizen? What is his financial status? It appears that he wants you to be a financial sponsor, which is a ten-year commitment, but doesn't mean that your son's wife does not need to support herself. If there is a desire to have all of you work with an attorney, which it looks like that you'll need, by all means call or e-mail me, and I'll set up a live or telephone consultation with you. I look forward to meeting with you and hope to be of help.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/15/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
As the sponsor you will need to sign Form I-864 for Affidavit of Support. In the form there is a contract with the US government to provide support. Many of us attorneys believe that the contract is flawed and not enforceable, and to my knowledge the US government has not enforced the contract against anyone. The contract does not give rise to a private cause of action from the beneficiary against the sponsor for support. However this doesn't mean that the beneficiary won't try to sue you under the contract, but the likelihood of winning should be slim.

As such, the rule of thumb is that if you believe your son and daughter won't take advantage your kindness to sponsor, then you should help your son.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/14/2010
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