Key Facts About Family Immigration Law When You Hope To Sponsor Someone Who Is Fleeing Religious Persecution

If you hope to sponsor a family member who is fleeing their country of origin due to religious persecution, there are numerous qualifications that you must comply agree with in order to be able to do so. For instance, you must be able to establish that your financial position will permit you to support that person, and his or her dependents, if applicable, for up to ten years. In addition, the applicant's situation must meet the qualifications for religious persecution. Given that the process can be quite challenging and time-consuming, it's a good idea to be aware of the following details before submitting your application.

Understanding Your Financial Commitments As A Sponsor

It is important to note that unless you live in Hawaii or Alaska, in order to sponsor an immigrant, you will need to establish your ability to financially support that person for up to ten years. If he or she becomes a citizen of the United States prior to that time, your financial obligations would end. In order for you to be approved as a sponsor, your income needs to be at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for the applicable family size. The applicable family size refers to your own immediate dependents, including spouse, children, etc. and the person you hope to sponsor.

Two notable exceptions to that income requirement exist in Hawaii and Alaska. If you and the applicant will reside in one of those states, your income only needs to be 100% of the federal poverty guideline. In addition, during the period of sponsorship, if it becomes necessary for the person you are sponsoring to receive welfare benefits, you will be expected to pay those benefits back in full. Assuming that you qualify as a sponsor, you'll also need to know specific information about religious persecution and how it is determined, as discussed below. 

Clarifying The Meaning Of Religious Persecution And How It Applies To Immigration

It is a good idea to remember that religious persecution can be defined as the intentional, planned abuse or mistreatment of one or more persons due to their religion or their lack of religious beliefs. Religious persecution is a common problem throughout the world. In many areas, it now qualifies as a human rights issue, given that war, torture, and ethnic cleansing have so often resulted from its presence. However, being teased, disliked or unpopular due to religious preferences do not qualify as religious persecution, as its impacts are more significant and dangerous.

It's often possible for persons at risk of persecution in their country of origin to request asylum in the U.S. and it's not always necessary to wait for that event to occur. For example, Christians in a predominantly Muslim country with known threats against non-Muslims have successfully been admitted to the U.S., as have agnostics and atheists whose lives and health were at risk in their native countries. In addition, two albino teenagers from Tanzania who had been attacked and maimed due to the perceived magical abilities of their body parts in their home country were permitted asylum to the United States in August of 2016.

In conclusion, it's easy to see that there are many ways that religious persecution can be established and unfortunately, many people are not eligible for that protection. As a result, it is best to speak with an immigration attorney for information specific to your family member's situation and to consider the information above prior to offering to sponsor your family member. For more information about immigration law, contact companies like Neal Richardson Datta Attorney At Law, P.C.