How to Write a Letter to Sponsor Someone for U.S. Citizenship

by Jody Hanson

When an individual wants to obtain American citizenship one way is to be sponsored. While it isn't essential to be a blood relative, the closer the relationship, the more favorably it is viewed by the authorities. If you want to sponsor your brother, for example, it is a stronger application than a distant cousin. The rules and regulations about sponsorship are stringent and must be exactly adhered to, with all the required documentation attached. A sponsorship letter is a legal document and you are promising to make sure the individual who is immigrating won't become a burden to the state. Writing a sponsorship letter may sound overwhelming, but by breaking it down into steps it becomes manageable.

Use the block format for the sponsorship letter. All text starts flush-left and there is a blank line left between the parts of the letter: return address, date, inside address (the same as on the envelope), salutation, body of the letter and closing.

Print your letter on letterhead if possible because it creates a more professional impression. If you don't have letterhead, type in your address.

Leave a blank line and type in the date. Follow with the inside address. Address the sponsorship letter in the following way -- "To Whom It May Concern:" -- and note there is a colon after the salutation.

Be direct and clarify that you are an American citizen. For example, "My name is Henry Tate and I have been an American citizen since 1995. Attached is a copy of my passport. I am writing to sponsor my brother Clive's application to immigrate to the United States."

Start a new paragraph and go on to say that you have filled in and signed a 1-864 form. This form is available from your nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. It can be downloaded from

Continue by clarifying that you meet the financial criteria to be able to sponsor a family member. Be sure to add, "Attached are my tax returns for the last three years and a letter from the bank. Also included is a copy of my mortgage and vehicle registration." The more financial assets you have the better.

Finish your letter by saying that you are committed to sponsoring the family member and that you will be financially responsible for him. Also add that if additional information is required you will be glad to provide it.

Sign the letter "Sincerely,". Then leave three lines for your signature and type your name.


  • The sponsorship application process can be very involved so it is advisable to have an attorney who specializes in immigration law review your letter and documents to make sure they are in order.

About the Author

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.

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