How to Withdraw Sponsorship for an Immigrant

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Best time to withdraw a visa petition is before filing or during the USCIS pending stage.
  • Once a visa is issued, revocation is not possible.
  • Sponsors can cancel sponsorship by sending a written request to the USCIS, but it’s uncommon.
  • To withdraw an unprocessed application, sponsors must send a letter to USCIS with a receipt notice copy.

One of the biggest steps in the immigration visa process is to get a sponsor. The sponsor can either be a relative, a partner, parent, child, or employer. Family members listed as sponsors must be U.S. citizens or hold permanent resident status (green card). Additionally, they must have the ability to support the applicant to prevent the immigrant from becoming an economic burden on the state.

Employers listed as sponsors must guarantee a job to the immigrant not occupied by an American-born citizen or a green card holder. This means the job offered by the employer to the immigrant applicant must not infringe upon the chances of a regular American citizen to acquire the same position. 

Visa sponsorship is a legally binding contract that is difficult to undo, but it can be reversed under certain circumstances. The process for canceling a visa petition is contingent upon the stage at which the application is in the immigration system. It is possible to get your sponsorship canceled. Read on to learn more about withdrawing a sponsorship.

When Can a Visa Petition Be Withdrawn?

The best time to withdraw a sponsorship is when the application has not been filed with the USCIS or is still pending with the agency. The application can be withdrawn if the USCIS has not processed the visa or green card application.

It is essential to know how far along the immigrant visa application has gotten in the system. Immigrant visas are generally filed using form I-130 (family immigration) or I-140 (employment-based immigration). The approval process takes several months to complete. Once the USCIS approves the petition, the immigrant, along with their sponsor, is brought into the process of getting an immigration visa and adjustment of living status within the United States. To keep track of the application status, check the USCIS website to see how far along the form has gotten.

Visa sponsorships cannot be revoked arbitrarily. There must be evidence-backed reasons behind the revocation. If both of the parties (i.e., the sponsor and immigrant) agree to the revocation, the sponsorship can be canceled by sending in a written request to the USCIS. However, this does not often happen as sponsors are challenging to secure, and immigrants rarely surrender their chance at a visa sponsorship.

It is important to note that it is impossible to revoke the sponsorship once the visa is issued. In fact, it is not advisable to violate the terms of a sponsorship agreement once it is in place. The visa sponsorship is a legally binding document where the sponsor agrees to support the immigrant. If either party violates the terms and conditions laid out by the sponsorship, they can be sued for damages.

Withdrawing a Petition

It is much easier to withdraw an application if it has yet to be processed by the USCIS. If I-130 or I-140 petitions have not been approved, sponsors have a chance to cancel their sponsorship. To withdraw the sponsorship, the sponsor must send a letter to the USCIS office, where the application is being processed, informing the office of the decision to withdraw. They must be sure to include a copy of their receipt notice when sending the letter. This helps in tracing their file quickly.

There is a slight chance of getting the processing fees back if the USCIS has not started processing an application, including processing the payment made. If the sponsor paid for the application using a check, they can try withdrawing it simultaneously with their application. However, if the USCIS has started processing the application, then the processing charge cannot be reclaimed.

If the USCIS has received a petition for approval, but the immigrant hasn’t received their immigrant visa or green card, the best course of action is to identify the office handling the case and send a request to withdraw the application from the office. In this situation, the sponsor will be required to present sufficient reasons for the withdrawal, primarily when one party alleges fraud against the other. Providing an adequate reason is essential as the USCIS makes a note of all this in its records.

Canceling a Green Card After It Is Issued by the USCIS

If the immigrant has received their green card, it becomes significantly harder to patrol the sponsorship and get the green card canceled. At this stage of the process, the immigrant is set to have acquired the sponsor’s S status in their name, and the sponsor or petitioner would have to allege fraud to remove the status.

At this point, it is best to consult an immigration lawyer who can assess the case and give advice accordingly. Another thing to note is that, at this point in the application process, all family petitioners sign the “affidavit of support,” a document that promises financial support to the immigrant for ten years after they get a green card, obtain United States citizenship, have their green card revoked, or pass away. The visa obligations remain the same in case of a divorce.

How to Withdraw a Petition for Family Sponsorship

Much like the other cases described above, timing is critical when withdrawing a family sponsorship application. There can be many reasons for canceling a family sponsorship. For example, the sponsored applicant may become a permanent resident, or personal reasons like divorce or family problems come in the way of the application process. The petition for family sponsorship can be canceled if the sponsored relative fails to become a permanent resident before the cancellation request.

If the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident before the cancellation request, the application cannot be revoked.

To file the withdrawal for family sponsorship, visit the IRCC website on submitting the cancellation request via a web form. This web form asks for personal details like name, date of birth, complete address, the date the application was submitted, the client ID number, the type of application, and the reason for withdrawal.

The web form will ask the sponsor to upload a copy of their electronic payment receipt or a copy of both sides of the payment receipt.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does withdrawing sponsorship for an immigrant mean?

Withdrawing sponsorship for an immigrant means revoking your support as a sponsor in an immigration application. This typically applies to situations where a U.S. citizen or permanent resident has agreed to be financially responsible for someone immigrating to the United States.

How can I withdraw my sponsorship for an immigrant?

To withdraw your sponsorship, you must inform the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in writing. You should send a letter to the USCIS office handling the case, clearly stating your intention to withdraw the sponsorship.

What are the consequences of withdrawing sponsorship?

Once you withdraw sponsorship, the immigrant may lose their eligibility for the immigration benefit they were seeking. This could potentially lead to the denial of their visa or green card application.

Can I withdraw sponsorship after the immigrant has received their visa or green card?

Withdrawing sponsorship after the visa or green card has been issued is generally not possible. Once the immigrant has been granted permanent residency, the sponsorship obligations usually remain until certain conditions are met.

What happens if I withdraw my sponsorship before the visa application is processed?

If you withdraw your sponsorship before the visa application is processed, it will likely result in the application being denied, as the immigrant will no longer meet the necessary financial support requirements.

Are there legal implications for withdrawing sponsorship?

There can be legal implications for withdrawing sponsorship, particularly if it is not done correctly. It’s important to consult with an immigration attorney to understand the legal consequences.

What are my responsibilities as a sponsor?

As a sponsor, you are financially responsible for the immigrant. This includes ensuring they do not become a public charge by relying on certain types of government assistance.

Can the immigrant find another sponsor if I withdraw my sponsorship?

Yes, the immigrant can find another sponsor if you withdraw your sponsorship. The new sponsor will need to meet all the necessary requirements and file the appropriate sponsorship forms.

How long does it take for a withdrawal of sponsorship to be processed?

The processing time for a withdrawal of sponsorship can vary. It depends on how quickly USCIS receives and processes your withdrawal request.

What documentation do I need to provide when withdrawing my sponsorship?

When withdrawing your sponsorship, you should provide a written statement with your full name, date of birth, address, and details about the immigrant you are withdrawing sponsorship for. Include the case or receipt number if available.

Read More


Canceling a visa sponsorship is an uncommon phenomenon, as most people are keen on getting an immigration visa or green card. But the bottom line is, if you want to withdraw your visa sponsorship, it is best to do it as soon as possible. Time is a key factor that determines whether your withdrawal request is accepted by the USCIS or denied. If you submit your request after the application has been processed, it will most likely be denied and raise red flags.

However, if you have decided to revoke your visa sponsorship, it is best to consult with an immigration lawyer and discuss the best course of action.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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