The Affidavit of Support and Financial Support for a Visa Applicant
- What is the Form I-134?
- What are the Requirements for the Form I-134?
- What is the Process for the Form I-134?
- Joint Sponsor
- Additional Questions
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What is the Affidavit of Support (Form I-134)?
Form I-134 is a “Declaration of Financial Support”. Simply put, a US citizen or Green Card holder who commits to assisting you financially while you are in the US, can use this form to inform the U.S. government of their intention to do so. Form I-134 can be used as evidence in support of B-1/B-2 visa applicants who want to visit the US as a tourist/visitor or if you are entering the U.S. on a K-1 or K-2 fiancé visa.
The ability to prove your financial self-sufficiency is one of the biggest barriers to entry into the United States. Immigration officers carefully review applications to see if there is a chance that a visa applicant may end up becoming a “public charge.” The purpose of this “public charge” rule is for the U.S. government to ensure that a visa applicant will have enough money to pay for their stay and not need assistance from the U.S. government.
You will be required to provide evidence of your ability to support yourself financially throughout the visa application process. If your application demonstrates that you have sizable bank or investment balances with enough money to last the duration of your visit to the U.S., that is often sufficient. However, not everyone has significant bank account balances or numerous assets.
What are the Requirements for the Form I-134?
To be a sponsor on a Form I-134, you must:
- You must be a green card holder or U.S. citizen.
- You must be able to show you earn 100% of the income required under the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your family size.
- Be prepared to provide financial assistance to the individual or persons you sponsor if necessary. This is a binding legal contract/agreement you enter with the U.S. government that may be upheld in court.
- Be prepared for U.S. immigration to examine your financial situation and tax records.
Unlike Form I-864, Form I-134 is for those traveling to the United States on temporary visas, including K1 and K2 visa applicants.
When a U.S. citizen or green card holder agrees to act as a financial sponsor for a temporary visa applicant or a K1 or K2 visa, they must complete Form I-134. In essence, the sponsor steps in and declares that they will provide the applicant with financial assistance rather than the applicant having to demonstrate that they have adequate money for their stay in the United States.
Be careful not to input information carelessly since the requirements are quite stringent and you must demonstrate you meet the standards and are legally binding yourself to financially supporting the applicant.
What is the Process for the Form I-134?
The sponsor does not need to appear in person or have their biometrics captured. Please set aside enough time to carefully review the paperwork which requires proof and salary information.
This form becomes one of the last stages in the visa application process since the applicant will often already be completing their papers for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The sponsor will be required to fill out the following information on the form:
- Address, social security number and other personal information;
- Evidence of your permanent resident status (green card) or U.S. citizenship
- Information about the “beneficiary” (the person applying for the visa) as indicated on the form. This includes their: address, spouse, and nationality.
- Information on the sponsor’s work and finances, including a statement of your earnings and assets. Remember, you must be entirely truthful. This form is legally binding and any false information may be considered perjury.
- Information about dependents (if any) and marital status of the sponsor. This information is used to determine if the sponsor’s household size and income meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
You, the sponsor, must send photocopies of documents to evidence your financial resources. The following, as applicable, are examples of documents to verify your financial resources:
- A written declaration, signed by a bank or other financial institution official, detailing the date your bank account was created, the total amount deposited during the previous year, and the account’s current balance
- A written declaration on company letterhead, signed by your employer, stating the date and type of your employment, the amount of your remuneration, and whether the job is temporary or permanent.
- A copy of your most recent federal income tax return from the United States or, if you are self-employed and prefer, a report of commercial rating concern report
- A list including the bond denominations, serial numbers, and names of owners (if applicable)
These documents must be in English or contain a complete English translation with a certification from the translator attesting to the accuracy and completeness of the translation and attesting to the translator’s proficiency in translating from the target language to English.
How and where to file Form I-134:
Depending on the underlying application and whether the individual you are sponsoring is within or outside of the United States, you must submit the form in a specific location. You must get the applicant’s permission before submitting this affidavit of support on their behalf.
After the applicant files their visa application, USCIS will review your information alongside the application and get in touch with you or the applicant if further proof or explanation is required.
The sponsor can also have a secondary co-sponsor or joint sponsor (someone outside of their household) who is willing to assume full financial responsibility for the K-1 visa applicant if they are unable to show that they meet the K-1 income requirement for their household size (100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines income level).
Is the I-134 the same form you use to sponsor someone applying for a green card?
No, Form I-864 is necessary for applicants for green card applicants. There are several important distinctions and you are required to meet 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
Is a family relationship between the sponsor and the applicant necessary?
No. The sponsor doesn’t have to be related to the applicant as long as the sponsor has a green card or is a citizen of the United States.
What is the USCIS Form I-134 application fee?
No, there is no application fee for the I-134 form.
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