Petitioners who file applications to sponsor their family members for a Green Card will have to sponsor those beneficiaries financially. Many such applicants are unaware of the Affidavit of Support forms and they are confused about which forms they need to submit as there are two Affidavit of Support forms, Form I-134 and Form I-864.
When you sponsor your spouse or your immediate relative for lawful status or your friend to visit the country for a short period, you must prove that you will sponsor the beneficiary and prevent them from becoming a public charge or the beneficiary must show that he can financially support himself. Hence, for this reason, affidavits must be filed and affidavits play an important role as the country will not grant visas to applicants who are likely to become public charges.
Form I-864 is the Affidavit of Support form that must be filed by U.S. citizens or Green Card holders who are filing immigrant petitions to sponsor their family members for U.S. Green Cards. This form must be filed in order to establish that your relative will not become a public charge and that he/she has adequate financial resources to support himself financially or that you will financially support them, while in America.
Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, is meant for applicants who are applying for U.S. visas and this form must be filed in order to demonstrate that the visa applicants have sponsors and that they will not become public charges.
I-864 affidavits are enforceable and legally binding whereas I-134 affidavits are not enforceable. Whether you need to file Form I-134 or Form I-864, will depend on the type of application that you are filing.
If you are filing a family-based petition for your spouse, you will have to file Form I-864. If you are sponsoring your fiancé(e) or spouse who has filed an application for a K-1 or a K-3 visa you should file Form I-134.
If you are sponsoring an immediate relative, Form I-864 must be filed and some employment-based applications also must accompany Form I-864. I-864 affidavit must be filed, even if your relative is applying for adjustment of status, in America.
You need to remember that, you will still be financially responsible for your spouse, even after you are separated from your spouse as, I-864 affidavits are enforceable by the government of the United States. Though both the forms require similar information but are different and it is easy to complete Form I-134 as this form is small and it does not require detailed information but Form I-864 is lengthy and it requires detailed information.