What is Form I-134, Affidavit of Support?
Form I-134 Affidavit of Support is used to show that a visa applicant has sponsorship and will not become a public charge while in the United States.
People coming to the US on K-1 or K-2 visas, or on B-1 or B-2 visas, need to show the US government that they have a sponsor who is able and willing to support them financially during their temporary stay in the country.
United States immigration law denies any visa or green card applications where the applicant may become a “public charge” (become financially incapable of supporting oneself so that he/she becomes dependent on government assistance). Because of this, it is required that most visa or green card applicants have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsor.
The sponsor, who is usually the petitioning relative of the applicant, must file an Affidavit of Support for the visa or green card applicant. The document signifies that the sponsor is financially responsible for the applicant. It is legally enforceable and valid until the applicant either becomes a U.S. citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (approx. 10 years).
What is “public charge”?
For immigration, a public charge means that the person is primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. This includes welfare assistance such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This may also include long-term government institutionalization such as for mental illness.
The likelihood of an immigrant becoming a public charge is determined with each visa application. Factors such as age, health, family status, assets, and resources are used to make this determination. Affidavits of Support are important determining factors as well. They are often required as a part of the visa or green card application.
What is the difference between I-134 and I-864?
Form I-134 is the Affidavit of Support form used only for nonimmigrant applicants when the beneficiary will be coming to the United States on temporary visas, including the K-1 and K-2 where the visa holder will adjust status to permanent resident once in the United States. The I-134 Affidavit of Support requires the U.S. sponsor’s income to be 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline.
Form I-864 is the Affidavit of Support form used for all family-based immigrant applications and some employment-based immigrant applications. The I-864 is used for both domestic adjustment of status applications and consular processing (permanent resident applications filed abroad). The I-864 Affidavit of Support requires the U.S. sponsor’s income to be 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline and the most recent year’s tax return.
Affidavit of Support filing process
The USCIS Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, must be filed by the person who seeks to sponsor his family member for a visitor visa. The sponsor must file separate affidavits for each visitor he sponsors.
This form can be completed online, or the paper form also can be filed. The following instructions will help you to easily complete the USCIS Form I-134, Affidavit of Support.
Completing the Affidavit of Support
Part 1 of Form I-134 is about you, the sponsor. You need to provide your personal information including name, address, status – whether you are a US citizen or permanent resident, and social security number/alien registration number.
Part 2 is about the beneficiary or the visa applicant. In this section, you need to provide personal information about the visa applicant including their name, address, date of birth, etc., and other details like their relationship to you, their nationality, and details of spouse and/or children, if any.
Part 3 requires further information about you regarding your employment, financial details like your income, assets, real estate holding, etc., and your dependents. You also need to enter details of other affidavits and/or visa petitions you may have filed earlier if any, and details of the persons for whom you filed them.
Part 4 is for you to enter your statement (whether you completed this form yourself or had an interpreter/lawyer do it for you, your contact information, certification, and signature.
Part 5 has to be filled and signed by the interpreter if you used the services of one.
Part 6 has to be filled and signed by the preparer of the affidavit if you used the services of one to do so.
Part 7 provides additional space, if required, to provide any additional information within the affidavit.
Ensure that you have read and answered all the relevant questions correctly and signed and dated the form. This form must include some supporting documents to provide evidence of your financial ability to support the sponsored foreign resident:
- Statement from a bank officer demonstrating date the account was opened, total deposit amount in the past year, and present balance.
- Statement from employer showing date of hire, salary, and status of employment.
- If you are self-employed, copy the last tax return or report of commercial rating concern. A list of bonds held with serial numbers and denominations may be submitted as well.
How much does it cost to file Form I-134 Affidavit of Support?
There are no application processing fees for Form I-134.
[Application Assistance: $95]
Send the complete application package to the relevant USCIS office, which depends on the application that is being filed. The beneficiary can provide the address based on where they will be filing their visa application.
If the form that you file is not signed, it will not be processed by the USCIS. Likewise, incomplete forms will not be considered. To avoid the rejection of your form, check your form for accuracy and completeness before filing it with the USCIS. Make a copy for yourself before you send the form to the USCIS.