If you are a foreign national who would like to travel to the United States, you may need an affidavit of support, which you can get by filing Form I-134. This form is submitted on your behalf to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a sponsor who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), also known as a green card holder. By filing an immigration affidavit of support, your sponsor is telling the U.S. government that they can and will support you if you are in financial strife during your time in the United States.
As you fill out forms for your visa to come to the United States, you will need to let USCIS know that you have enough funds for your stay. If you do not have the financial means of supporting yourself, USCIS may see you as a risk because you may become a public charge. A public charge is someone who has the potential of becoming reliant on the U.S. government for financial aid. If this is seen as a credible concern, your application may be denied, particularly if USCIS believes that you will turn to the U.S. government for financial help.
An affidavit of support is a document that is sent in by a U.S. citizen or LPR sponsor who is willing and able to financially support you while you are in the United States. When your income alone is not enough to support you in your temporary visa stay, someone else can financially support you.
Form I-134 is specifically for visitors coming to the United States. As a visitor, you are coming to the United States only for a certain, temporary period of time under your particular visa. Many times, Form I-134 is for those in the U.S. on a fiancé visa. Other individuals who may need Form I-134 are those coming to the United States as a tourist or on a visitor visa.
The I-134 affidavit of support is an eight-page document that is filled out by your U.S. sponsor. Your U.S. sponsor must fill out the required information to prove that they will be able to financially support you if need be.
If you need financial support, you may use the help of a U.S. sponsor, who will then file Form I-134 on your behalf. The affidavit of support is a legal contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government that states the sponsor is financially responsible for the person coming to the U.S. on a visitor visa (which includes the K1 and K2 visa).
The person who is petitioning on behalf of the immigrant visitor fills out Form I-134. In order to fill out an affidavit of support as a sponsor, you must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder. The sponsor needs to show that their income is at least 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. Guidelines depend on the geographical state where the sponsor lives in the U.S. and the size of the sponsor’s household.
As the petitioner, you need to prove that you meet the requirements of the HHS poverty guidelines for affidavit of support and show you are willing and able to provide financial coverage as a sponsor. To do this, the following documents should be submitted along with your Form I-134:
Entering a contract with the government stating you are responsible for a visitor’s financial wellbeing is no small task. The U.S. government does not make this promise lightly. Make sure all information is correct, you provide the necessary documentation, and that Form I-134 is filled out fully, signature included. It may be beneficial to work with an immigration attorney when filling out your affidavit of support form. It may also be helpful to write an affidavit of support letter for immigration, stating the relationship you have with the immigrant visitor.
Form I-134 is very similar to Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The main difference is that Form I-864 is for green card applicants whereas Form I-134 is specifically for those on temporary visas, including K1 and K2 applicants.
The location for submission depends on whether the beneficiary is already in the United States or is abroad.
Filing Form I-134 is a free process. No filing fee is required.
Form I-134 is the shorter version of Form I-864. If you are coming to the United States on a fiancé visa, Form I-864 will definitely need to be filed during your adjustment of status process, regardless of whether you’ve also filed Form I-134. Both processes can become complicated. Taking the time to understand what it means to be both a sponsor and beneficiary is important. An affidavit of support is a legal promise and can significantly support a visa applicant hoping to visit the United States.
The experienced immigration and naturalization attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. have over 70 years of combined experience helping people on their path to the United States. Your immigration is contingent on finances; we can help you with your Form I-134. Filing an affidavit of support can be a big task that ultimately determines the approval of a foreign national. We are here to walk you through the Form I-134 process. Contact us today at 312.444.1940 or by filling out our online contact form.