What Form I-134 is used for?
Form I-134, officially known as the “Affidavit of Support,” is a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form that is used to provide evidence of financial support for certain types of visa applicants. The primary purpose of Form I-134 is to demonstrate that a sponsor (a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) has sufficient financial means to support an intending immigrant or nonimmigrant visa applicant during their stay in the United States.
Here are some key points about Form I-134 and its purpose:
- Financial Support Assurance: Form I-134 is often required for nonimmigrant visa categories such as tourist visas (B-2), student visas (F-1), exchange visitor visas (J-1), and certain employment-based visas (such as H-1B or O-1). It serves as a legally binding document that shows the sponsor’s commitment to financially support the visa applicant if they encounter financial difficulties while in the U.S.
- Demonstrating Financial Capacity: By submitting Form I-134, the sponsor provides information about their income, assets, and other financial resources. This information helps immigration authorities assess whether the sponsor has the means to cover the applicant’s potential costs, including living expenses, medical expenses, and other related expenditures.
- Assurance of Non-Public Charge: One of the reasons for requiring Form I-134 is to ensure that the visa applicant will not become a public charge, meaning they will not rely on government assistance programs for their financial support during their stay in the U.S.
- Legal Responsibility: When a sponsor signs Form I-134, they are legally obligated to fulfill the financial commitments outlined in the form. This obligation continues until the sponsored individual becomes a U.S. citizen, leaves the country, or becomes exempt from needing a sponsor’s support.
- Affidavit of Support for Immigrant Visas: It’s important to note that Form I-134 is not used for all immigrant visa applications. For immigrant visas (such as family-sponsored or employment-based green card applications), a different form known as Form I-864, “Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA,” is typically required. Form I-864 has more stringent requirements and involves a longer commitment to financially support the sponsored immigrant.
Overall, Form I-134 plays a crucial role in ensuring that visa applicants have the necessary financial support while in the U.S. and that they won’t burden public resources. However, the specific requirements and guidelines can vary depending on the type of visa being applied for and the immigration policies in place at the time of application.
Which nonimmigrant visa applicants must submit Form I-134?
Form I-134, the Affidavit of Support, is typically required for nonimmigrant visa applicants who are seeking temporary entry to the United States and need to demonstrate sufficient financial support during their stay. However, the requirement to submit Form I-134 varies based on the specific visa category and the policies in place at the time of application. Here are some common nonimmigrant visa categories that may require Form I-134:
- Visitor Visas (B-2): Tourist and visitor visa applicants (B-2) who are visiting the U.S. for tourism, medical treatment, or visiting family and friends may be asked to provide Form I-134 to demonstrate that they have financial support for their trip.
- Student Visas (F-1) and Exchange Visitor Visas (J-1): Applicants for student visas (F-1) and exchange visitor visas (J-1) may need to submit Form I-134 to show that they have sufficient financial resources to cover their tuition, living expenses, and other educational costs while studying in the U.S.
- Fiancé(e) Visas (K-1): Applicants for K-1 visas, which are for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens, may be required to provide Form I-134 to demonstrate financial support until the marriage takes place and the foreign fiancé(e) can adjust their status to permanent resident.
- Certain Employment-Based Visas: In some cases, applicants for specific employment-based visas (such as H-1B or O-1) might be asked to submit Form I-134 to show that they have sufficient financial support to cover their living expenses and other costs while working in the U.S.
It’s important to note that the requirement to submit Form I-134 can vary based on the U.S. embassy or consulate processing the visa application and the specific circumstances of the applicant. Additionally, some visa categories may have specific income or financial requirements that sponsors must meet to be eligible to provide support through Form I-134.
Always refer to the official website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa application will be processed to get the most up-to-date and accurate information about visa requirements, including the submission of Form I-134.
How to fill out Form I-134?
Filling out Form I-134, the Affidavit of Support, involves providing detailed information about yourself as the sponsor and demonstrating your financial ability to support the visa applicant. Below are the general steps and guidelines for filling out the form. Keep in mind that specific instructions and requirements can change, so it’s essential to refer to the latest version of the form and the USCIS website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Step 1: Obtain the Form You can download Form I-134 from the USCIS website or obtain a physical copy from the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa applicant will apply.
Step 2: Provide Sponsor Information Fill in the sponsor’s personal information, including name, address, contact details, and date of birth.
Step 3: Provide Visa Applicant Information Enter the name of the visa applicant for whom you are providing financial support. Include their relationship to you (e.g., friend, relative, etc.).
Step 4: Choose the Type of Visa Applicant Indicate the type of visa the applicant is applying for (e.g., tourist, student, fiancé(e), etc.).
Step 5: Complete Financial Information This is the most critical section of the form, where you demonstrate your financial ability to support the visa applicant. You’ll need to provide details about your income, assets, and other financial resources. This can include:
- Annual income from all sources, including your job, investments, and other income streams.
- Assets such as real estate, bank accounts, and stocks.
- Liabilities or debts that you owe.
You may also need to include supporting documents such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and proof of assets. The USCIS will use this information to determine if you have the means to financially support the visa applicant.
Step 6: Sign and Date Sign and date the form to certify the accuracy of the information you’ve provided.
Step 7: Include Supporting Documentation Gather any required supporting documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements, as well as any documentation that proves your relationship with the visa applicant.
Step 8: Submit the Form Submit the completed Form I-134 and any supporting documents as instructed by the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa application will be processed.
Remember that the specific requirements for filling out Form I-134 can vary based on the type of visa, the U.S. embassy’s instructions, and any changes in immigration policies. It’s advisable to carefully review the instructions provided with the form and on the USCIS website before completing and submitting it. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the form or the requirements, you may want to consult with an immigration attorney or legal expert for guidance.