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I-134 Affidavit For Support Explained | Tips For Sponsors of Foreign Visitors

Article written by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
July 28, 2020

In this article, we give an overview of form I-134, Affidavit for Support of a Foreign Visitor, and discuss some tips for the sponsor who will be signing the form. We’ll answer the following questions:

  • Who can sign form I-134 and what level of responsibility are they assuming?
  • Should visa applicants have an I-134 form?
  • What information is needed for each part of the I-134 form?
  • What extra information or documents should be included with the I-134 form?

Who Can Sign Form I-134 and What Level of Responsibility are They Assuming?

The individual signing for I-134 must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residence of the United States. In some instances, the signers may be required to show proof that their income covers the size of the family listed in the Federal Poverty Guidelines and that their income will be at least 125% of the listed amount when sponsoring someone for permanent residence.

The point of form I-134 is for the signer to acknowledge, and for the individual being sponsored, to show that money will be available for the foreign visitor should it be needed and that the foreign visitor should not need to apply for any government assistance programs.

The US consulate can ask the signer to post a bond as a sort of guarantee that the visitor will not outstay his or her time in the country. Essentially, the bond acts like a security deposit which will not be returned in the event of an issue with the visitor. Furthermore, if the individual being sponsored applies for and is rewarded with government assistance the signer can be sued for reimbursement by the government. However, this rarely happens and the suit doesn’t really hold up in court.

Should Visa Applicants Have an I-134 Form?

Depending on the type of visa applicant, there exists special considerations when an I-134 may be required. Below are a few examples:

  • Visitor Visa Applicants: One of the most common obstacles visitor visa applicants face is proving they do not intend to remain in the US permanently. If the applicant can show they have enough money to cover their proposed stay then form I-134 shouldn’t be necessary. However, if the individual cannot prove on their own they have enough money to cover the entirety of their stay, then having a friend, family member, or another person in the US who can legally fill out and sign an I-134 on their behalf can help their case.
  • Fiance Visa Applicants: Some consulates will require the US citizen petitioner to include an I-134 form with their fiance visa application. Typically, some form of financial evidence showing the fiance won’t need government assistance during the 90-day fiance visa is required at all consulates. Form I-134 can be a simpler option than the longer and more complex I-864 form. No matter what, the consulates understand that the US citizen petitioner will need to show they have 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline amount.
  • Diversity Visa Applicants: When applying for a US green card the applicant will need to show they are not inadmissible on any grounds, including criminal, negative health, etc. This includes the possibility of becoming dependent on needs-based government assistance. Having a friend, family member, etc complete and sign an I-134 form can help prove that you will not be a financial burden to the US.

What Information is Needed For Each Part of the I-134 form?

Part 1: Information About You (The sponsor signing the form). This section should be pretty straight forward. Just fill in the name, address, and any other identifying information for the US citizen or permanent resident.

Part 2: Information About the Beneficiary. This section is all about the visiting immigrant and should also be straightforward. Even if the immigrant is a fiance, still enter “single” in the marital status. Be as truthful as possible with all the information entered. The sponsor does not have to be a family, friend, or fiance.

Part 3: Other Information About the Sponsor. In this section, the sponsor will enter their place of employment or source of income. This part is crucial in order to provide proof of the ability to financially support the visiting individual. The sponsor may also need to list his or her larger assets, such as home value, automobile, jewelry, appliances, etc. However, if the sponsor’s income is high enough to cover the costs of the visiting immigrant then listing the assets becomes a moot point. Do not exaggerate in this section, especially for a fiance visa, as the sponsor will have to list his or her assets later on for the green card application.

Part 4: Review, Signature, and Inclusion of Interpreter or Attorney Information.

What Extra Information Or Documents Should Be Included With the I-134 Form?

Information attached should help to prove the sponsor’s income and/or assets, including:

  • A letter from the sponsor’s bank showing when the account was opened, how much has been deposited over the last year, and the current balance;
  • A letter from the sponsor’s employer listing his or her position, salary, and permanency of the job;
  • Last income tax return or report of commercial rating concern;
  • Any document that shows the immigration status of the person signing the form.

If you have questions about form I-134 or questions about immigration in general, don’t hesitate to call us at 630-324-6666.

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