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Complete Guide to Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support
If you are looking to invite one of your friends or relatives to visit you or take a holiday trip to the United States, you must have heard about Form I-134. So what is it? Let’s find out.
Purpose and Overview of Form I-134
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a crucial document used in the United States immigration process. Its primary purpose is to ensure that individuals who are seeking to enter the country on a temporary basis, such as through a tourist visa or student visa, have sufficient financial support during their stay. By completing this form, the sponsor agrees to financially support the applicant if they are unable to meet their own expenses while in the United States. This helps to alleviate any concerns that the applicant may become a burden on public resources and ensures that they can fully enjoy their time in America without financial strain. Additionally, Form I-134 serves as a way for sponsors to demonstrate their commitment and responsibility towards the well-being of the applicant.
Who is required to submit Form I-134?
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a crucial document required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for individuals who are sponsoring a foreign national’s visa application. This form is typically submitted by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are financially supporting the applicant and ensuring that they will not become a public charge while in the country. It serves as evidence of the sponsor’s ability to provide financial support and demonstrates their commitment to taking responsibility for the applicant during their stay in the United States. Therefore, anyone acting as a sponsor for an immigrant visa or certain nonimmigrant visas is required to submit Form I-134.
Eligibility Criteria for Sponsors
The eligibility requirements for a sponsor filling out Form I-134, the Affidavit of Support, include the following key criteria:
- Citizenship or Status: The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- Age: The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
- Domicile: The sponsor should have a domicile in the United States or a U.S. territory. This means they must either live in the U.S. or a territory or intend to return to the U.S. or a territory before the person they are sponsoring arrives.
- Income: The sponsor must demonstrate the ability to financially support the visa applicant. This usually involves showing an income level at or above 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their household size. The sponsor needs to prove their income with documents like tax returns, employment letters, and pay stubs.
- Intent to Support: The sponsor must show a clear intent to support the visitor financially during their stay. This is a commitment that the visitor will not become a public charge.
- Relationship to the Beneficiary: While there is no strict legal requirement regarding the relationship between the sponsor and the beneficiary, the nature of the relationship can be a factor in the application’s evaluation.
These requirements ensure that the sponsor is capable and legally qualified to support the visitor financially during their stay in the U.S. It’s important for the sponsor to provide accurate and truthful information on Form I-134 and to attach the necessary documentation to demonstrate their ability to fulfill the commitment.
Form I-134 Instructions
Navigating the Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, can be a complex process. This guide will provide clear instructions to help you accurately complete the form, ensuring a smooth application process for your visitor’s visa.
Before filling out Form I-134, ensure you meet all eligibility criteria as a sponsor. Gather necessary documents such as your tax returns, employment verification, and proof of U.S. citizenship or residency. Read each part of the form carefully and provide accurate, truthful information. Remember, any false statements can lead to legal consequences.
Filling Out Part 1: Sponsor Information
In Part 1, you’ll provide personal details. This includes your full name, date of birth, address, and U.S. Social Security Number (if applicable). If you’re a lawful permanent resident, include your Alien Registration Number. Ensure all information matches your legal documents to avoid discrepancies.
Filling Out Part 2: Household Size and Income Details
This section requires information about your household size and income. Include all dependents as listed on your tax returns. Your annual income should be verifiable and meet the minimum income requirement, which is 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for your household size. Attach supporting documents like recent pay stubs or a letter from your employer.
Filling Out Part 3: Contractual Obligations
Here, you’ll detail your commitment to financially support the visa applicant. This is a legal obligation, indicating that the applicant will not become a public charge during their stay in the U.S. Be aware that by signing Form I-134, you’re legally bound to this commitment.
Filling Out Parts 4, 5, 6, and 7
- Part 4: Involves your employment information. Detail your current employment status, employer name, and length of employment.
- Part 5: Addresses your financial and asset information. Include details about your savings, properties, and any additional financial resources that demonstrate your ability to support the applicant.
- Part 6: Here, you’ll provide information about the intending immigrant. Include their full name, relationship to you, and the purpose of their visit.
- Part 7: The final section is for your signature and date. Ensure you sign the form; an unsigned form will be automatically rejected.
Completing Form I-134 accurately and thoroughly is crucial for the success of your visitor’s visa application. Take your time, double-check all entries, and attach all required supporting documents. Remember, this form is a legal document, and accuracy is paramount.
Form I-134 Supporting Documents
When submitting Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, it’s crucial to include supporting documents that validate the information you’ve provided. This evidence is essential to prove the accuracy of your statements, particularly regarding income and assets.
Evidence of Identity
- What to Include: Government-issued photo ID confirming your identity and status (U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or qualified non-immigrant).
- Purpose: To establish your identity and eligibility as a sponsor.
Proof of Income
- For Employed Sponsors: Include your W-2, an employment letter, and your federal tax return.
- For Self-Employed Sponsors: Provide bank statements showing regular income deposits and 1099s. Tax returns are also helpful to show income history.
- Purpose: To demonstrate your financial ability to support the beneficiary.
Beneficiary’s Own Resources
- If Using Their Resources: Include income documents from U.S. employment and a bank statement.
- Bank Statement Details: Should show the account opening date, total deposits for the past year, and current balance.
- Purpose: To show the beneficiary’s financial capacity, if they are contributing to their support.
Customized Filing Instructions
- Additional Help: Services like CitizenPath can provide tailored filing instructions based on your specific situation, ensuring you know exactly which documents to include.
Remember, as a sponsor, it’s your responsibility to prove that you have adequate financial resources to support the beneficiary. Insufficient or missing documentation can lead to visa denial or removal of the foreign national from the United States. Therefore, thorough preparation and inclusion of all required supporting evidence are vital for a successful application process.
Submitting Proof of Financial Ability
To submit proof of financial ability for Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, a sponsor must provide documents that demonstrate they have sufficient income or assets to support the visa applicant during their stay in the United States. The goal is to ensure that the applicant will not become a public charge. Here are the key types of documents a sponsor can use:
- Federal Income Tax Returns: Most recent returns, preferably for the last one to three years. This shows the sponsor’s annual income and financial stability.
- Employment Letter: A letter from the sponsor’s employer that confirms employment status, position, salary, and the length of employment. This provides current and verified employment information.
- Pay Stubs: Recent pay stubs (usually the last three to six months) can show consistent income. This is particularly important if the sponsor’s income has changed since the last tax filing.
- Bank Statements: Bank statements showing the sponsor’s financial health and stability. This could include savings, checking accounts, or any other financial assets. The statements should ideally reflect several months of financial activity.
- W-2 Forms or 1099 Forms: These forms from the past years provide additional evidence of income, especially for sponsors who are employed or self-employed.
- Proof of Assets: If the sponsor is using assets to meet the income requirements, they should provide documentation of these assets. This could include real estate properties, stocks, bonds, or other valuable assets.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-134): The completed and signed Form I-134 itself is crucial. It legally affirms the sponsor’s commitment to financially support the visa applicant.
All documents should be current and accurately reflect the sponsor’s financial situation. It’s important to provide as much detailed and verifiable financial information as possible to avoid delays or denials in the visa application process.
Where to File Form I-134?
A properly signed and completed Form I-134 should be sent to the foreign visitor it is intended for. The visitor then submits the form to their U.S. consulate along with a visa request. Note that a form with a digital signature or a faxed/emailed form has a higher chance of getting rejected.
How to Submit Form I-134 Online
To submit Form I-134 online, you will need to follow a simple step-by-step process:
- First, visit the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and create an account if you don’t already have one.
- Once logged in, navigate to the “Forms” section and locate Form I-134.
- Fill out the form electronically by providing all the required information accurately.
- After completing the form, review it thoroughly to ensure there are no errors or omissions.
- Next, attach any supporting documents as specified in the instructions, such as financial statements or employment verification letters.
- Finally, submit the form electronically by clicking on the “Submit” button.
How Much Does Form I-134 Cost?
Filing and submitting Form I-134 has no cost attached to it.
Form I-134 Processing Time
Once the completed form is submitted, the USCIS goes over the form with respect to all the details provided. If the details are not complete, the USCIS rejects the form. At times, if required, additional information is requested in support of the affidavit. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days for the form to get processed.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Form I-134
Below, you will find some common questions about Form I-134 and their answers.
What is Form I-134 used for?
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a crucial document used in the United States immigration process. This form is specifically designed to ensure that individuals who are seeking to enter the country temporarily have sufficient financial support during their stay. By completing Form I-134, sponsors demonstrate their commitment to financially supporting the applicant and preventing them from becoming a public charge. The form requires sponsors to provide detailed information about their income, assets, and liabilities to prove their ability to support the applicant. This document plays a vital role in determining an individual’s eligibility for various nonimmigrant visas, such as tourist visas or student visas.
Who needs to fill out Form I-134?
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a document required by the USCIS for individuals who are sponsoring a foreign national’s visa application. This form is typically filled out by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who are financially supporting the applicant during their stay in the United States. It serves as a legal commitment to provide financial support and ensures that the sponsored individual will not become a public charge. Therefore, anyone who wishes to sponsor a foreign national’s visa application should fill out Form I-134 to demonstrate their ability to financially support the applicant.
What are the requirements for Form I-134?
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a crucial document in the United States immigration process. To successfully complete this form, there are several requirements that must be met. Firstly, the sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident who is at least 18 years old. Additionally, they must have a stable and sufficient income to support the intending immigrant. The minimum income requirement varies depending on the sponsor’s household size and location. Furthermore, the sponsor must provide evidence of their financial ability, such as tax returns, bank statements, and employment verification.
How do I complete and submit Form I-134?
To complete and submit Form I-134, follow these simple steps. Firstly, gather all the necessary information and documents, such as your personal details, financial information, and supporting documents. Next, carefully fill out all the required fields on the form, ensuring accuracy and completeness. It is important to double-check all the information before proceeding. Once you have completed the form, make sure to sign it using a black ink pen. Afterward, you can submit the form by mail or electronically through the USCIS website. If submitting by mail, it is recommended to use a trackable mailing service for added security. Remember to keep a copy of the completed form for your records.
Can a sponsor be held financially responsible through Form I-134?
Absolutely! Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is a legally binding document that holds sponsors financially responsible for the sponsored individual. By signing this form, sponsors commit to providing financial support and ensuring that the sponsored individual will not become a public charge. In the event that the sponsored individual requires financial assistance, the government can hold the sponsor accountable for any expenses incurred. This ensures that sponsors are fully committed to supporting their sponsored individuals throughout their stay in the United States.
Is there a fee associated with filing Form I-134?
Yes, there is a fee associated with filing Form I-134. The fee amount varies depending on certain factors such as the applicant’s immigration status and the purpose of the form. Generally, the fee ranges from $0 to $535. It is important to note that this fee is subject to change and it is recommended to check the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the most up-to-date information regarding fees.
Are there specific income requirements for Form I-134?
Yes, there are specific income requirements for Form I-134. The USCIS has set a minimum income threshold that the sponsor must meet in order to be eligible to submit the form. As of 2023, the minimum income requirement is determined based on the federal poverty guidelines and varies depending on the number of people in the sponsor’s household. For example, if the sponsor is the only person in their household, they must have an income that is at least 125% of the federal poverty level for a single individual. However, if there are additional dependents in the sponsor’s household, the income requirement increases accordingly.
Can Form I-134 be used for different types of visas?
Yes, Form I-134 can be used for different types of visas. While it is primarily associated with the nonimmigrant visa application process, it can also be utilized for immigrant visa applications in certain circumstances. The form serves as an affidavit of support, demonstrating that the applicant has a financial sponsor who will provide financial assistance during their stay in the United States. This ensures that the applicant will not become a public charge and can cover their expenses while in the country. Therefore, regardless of the type of visa being applied for, if a financial sponsor is required, Form I-134 can be used to fulfill this requirement.
What documents should be included with Form I-134?
When submitting Form I-134, it is important to include several key documents to ensure a successful application process. Firstly, a photocopy of the petitioner’s most recent federal income tax return should be included, along with any relevant W-2 forms or 1099 statements. Additionally, providing proof of employment such as pay stubs or an employment verification letter can strengthen the application. It is also advisable to include bank statements or other financial records that demonstrate the petitioner’s ability to financially support the beneficiary. Lastly, including a copy of the petitioner’s valid government-issued identification and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency status will further validate the application.
Where can I find a sample or template of Form I-134?
Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, is an important document used in the United States immigration process. While there are various online resources available to find a sample or template of Form I-134, it is highly recommended to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date version directly from the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. USCIS regularly updates their forms to ensure compliance with current immigration laws and regulations. By accessing the form directly from the USCIS website, you can be confident that you are using the most reliable and legally accepted version of Form I-134.