Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support
Form I-134 Explained
What is Form I-134?
Financial sponsors for certain non-citizen visitors use Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, to remove the public charge grounds for inadmissibility. The declaration is a way for non-immigrant visitors (visa holders and parolees) to the United States to prove that they have the financial support to pay their way during a trip. Prior to April 2022, this form was known as “I-134 Affidavit of Support.” The U.S. government wants reassurance from foreign travelers that they will not become dependent on financial support from the U.S. government during the course of the visit. Support from a U.S. resident is a way of providing this reassurance that the non-immigrant visitor will not be a public charge (depend on the government for financial support).
Supporters are generally U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or lawful permanent residents. In some cases, supports may be non-immigrants who are residing and employed inside the United States. In some case, the non-immigrant beneficiary may even file on their own behalf.
Determining household size and household income for your place of domain can be difficult. When preparing the Declaration of Financial Support on CitizenPath.com, our step-by-step online service empowers you make these determinations correctly. See how CitizenPath helps you >>
The Need for a Declaration of Financial Support
When is Form I-134 required?
Before the U.S. government grants a visa or humanitarian parole, visitors must demonstrate to consular officer that they are not likely to become a public charge. In other words, the visa applicant must prove that he or she has enough money to pay for their expenses during the course of the trip. Expenses may reasonably include transportation, food, lodging, and even potential medical treatment.
Some non-immigrant visitors have plenty of assets (like real estate, personal property, cash accounts, etc.) and can more easily document their ability to pay for all expenses during a trip to the U.S. For others, this may be difficult to prove. Visitors without many financial resources may run into a problem. It might include young people, low-income travelers and others. These individuals may use Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, as a way to overcome the problem.
Some of the most common uses of Form I-134 include but are not limited to:
- B-2 visa visitors
- K-1 fiancé visa holders
- Humanitarian parole applicants
It also may be necessary to submit Form I-134 for a B, F, or M non-immigrant requesting extension of stay or change of status. This form may also be requested by the U.S. Department of State in certain instances.
Qualified I-134 Supporters
Who can file Form I-134?
To support a non-immigrant visa holder or parolee, the supporter files a Declaration of Financial Support. Generally, the supporter must have income that is at least 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
In order to be a qualified I-134 supporter, the person must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, permanent resident (or certain non-immigrants);
- Have income that meets or exceeds 100% of the federal poverty guidelines; and
- Be willing to support the non-immigrant should they be unable to pay expenses during the stay in the U.S.
By signing Form I-134, a supporter is not agreeing to pay all of the visitor’s expenses. In fact, the foreign national visitor may plan to cover all of their own expenses during the course of the trip. The declaration is simply a reassurance to the U.S. government that the supporter will step in should the foreign national ever be unable to pay their own expenses during their stay in the U.S.
Most immigration attorneys consider Form I-134 to be unenforceable. In practice, it’s virtually impossible for a foreign national to receive public assistance. What’s more, the government does not have the resources to track down and enforce the guarantees.
Individuals supporting a beneficiary with a K visa should demonstrate a higher income if possible. That's because the beneficiary will also need to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, at the time of applying for the green card. I-864 sponsors generally need to have income that's at 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. However, it is possible for a joint sponsor to help out.
Form I-134 Instructions
How do I fill out I-134?
CitizenPath's easy-to-use website helps you prepare the declaration quickly and accurately. Our online service provides step-by-step I-134 instructions so that you can fill out the form in the same day. We even give you a money-back guarantee that USCIS will approve your declaration.
If you prefer to fill out the Form I-134 PDF, you can download instructions from USCIS or follow this summary of directions.
- Type or print answers in black ink only.
- Enter “N/A” if an answer is not applicable and "NONE" if your answer is zero.
- Foreign language documents must be accompanied by a full English certified translation.
- Submit photocopies for all supporting documents unless an original document is specifically required.
- You do not need to notarize Form I-134. However, the form must have the beneficiary's or supporter's actual signature in black ink. Do not use a digital signature. You may scan the original signed document.
- For Basis for Filing, indicate your specific role. Generally, an individual who agrees to provide financial support to the beneficiary acts as the supporter. In some rare cases, the beneficiary may file a declaration on behalf of themself.
- For Information about the Beneficiary, provide all requested details regarding the non-immigrant beneficiary who needs the I-134 declaration. Take care to ensure information matches details provided by the beneficiary in other documents such as the visa application.
- For Beneficiary's Anticipated Length of Stay, supply the dates that the beneficiary expects to be in the United States. You'll need to be familiar with the specific visa type. For example, B-2 visas are valid for a maximum stay of 6 months, and a K-1 visa is valid for 90 days.
- For Beneficiary's Financial Information, provide information regarding the beneficiary's income and assets. While this is less important for beneficiaries who will have another individual as the supporter, it is critical for beneficiaries that want to file on their own behalf.
- For Information about the Individual Agreeing to Financially Support the Beneficiary, provide all requested details regarding the U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident who will be the I-134 supporter.
- For Immigration Status, indicate your citizenship status or other qualified supporter status.
- For Employment Information, provide information regarding the supporter's employment status or other if retired.
- For Financial Information, provide information regarding the supporter's income and assets. Ensure that these financial resources meet or exceed the federal poverty guidelines for the household size. The household size will include the supporter, the supporter's dependents, and the beneficiary.
- For Financial Responsibility for Other Beneficiaries, the supporter should disclose any other I-134 beneficiaries whom they have supported. Any beneficiaries who have not yet departed the U.S. will likely affect USCIS's determination.
- For Intent to Provide Specific Contributions to the Beneficiary, indicate if you intend to provide support (cash or non-cash) for the beneficiary during the trip. This may include room and board, cash, or other support.
Parts 4, 5, 6, and 7
- For Beneficiary's Statement, complete this section only if you are the beneficiary and selected "Myself as the beneficiary" in Part 1 of Form I-134. Provide reliable contact information and sign your declaration with black ink.
- For Statement of Individual Agreeing to Financially Support the Beneficiary, complete this section only if you are the supporter and selected "Another individual who is the beneficiary" in Part 1 of Form I-134. Provide reliable contact information and sign your declaration with black ink.
- For Interpreter and Preparer, provide information if applicable. If you prepared your Form I-134, it’s only necessary to sign as the beneficiary or supporter. If another person translated or prepared the declaration for you, be sure Parts 6 and 7 are filled in and signed appropriately.
This is an abbreviated list of Form I-134 instructions. We highly recommend that you download USCIS instructions or use CitizenPath’s service to prepare the declaration. CitizenPath provides specific, step-by-step instructions customized to your situation. You’ll also get detailed I-134 instructions that explain which supporting documents to submit, how to organize, and where to submit.
Form I-134 Supporting Documents
What do I have to send with the form?
When filing an I-134 declaration, you must include supporting documents that corroborate the facts stated on the form. In other words, you need to submit evidence that helps prove your statements are true. Of course, the income and/or assets stated on Form I-134 are some of the most important information to support with documentation.
Generally, you'll need to include the following supporting documents with the I-134 form:
- Evidence of Identity
This includes a government-issued photo identification that evidences your your identity, including status as a U.S. citizen, national, permanent resident, or other qualified non-immigrant.
- Proof of Income
Supporters who are employed with a company or organization can submit a W-2, employment letter, and a federal tax return to meet this requirement. However, individuals that don’t have W-2 employment can have a more difficult time. Self-employed supporters will need to provide copies of bank statements to show regular deposits that match the stated income and copies of 1099s. Again, tax returns can help establish a history.
- Beneficiary's Own Resources
If the beneficiary will be using their own resources to qualify, income documents from U.S. employment (as described above) may be used. Additionally, they may submit a statement from an officer of the bank or other financial institution with deposits that describes the date account opened; total amount deposited for the past year; and present balance.
Would you like a list of specific documents to submit with your form? When you prepare your declaration with CitizenPath, we'll create customized filing instructions for your situation (based on your answers the I-134). You'll know exactly which items to submit and how to do it. See how >>
As the beneficiary or the person who agrees to financially support the beneficiary, you must show you have sufficient income or financial resources to support the beneficiary. Failure to provide adequate supporting documentation with Form I-134 may result in the denial of the foreign national’s application for a visa or his or her removal from the United States.
Filing the Declaration of Financial Support
Can I file Form I-134 online?
At this time, you can only file Form I-134 online if you are in the United States and are agreeing to financially support:
- Ukrainian or their immediate family member as part of Uniting for Ukraine; or
- Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan or their immediate family member as part of the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans.
All other I-134 supporters should forward the original signed form to the non-immigrant beneficiary. The beneficiary should include it with their non-immigrant visa application or take it to the U.S. consulate where they will apply for a visa or humanitarian parole.
The entire Declaration of Financial Support package (Form I-134 and all supporting documents) must be submitted in one package. The beneficiary's case may be significantly delayed if he/she doesn’t submit all of the documents at the same time.
How CitizenPath Helps You
Is there an inexpensive way to file the I-134 declaration?
CitizenPath's affordable, online service makes it easy to prepare Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support. Designed by immigration lawyers, the Declaration of Financial Support Package helps you eliminate the common errors that create delays, rejections and even denials. That's because the service alerts you when your answer to a question may be a problem. You'll also get customized filing instructions based on your situation. It's a powerful, do-it-yourself tool that puts you in control. And we've got your back -- CitizenPath provides live customer support and provides a money-back guarantee that the supporter will qualify. Get started >>
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