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Questions about I-134 Form

A Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support) is a legal document that is used to prove that visa applicants are being sponsored by U.S. citizens and will not become public charges while residing in the United States. Every sponsor needs to file a separate affidavit for each applicant that is being sponsored. Listed below are a few questions answered by Immigration Lawyers on Form I-134.

I am filling out a Form I-134 to become the sole sponsor for an incoming immigrant who is a friend married to a U.S. citizen. The USC has no income. The Form asks if I “intend” to make contributions to the immigrant. I don’t plan on doing this but would I be obliged to do so as a sole sponsor?

I don’t advise this as the immigrant would need you to file a Form I-864 for him eventually. This would mean that, as a joint sponsor, you would be responsible to pay the government for any means tested benefit like welfare, food stamps and so on that the immigrant uses. Your obligation would only end if one of the three things happens:
  1. 1. The immigrant works a full ten years in the U.S. and pays U.S. taxes
  2. 2. The immigrant gets citizenship
  3. 3. The immigrant loses his Residency for:
         a. Being outside the country for too long
         b. Obtaining it through fraud
         c. Committing a serious crime.
Also, getting a divorce does not terminate the sponsor’s obligation either. So while filing Form I-134 may not be a big deal for you, filing Form I-864 could get you into a lot of trouble.

In Form I-134, under question 7, I need to fill in the "cash surrender" amount under the life insurance policy. How is that different from "I have a life insurance in the sum of..."?

The figure that you need to fill in is the amount that you will get back from the insurance company if you terminate the policy before it matures or you die. Re-visit your policy by reading through its terms or call your life insurance company to find out this information.

I am filling in Form I-134 to sponsor my girlfriend. Some sites recommend that I submit a letter of invitation to her along with a letter of intent to the embassy, in addition to last year's tax return. Will it suffice to send a salary letter from my employer along with my bank statements instead?

This is hard to say. The tax transcript or tax return would probably prove to be the best evidence that you can include for this purpose. Having said that, some officers accept bank account details, employer letters and so on as sufficient proof. The best thing to do is to include a copy of the most recent tax return plus a few recent W-2s from employment, along with an employment letter to serve as good supporting evidence.

Can my Dad sponsor my fiancee with a Form I-134? We will both be living in a house owned by him and won’t be working.

Yes. Your Dad can become a joint sponsor but you would still need to file a Form I-134, irrespective of whether you are working, to say that you will also be responsible for her.

As a sponsor, when you file Form I-134, you need to make sure that you show adequate financial or income resources as proof that the person that you are sponsoring will not become a public charge. To this end, failure to show the relevant documents may result in denial of the visa application. Finally, read through the Form I-134 carefully before you fill it in and sign it.
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