Visiting America? Your family or friend may help support your stay

By Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.

An Affidavit of Support Form I-134 is a form an individual fills out and signs to accept the financial responsibility of another individual who is coming to the United States temporarily. The individual who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the individual who comes to the United States during their trip. The purpose of the form is to show USCIS that the visa applicant has sponsorship and therefore will have the means to be in the United States.

When submitting an affidavit of support, a sponsor must show that they have enough income and/or assets to support the traveling nonimmigrant. There is no black and white rule with the amount needed as is the case with permanent resident Affidavits of Support.

What are the pieces of evidence to show sufficient income and financial ability to support an intending nonimmigrant?

  • Copies of the intending sponsor’s most recent years of tax returns filed with the IRS
  • Bank Statements
  • Employment letters
  • If there are other sources of legal income that can be listed

Applicants should recognize that the sponsor is providing proof that they will take care of and handle expenses and possibly boarding and lodging for the intending immigrant. It’s not a preventative affidavit of support, to stop an applicant from becoming a public charge, like with the Affidavit of Support for permanent residents, but an affirmative declaration that an intending non-immigrant has the means and protection to be in the United States during the pendency of their stay.

Moreover, applicants for a non-immigrant are still responsible to show and establish to the satisfaction of a consular officer and a CBP officer that they have sufficient ties and intent to return to the home country. Therefore, just because you have a non-immigrant Affidavit of Support sponsor, it does not absolve you of your responsibilities, to show nonimmigrant intent as well as other requirements for non-immigrant visas.

Please consult an experienced Immigration attorney with an understanding of consular non-immigrant visas to see if a Non-Immigrant Affidavit of Support Form I-134 would be right for you or your family.

Image courtesy of (Image Courtesy: USCIS)

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