Form I-134 Application

Form I-134 application, also called the Declaration of Financial Support, is a paper that people in the U.S. fill out. These people are either citizens of the U.S. or have a green card, which means they can live in the U.S. permanently. When they fill out this form, they promise to help financially support someone from another country who is visiting the U.S.

This form is like a legal agreement between the person in the U.S. and the U.S. government. It’s important to know that when you sign this form, you have to use your full name. If you don’t tell the truth while signing it, you can get in trouble with the law.

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Form I-134 Application

Form I-134 from Thailand

What is the difference between I-134 and I-864?


Form I-134 and Form I-864 are both Affidavits of Support, but they serve different purposes:

Likewise Form I-134 is used for temporary visa applications, like travel or K-1 fiancé visas. It’s a promise made by a U.S. citizen or resident to financially support someone applying for a temporary visa, demonstrating they have financial backing during their visit to the United States. This form is necessary for various nonimmigrant visas, including K-1 and K-3 visas, and can also be used by F-1 or B-1/B-2 visa applicants who need financial support from U.S. sources.

Form I-864, on the other hand, is required for most family-based immigrants and sometimes for employment-based immigrants. It serves as a promise to financially support someone applying for a green card, allowing them to live in the United States permanently. This form is typically needed when filing a visa application for a spouse.

The key distinction between these forms lies in their association with different visa applications. Likewise Form I-864 is linked to immigrant spouse visa applications, whereas Form I-134 is connected to non-immigrant dual intent fiancée visa applications, commonly known as K1 visa applications.


Form I-134 Application Form

Form I-134, also called the Declaration of Financial Support, is a paper you fill out when you’re helping someone from another country come to the U.S. It asks for a lot of details about you and the person you’re helping. This is the main part of the Form I-134 application.


In Part 1, you say if you’re filling the form for yourself or someone else.

Part 2 is about the person coming to the U.S. It asks for their name, birthday, where they live, and how much money they have. It also checks if their money comes from legal sources.

Part 3 is about you, the person helping. It asks for your name, where you live, your job, and how much money you have.

Likewise, Part 4 is where the person coming to the U.S. signs, confirming the information is correct.

Part 5 is where you, the helper, sign, and say you understand and agree to support the person coming to the U.S.

Part 6 is for an interpreter if needed, and Part 7 is for someone else who might have helped fill out the form.

Lastly, Part 8 is extra space if you need to add more information. It’s important to be honest and accurate when filling out this form, as mistakes can cause problems for the person trying to come to the U.S.


Who can be a sponsor for Form I-134?

If someone wants to help a family member or a friend who is not from the United States. They can fill out a form called I-134, which is like a promise to support them. This person, who needs to be at least 18 years old, can be a U.S. citizen or a Green Card Holder.

To be eligible, this helper needs to have enough money to cover their own family’s needs. They should earn at least as much as a certain amount set by the government. This depends on how many people are in their family. Sometimes, they might need to earn even more, especially if they’re trying to bring someone to the U.S. permanently.

It’s important to remember that if someone agrees to be a helper, they must be ready to give financial help to the person they are supporting if it’s necessary.


I-134 Processing Time

So you want to know how long does it take for I-134 to be approved? The time it takes to process Form I-134 or the Affidavit of Support, can differ. But if you provide all the needed details and fill out the form correctly, it might take around 1-2 hours to process. It’s important to remember that this is just an estimate, and the actual time can be different. For the most precise information, it’s a good idea to visit the official USCIS website.


I-134 Income Requirements

Form I-134, also known as the Affidavit of Support, cannot be sponsored by a non-U.S. citizen. Only a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (Green Card Holder) who is at least 18 years old can act as a sponsor. To be eligible, the sponsor needs to demonstrate that their income meets at least 100% of the income required under the Federal Poverty Guidelines for their family size. In certain situations, the sponsor might have to provide evidence that their income is at least 125% of the specified amount based on family size in the Federal Poverty Guidelines, especially when sponsoring an immigrant visa.


Difference between I-134 and I-864

This explains the difference between the two documents.

  1. Form I-134:
    • Primarily utilized to endorse nonimmigrant visa applications, Form I-134 aims to assure that the sponsored foreign national will not impose a financial burden on the U.S.
    • Mandatory for K-1 and K-3 nonimmigrant visa applications, this form must be submitted by the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) or spouse.
    • Additionally, F-1 or B-1/B-2 visa applicants may employ Form I-134 to demonstrate external financial support within the U.S.
    • Its purpose, therefore, extends to diverse visa categories requiring proof of financial backing.
  2. Form I-864:
    • A requisite component in the immigrant visa application process, either through a U.S. consulate or adjustment of status (See: Form I-485) with the USCIS, Form I-864 underscores the financial backing for the intending immigrant, ensuring they won’t become a public charge post-immigration.
    • Unlike Form I-134, which pertains to nonimmigrant visas, Form I-864 is essential for various family-based and, in certain instances, employment-based immigrants.
    • The petitioner/sponsor is mandated to submit Form I-864 to affirm financial responsibility for the immigrant, adding a layer of assurance against potential public charge concerns.

In summary, Form I-134 is generally applied in nonimmigrant visa contexts, while Form I-864 takes precedence in immigrant visa scenarios.


Federal Poverty Guidelines

The Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2023 are based on the poverty levels which is set for each State. There is also the issue of how many people live in the household. The more people live in the household the higher the financial requirements will be. Below you can see how this changes with each additional person in the household.

In the 48 Contiguous States

The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:

If there are two people in a household, the amount of money they need for basic living expenses is either $19,720 (if one of them is in the US military) or $24,650 (if not in the military), and that second number is 125% of the first one.

For a three-person household, it’s $24,860 (military) or $31,075 (non-military), again with the second number being 125% of the first.

In a four-person household, the amounts are $30,000 (military) or $37,500 (non-military), and the non-military one is 125% of the military one.

If there’s an additional person, you add $5,140 (military) or $6,425 (non-military) to the total for that household size.

So, in simpler terms, these are like guidelines for how much money different-sized families might need to cover their basic living costs, and it depends on whether someone in the family is in the military or not.

In Alaska 

The amount of money your family can earn and still get certain benefits depends on how many people are in your household. If there are two people, the limit is $24,640 (100% – Active US Military) or $30,800 (125%). For three people, it’s $31,070 (100% – Active US Military) or $38,838 (125%). If there are four people, the limit is $37,500 (100% – Active US Military) or $46,875 (125%). Likewise if your family has more people, you add $6,430 (100% – Active US Military) or $8,038 (125%) for each extra person.

Now, in Hawaii

It’s a bit different. For a two-person family, the limit is $22,680 (100% – Active US Military) or $28,350 (125%). For three people, it’s $28,590 (100% – Active US Military) or $35,738 (125%). If there are four people, the limit is $34,500 (100% – Active US Military) or $43,125 (125%). Just like in Alaska, you add $5,910 (100% – Active US Military) or $7,387 (125%) for each extra person

These guidelines are used to assess financial eligibility for specific federal programs. It’s essential to note that some states utilize the Federal Benefit Rate to determine income eligibility for Medicaid. Active U.S. soldiers only need to meet 100% of the poverty line for their respective states. See also the K1 visa income requirements as well. Likewise see also the main article on US visa from Thailand.


When this form is required

In certain situations, when someone from another country wants to visit or live in the United States. They need to show that they won’t depend on U.S. government money. This is where Form I-134, also known as the Declaration of Financial Support, comes in.

For example, people applying for a visitor visa, especially young folks or those with low income. They might need to fill out this form. Also, if someone is applying for a special visa to marry a U.S. citizen (called a K-1 Fiancé Visa). This or if they need urgent permission to enter the U.S. for humanitarian reasons, they may need this form too.

The purpose of this form is to prove that someone in the U.S. is willing and able to financially support a person coming from another country. This way, the government is sure that the visitor or new resident. That they won’t need financial help from the U.S. government.


What happens if the sponsor cannot support the immigrant?

If someone who is supposed to help an immigrant can’t do it anymore. There can be problems with the immigration process. Here’s what might happen:


Withdrawal of Support: The person helping can decide to stop supporting the immigrant. If the paperwork hasn’t been approved yet, telling the immigration office about this can mean the immigrant won’t be allowed to come to the U.S.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): If someone is being mistreated and they are related to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. They can apply to stay in the U.S. on their own, without the person who was helping them. Likewise see also domestic violence in Thailand for more insight.

Approved Petition, No Green Card Yet: Likewise if the paperwork is approved, but the immigrant hasn’t gotten their green card, they still need the person helping them to cooperate to finish the process.

Fraud Accusations: If the person helping accuses the immigrant of lying or doing something wrong in their application. Likewise, the immigration office can take action, and the immigrant might have to leave the U.S.

Sponsor’s Eligibility: There are rules about whether people who can’t pay back the government for help given to the immigrant can keep helping others.

Legal Consequences: If the person helping doesn’t provide enough money, the immigrant can take them to court. Likewise, this doesn’t happen very often.


Remember, if you lose the papers proving someone was helping you. It might not mean you’re in trouble. But it’s always a good idea to talk to a lawyer who knows about immigration to get the right advice.


Moving to the United States

On here you can also see the CR1 visa processing time as well as the article on the DS-2029 Application. Likewise see also the US visa for Thai wife as well. If you are not married then see also the options when it comes to the fiance visa Thailand as well. Also speak to our lawyers at our law firm in Bangkok. US immigration is very difficult as there are many ways to enter errors into the application process.