Many intending immigrants and temporary visitors to the US must file an Affidavit of Support using Form I-864 or Form I-134 to overcome the “public charge” ground of inadmissibility. USCIS requires that most people entering the US provide evidence that they will not become a public charge, or financially dependent on the US government for their support. Sponsors who complete an Affidavit of Support are obligated to financially support the beneficiary of the associated application if it becomes necessary to do so.
USCIS has two Affidavit of Support forms, Form I-864 and Form I-134. Form I-864 is generally used in cases where a foreign national is seeking permanent residence, while Form I-134 is used by non-immigrants.
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
You are required to use Form I-864 if you fall under one of the following categories:
- You are immigrating to the U.S. based on a family relationship. This includes:
Unmarried children under age 21
Parents of U.S. citizens who are age 21 or older
Unmarried children of U.S. citizens
Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents
Married children of U.S. citizens
Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens age 21 and older
- You are immigrating to the U.S. based on employment and your U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative filed the immigrant visa petition or the relative has a significant ownership interest (five percent or more) in the company or organization that filed the petition.
Even if you fall under one of the above categories, you are not required to file Form I-864, Affidavit of Support if:
- You have 40 qualifying quarters of work in the U.S. You can find out how many quarters of work you’ve earned by contacting the Social Security Administration (SSA).
- You are acquiring citizenship because you are the biological or adopted child of a U.S. citizen who was born abroad and did not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth;
- You are a self-petitioning widow or widower who has an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant; or
- You are a self-petitioning battered spouse or child who has an approved Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant. Click here to prepare Affidavit of Support Form I-864
Form I-134, Affidavit of Support
Form I-134 is used by non-immigrants who need to overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility. For example, if you are applying for a B-2 visitor visa to visit extended family in the U.S., you will need to show that you have adequate financial resources to support yourself during your time in the U.S. If you do not have adequate resources, your U.S. family member could submit Form I-134 on your behalf. If you are applying for a K-1 visa, your fiance(e) will need to submit Form I-134 on your behalf.
All family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants must submit Form I-864 unless they can be credited with 40 quarters of work by the Social Security Administration or fall under one of the other limited exceptions detailed above. Non-immigrants who need to overcome the public charge ground of inadmissibility must submit Form I-134.
Click here to prepare Affidavit of Support Form I-134