Form I-134 Financial Support Declaration Guide: Eligibility and Instructions for Foreign Visitors' Sponsors

Suppose you are a foreign national applying for a temporary visa to visit the United States. In that case, you need help proving to U.S. officials that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay. You can do it in two different ways.

First, you can provide evidence of your financial resources through bank statements, proof of employment, or other documents showcasing your ability to cover your expenses.

Secondly, you can secure financial support from a sponsor. In this case, a U.S. citizen or green card holder can vouch for you financially by submitting Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support.

This guide will explain everything you need about Form I-134, including who can file it (your sponsor) and how it benefits your temporary visa application (as a foreign visitor). We’ll also discuss the filing process, I-134 submission instructions and tips, the supporting documents required by USCIS, and more.

What is USCIS Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support), and Why Do You Need It?

Form I-134 is a crucial document in the U.S. visa application process for temporary stays. It is practically a pledge to the U.S. government that you, as a foreign visitor, will have financial backing throughout your visit. This financial support comes from a sponsor/supporter in the U.S. who agrees to support you financially if needed.

The Importance of Avoiding a "Public Charge"

U.S. immigration authorities are interested in confirming that visitors won’t burden the country financially. This is what we call a “public charge.” In simpler terms, they want to be convinced that you have enough money to cover your expenses during your stay and won’t require government assistance.

Who Needs Form I-134?

You might need Form I-134 if your bank statements or other financial documents don’t convince USCIS that you have sufficient funds for your entire visit. This could be because you’re a student with limited income, a retiree on a fixed budget, or someone traveling on a sponsored trip. In these cases, having a U.S. sponsor willing to vouch for your financial well-being can significantly strengthen your visa application.

Special Advice and Considerations for Temporary Visa Seekers (I-134 Form Beneficiaries)

Here is what you need to know about the Financial Declaration of Support, depending on the visa type you seek.

Visitor Visa (B-1/B-2)

If you can prove you have enough funds to cover your entire stay on a B1/B2 visitor visa without working, filing Form I-134 isn’t mandatory. However, if demonstrating financial self-sufficiency is challenging, having a relative or friend in the U.S. complete Form I-134 as your sponsor is critical. This affidavit of support for tourist visa acts as a safety net, assuring the U.S. government you have someone to rely on if needed.

Fiancé Visa (K-1)

Not all consulates require an affidavit of support for a K1 visa for fiancé visas, but all will require some proof you won’t rely on government assistance during your 90-day stay. Think of Form I-134 as a simpler version of Form I-864, which your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) will need to file later when you apply for a green card.

The income requirement for the sponsor on Form I-864 is higher (125% of poverty guidelines) compared to Form I-134 (100% of poverty guidelines). If your local consulate requires Form I-134, your fiancé(e) should show they meet the 125% requirement to improve your chances of visa approval.

Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery)

Winning a Diversity Visa is exciting, but you must prove you’re not likely to become a public charge. This means showing financial resources like savings, sellable assets, or a job offer in the U.S. If this evidence seems insufficient, a U.S. citizen or green card holder relative or friend can complete Form I-134 for you, demonstrating they’ll be your financial safety net.

How Does Form I-134 Work?

When completing Form I-134 affidavit of financial support, your sponsor is essentially making a legal commitment to provide you with financial support if you run out of money during your stay. It could include covering your housing costs, food, medical bills, and other essential expenses. Having this guarantee helps alleviate USCIS’s concerns about you becoming a financial burden for the state.

Form I-134 vs. Form I-864: Understanding the Differences Between Them

Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support) and Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) are crucial documents used in the U.S. immigration process, but they serve distinct purposes.

As we said above, the Financial Support Declaration I-134 addresses temporary visitors to the United States, guaranteeing USCIS that you will benefit from someone’s financial support throughout your visit (who agrees to vouch for you and back you up financially if needed during your stay).

On the other hand, the Affidavit of Support (I-864) is used for permanent residency applications. It’s a legal commitment by a U.S. citizen or green card holder to support a qualifying immigrant relative seeking a green card. This financial support ensures the immigrant won’t become a public charge to the U.S. government. Unlike Form I-134, which focuses on a temporary stay, Form I-864 is a long-term commitment.

I-134 Form vs. I-864 Form: Key Differences Summarized


Visa Type


Sponsor commitment

Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support)

Temporary visas (B1/B2, K-1, Diversity visa)

Shows financial support for a temporary stay

Limited to the duration of the temporary visa

Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)

Green Card (permanent residency)

Shows long-term financial support for an immigrant relative

Long-term pledge for as long as the petitioner is considered a sponsored immigrant

IMPORTANT! When filing Form I-130 to petition for a green card for a qualifying relative, Form I-864 is usually filed concurrently or shortly after. It proves the sponsor’s ability to support the immigrant financially.

USCIS Form I-134 Requirements: Who Can Fill the Declaration of Financial Support?

Only a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can complete and sign Form I-134. You may need proof of income meeting the I-134 poverty guidelines and your citizenship or green card status.

Let’s see Form I-134 eligibility criteria for financial supporters:

  • You must be a naturalized U.S. citizen or a green card holder.
  • Your revenue must be at least 100% of the federal poverty guidelines, depending on your household size. You can find these guidelines on the USCIS website using Form I-864P.
  • You must be willing to financially support the person you sponsor if needed. This is a legal commitment, and USCIS can enforce it (with caveats).
  • You must be prepared for USCIS to review your finances and tax returns to verify your income.

What I-134 Sponsors and Beneficiaries Need to Understand about the Financial Support

Understanding the eligibility requirements for I-134 sponsors is not tricky. However, there are some additional nuances to consider that can impact the application process. Here, we’ll delve into two key factors: enforceability and income requirements for specific visas.

I-134 Form Is Non-Enforceable in Most Cases

While signing Form I-134 creates a legal obligation to support a visa applicant financially, it’s important to understand the practical implications. This agreement doesn’t say that the U.S. government will come after the sponsor/supporter if the visitor runs out of money. Here’s why:

  • I-134 is a safety net, not a blank check. It only assures USCIS that the sponsor will be a resource if the visitor encounters unforeseen financial difficulties during their stay. The expectation remains that the visitor will manage their finances responsibly.
  • Limited enforcement resources. The U.S. government can enforce I-134 but also deals with limited resources to track down and impose sponsorship agreements. In most cases, foreign visitors plan their trips and budget accordingly, making it unlikely they’ll require public assistance.

There Is a Higher I-134 Income Requirement for K Visas

If a sponsor vouchers financially for someone with a K visa (fiancé visa), there’s an additional point to consider regarding income. The minimum income requirement for a Form I-134 financial backer is 100% of the federal poverty guidelines. However, this might not be enough for the future.

When the K visa holder applies for a green card, they must submit Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support). This form has a stricter income requirement – 125% of the poverty guidelines.

A joint sponsor is your next best bet if the sponsor’s income doesn’t meet the 125% threshold for the future green card application. Co-sponsorship allows another U.S. citizen or green card holder to combine their income with the petitioner’s income to meet the requirement for the K-visa applicant.

Completing Form I-134: A Step-by-Step Guide for U.S. Sponsors

Typically, the visa applicant fills out most of their visa paperwork before needing your Form I-134. It is helpful to provide supporting documents, so take this financial declaration seriously and complete it correctly to avoid your friend or family member’s visa delays or denials. While you can complete the Financial Support Declaration anytime, it’s best to do so early to ensure all documents are in order.

Let’s walk together through the entire I-134 filling process, with the amendment that this guide focuses on the most recent version of the form (as of 11/09/23). Refer to the USCIS website for the latest version if needed.

General Tips to Fill Out USCIS Form I-134

  • Use black ink only and print clearly.
  • Write “N/A” for inapplicable questions and “NONE” for zero answers.
  • Foreign language documents require certified English translations.
  • Submit photocopies of supporting documents (originals only if requested).
  • No notary is required, but both sponsor and beneficiary (or supporter) must sign with a black pen (scanned signatures accepted).

How to Fill Form I-134 Instructions and Tips

Part 1: Basis for Filing - Establishing Your Role as a Sponsor

The initial section of Form I-134 serves to identify the party filing the declaration. Here, you will be presented with two distinct options:

  • Option 1: “Myself as the beneficiary” – This selection is uncommon. It typically applies only in limited scenarios where the foreign visitor themself intends to demonstrate their own financial resources for their U.S. stay.
  • Option 2: “Another individual who is the beneficiary” – This option is far more prevalent. By selecting this box, you explicitly declare your role as the financial sponsor for a designated beneficiary, the foreign visitor you invite to the United States.

Part 2: Information About the Temporary Visa Beneficiary

This section comprehensively gathers the temporary visa seeker’s biographical and trip details. Here is how to complete this section of the I-134 USCIS financial declaration, line by line.

Visa Petitioner's Biographical Information

Fill in the beneficiary’s full legal name as it appears on their passport or other official IDs. Additionally, provide their date of birth, nationality, and current address.

Trip Details

Outline the beneficiary’s intended travel plans to the United States. Indicate their anticipated arrival and departure dates, ensuring these dates align with the validity period of their specific visa type. For instance, most visitor visas have a maximum stay of six months, so the “anticipated length of stay” should not exceed that timeframe.

In rare circumstances, such as a beneficiary seeking a green card through a marriage-based visa, you might select “No End Date” for their anticipated stay. Also, for “Marital Status,” select “single” as they’re coming to get married.

Beneficiary's Financial Information (If Applicable)

While not always mandatory, including details about the beneficiary’s financial resources can bolster your application. If the beneficiary has income sources or assets they plan to utilize during their U.S. visit, list them here. To substantiate this information, provide supporting documents and paperwork, like salary stubs or bank statements.

Part 3: Information About the Sponsor Who Financially Supports the Temporary Visa Seeker Named in Part 2

Having established yourself as the sponsor in Part 1 and outlined the beneficiary’s details in Part 2, Part 3 now shifts the focus entirely to you, the financial supporter.

I-134 Sponsor's Personal Information

Provide your full legal name, including any previous names used, such as those from a prior marriage. List your current mailing address, ensuring it’s a reliable location for receiving USCIS correspondence. Additionally, include your physical address if it differs from your mailing address and your date and place of birth.

Financial Supporter's Immigration Status

Indicate your current immigration status in the United States. Are you a U.S. citizen, a green card beneficiary, or a nonimmigrant on a temporary visa? Depending on your status, you may need to provide your Alien Registration Number (A-number) or USCIS online account number (if applicable).

Visa Seeker's Sponsor Employment Information (Or Retirement Details)

List your job title, employer’s name, and address if you are currently employed. For retirees, indicate your source of income, such as a pension or Social Security benefits.

Financial Information to Prove the I-134 Sponsor's Financial Ability

This is a crucial aspect of Form I-134. You must demonstrate sufficient income and assets to support yourself, your dependents (if any), and the visiting beneficiary. Before starting your I-134 application, collect the most recent stubs, tax returns, or bank documents to verify your income.

IMPORTANT! If your income meets or exceeds the I-134 poverty guidelines, you may not be required to disclose your resources. However, including information about valuable assets like bank accounts, real estate, or investments can further reinforce the application, especially if your income only marginally meets the requirement. Conversely, if your income falls short of the poverty guidelines, then detailing your assets becomes mandatory.

While Parts 1-3 focus on the sponsor and beneficiary’s core details, Form I-134 offers additional sections, depending on the filing scenario.

Part 4: Information About the Beneficiary (Skip If the Visa Seeker Is Also the Sponsor)

Part 4 is reserved for the beneficiary if they file the form. Here, they’ll certify they understand the information provided and confirm its accuracy with their signature.

Part 5: I-134 Sponsor's Statement, Certification, and Signature

Part 5 comes into play if you – the I-134 financial supporter – complete the form on the beneficiary’s behalf. So we are basically back to you now. In this section, you officially sign the form, acknowledging your financial commitment to supporting the temporary visitor.

Parts 6 and 7: Third-Party Information, Certification, and Signature

Sometimes, the I-134 completion process might involve an interpreter or legal representative. Part 6 allows them to provide their contact information and confirm their role in assisting with the form.

Similarly, Part 7 caters to situations where someone other than you (the sponsor) helped fill out the document (like a lawyer). This section lets them add their contact details and verify their involvement in the process.

Part 8: Additional Information to Support the I-134 Application

Finally, Part 8 of the I-134 petition is a catch-all for any additional information that wouldn’t fit comfortably elsewhere on the form. Consider it a designated space to clarify complex income sources. Here is where you explain asset ownership structures, for instance. You can also use this I-134 form section to justify situations where your income falls below the poverty guideline, but you still possess substantial assets to support the beneficiary.

USCIS Required Documents for Filing Form I-134

While Form I-134 focuses on your financial commitment as the sponsor, USCIS requires additional documentation to verify your ability to support the visiting beneficiary. Here is the I-134 supporting evidence you must consider providing.

Proof of Income

The best evidence of your income is a copy of your most recent federal tax return. Alternatively, you can submit an IRS tax transcript and an official return summary. For self-employed individuals, a commercial rating report may be necessary.

On the other hand, an official letter from your employer, ideally on company letterhead, reinforces your application. This letter should include your job title, date of hire, employment status (full-time, permanent), and annual salary, like an Employment Verification Letter, but with a slightly different purpose.

Financial Institution Verification

While not always required, recent bank statements can provide a snapshot of your current account balance and activity.

You should also request a letter from your bank or financial institution confirming your account details. This letter should typically include the account opening date, total deposits over the past year, average balance (be mindful of large fluctuations), and current balance.

Optional but Helpful Documentation

For short-term visitor visas, proof of assets like deeds or receipts for property might not be mandatory. However, including copies of titles, vehicle registrations, or receipts for valuable assets can bolster your application, especially if your income falls below the poverty guidelines.

Also, consider including a list with serial numbers, denominations, and owner names if you own bonds.

IMPORTANT! Submit the exact number of document copies USCIS requires (usually two) and ensure all the primary and secondary I-134 evidence is in English. If not, you should provide certified translations. Lastly, don’t include any original documents in your I-134 application unless otherwise specified by USCIS.

I-134 Supporting Documents Checklist

Here’s a checklist to ensure you have everything before you start your I-134 submission!







(Choose One)

U.S. passport photocopy

Green Card photocopy

(Choose Two or More)

Copy of your most recent federal income tax return


An IRS official summary of your tax return

Optional but helpful

Employer letter on company letterhead (including job title, hire date, employment status, and annual salary)

Report of commercial rating concern (for self-employed individuals)

(Choose One or Two)

Recent bank statements (showing current account balance and activity)

Bank verification letter (detailing account opening date, past year's deposits, average balance, and current balance)

(Especially if your income falls below poverty guidelines)

Copies of asset titles (e.g., property deeds, vehicle registrations)

Receipts for valuable assets

List of bonds (with serial numbers, denominations, and owner names)















Where to File Form I-134

Once you’ve completed Form I-134, the destination might differ depending on the visa type your friend or relative is applying for and your immigration status.

Traditional Nonimmigrant Visa Applications

For most nonimmigrant visa applications (like B-2 visitor visas), you won’t send Form I-134 directly to USCIS or any other government agency.

Instead, the original I-134 signed form must reach the beneficiary you’re sponsoring. They’ll then include it as part of their visa application package when submitting it to the U.S. consulate, where their visa interview will take place.

IMPORTANT! Consulates often reject faxed or emailed copies of Form I-134, so ensure you send the original with your wet signature!

Visa Waiver Program

The process is simpler if the beneficiary is from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program. They won’t necessarily need to submit Form I-134 upon arrival in the U.S. However, having a completed I-134 form can be helpful in case a Customs and Border Protection employee requests evidence of financial support during their entry screening.

Online Filing (Limited Situations)

The online filing option for Form I-134 is only available under specific circumstances. If you’re physically present in the U.S. and sponsoring:

  • A Ukrainian or their immediate family member through the “Uniting for Ukraine” program or
  • A Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan or their immediate family member through the “Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans” program,

then you can submit Form I-134 electronically.

The Importance of a Complete Visa Application Package

Remember, Form I-134 is just one piece of the puzzle. The temporary visa petitioner must submit the completed form and all the requested supporting documents (proof of income, bank statements, etc.) as a single package. Missing documents can lead to significant delays in their case processing, so ensure everything is included and organized before submission.

What Is Form I-134 Processing Time?

There isn’t a set amount of time to process Form I-134, which can vary depending on the situation. While filling out the form accurately can help things move along, it’s essential to understand that the actual processing time may differ from the estimate of 1-2 hours, which most sources provide.

How Much Does Form I-134 Cost?

One of the welcome advantages of sponsoring a visitor with Form I-134 is the absence of any associated filing fees. That’s right, unlike many USCIS forms that require a specific payment to be processed, there’s no financial burden attached to submitting Form I-134. This eliminates a potential barrier and simplifies the sponsorship process, allowing you to focus on assembling the necessary documentation to demonstrate your financial capability.

What Is the Difference Between Forms I-134 and I-134A?

Due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine, USCIS is currently streamlining the process for Ukrainians and certain other nationalities to enter the United States through humanitarian parole programs. If you’re a U.S. citizen or green card holder considering sponsoring someone under these programs, there are specific guidelines to follow when filing Form I-134A, Declaration of Financial Support.

Who Can You Sponsor With Form I-134A?

USCIS will only accept Form I-134A submissions for individuals sponsoring:

  • Ukrainians or their immediate family members through the “Uniting for Ukraine” program.
  • Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, or Venezuelans and their immediate family members are under the “Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans” program.
  • Colombians, Cubans, Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Haitians, Hondurans, or Salvadorans and their immediate family members through the family reunification parole processes (but only if they received a specific invitation to file Form I-134A).

Essential Requirements for Submitting I-134A Financial Declaration

  • You must be physically present in the U.S. to file Form I-134A. The beneficiary cannot submit the form on their behalf.
  • Form I-134A is required for each beneficiary you support, including children under 18.
  • Beneficiaries under 18 must be traveling with a parent or legal guardian. They must have documentation proving the relationship.

Alternatives for Other Parole Programs

If you’re sponsoring someone seeking humanitarian parole outside these programs, you must submit a paper Form I-134 and Form I-131: Application for Travel Document to the designated USCIS Lockbox location.

Financial Requirements and Co-Sponsors

As for I-134, when filing Form I-134A, you must demonstrate sufficient income and assets to support the beneficiary and your household. If this is a challenge, you can involve a co-sponsor who meets the exact financial requirements and submits documents like bank statements, employment letters, and tax returns.

A co-sponsor doesn’t have to be a relative, but they cannot file their own Form I-134A. Instead, you’ll include their information and a statement outlining your shared responsibility for financial support within your Form I-134A submission. USCIS will then evaluate your combined financial ability to support the beneficiary.

IMPORTANT! Form I-134A can only be filed electronically!

Form I-134: Financial Support Documentation Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ section provides commonly asked questions we already offered some clients.

Can I sponsor more than one visa petitioner on Form I-134?

The responsibility to financially support a visiting nonimmigrant extends to everyone you sponsor. This means USCIS requires a separate Form I-134 and its supporting documentation for each individual you’re welcoming. So, for instance, a family of four planning to visit the U.S. wouldn’t just need one form – they’d require four separate Form I-134 applications.

When filling out Form I-134, remember to sign it using your full legal name. The signature on this form holds significant weight, as it serves as a sworn statement under penalty of perjury according to U.S. law.

This essentially means you’re confirming the accuracy of the information provided. The good news is that due to the seriousness of the signature, there’s no need for additional steps like having a notary witness your signature or getting it notarized afterward. Your single, well-placed signature on Form I-134 is sufficient.

Don’t be confused by Form I-134! While it’s called a “Declaration of Financial Support,” it’s not a mandatory part of the initial U.S. visitor visa application process. The online application form, DS-160, will ask the applicant (the person seeking the visa) about their finances. This helps the consular officers assess their ability to cover trip expenses and establish strong ties to their home country, which helps overcome the presumption of wanting to immigrate instead of visiting.

Your income needs to be enough to support yourself and the person you’re sponsoring. The minimum revenue requirement is based on the federal poverty guidelines for your household size. This minimum is based on the federal poverty guidelines (at least 100%), considering the number of people in your household. In other words, the more people you live with, the higher your income needs to be. In some cases, you might even need to show an income 25% higher than that baseline.

No, blood doesn’t matter here. Anyone with a green card or U.S. citizenship can sponsor a friend if they’re financially stable and willing to support the applicant. All they need to do is agree to provide for the applicant and share their financial information to prove they can handle it.

Start Your Form I-134 Application Right Now!

Do you still have questions about the I-134? Whether as the visa applicant or the financial backer, the supporting documentation required, or the eligibility to be a sponsor, ImmigrationDirect is here to help. Whether you’re interested in getting financial support for an American visa or want to sponsor a friend, family member, or even a future spouse, our experienced immigration attorneys can offer you their full support. Feel free to contact us today for a consultation!

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