When and how to file Affidavit of support Form I-134?

While in the United States to show that visa applicants have sponsorship and will not become public charges Form I-134 should be filed. For each applicant the sponsor must file a separate affidavit. Depending on whether the alien you are sponsoring is in or outside the United States place where you submit the form and what type of application is being submitted changes. So to support an alien entering the United States and that the alien will not become a public charge this form is like a promise with USCIS.

On the other hand the INS forms I-864 is to show that the applicant has enough financial support to live and is not dependent on U.S. government welfare. To show they will have adequate means of support after immigration to the U.S. this form is legally required for many family-based and some employment based immigrants. This affidavit is required for applicants for family-based immigrant visas, including certain orphans and also for applicants for employment-based immigrant visas where a relative filed the immigrant visa petition. Also if applicant may also have 5 percent or greater ownership interest in the business that filed the petition.

At any USCIS District or sub-office the affidavit may be sworn to or affirmed before an immigration officer if the sponsor is in the United States. Else before a notary public or other official certified to administer oaths for general purposes also. The affidavit must be sworn to or affirmed before a U.S. consular or immigration officer if the sponsor is outside the United States.

By the person sponsoring the US visitor visa or tourist visa for an alien relative seeking such a visitor visa or tourist visa to USA this Form I-134, Affidavit of support form should be completed and provided. Between the sponsor of visitor visa and the US Government this affidavit of support is a legal contract. It ensures that after entering the US the visa applicant has financial support and will not become a public charge.

Points to remember while filing Form I-134

1. On the two sides of ONE page the Form I-134 should be printed. If you can’t do so with your printer, you can print in two pages and then make photocopy 1-à2.

2. Notarization in front of US notary is NOT required any more for this form.

3. Any preexisting conditions may not be covered by the visitor’s medical insurance and so question arises if the sponsor is liable to pay? A clear answer is not there for that question.  Form I-134 is considered as a flawed document as far as lawyers are concerned and so in court it will not hold up. Though USCIS has never ran behind a sponsor to collect unpaid medical expenses of visitor but possibilities cannot be denied for USCIS to do so, particularly if the US government spent money for visitor on its own behalf.

How hospital would know about sponsor of the visitor and hold that person liable for expenses is not known. Any sync between the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of state and the hospital is not known based on which they can find about sponsor. Unless the sponsor has signed any document in hospital that he/she is liable for the hospital expenses of the visitor it’s not clear how the hospital will hold the sponsor liable.

4. Income and savings of the wife and husband could be combined and entered in one form if they both are working.  As a parental relationship is closer than an in-law one, if the wife is earning she can sponsor for her parents. Joint income also can be filed in this case.

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