Is Form I-134 Required for a Visitor Visa to the United States?

Is Form I-134 Required for a Visitor Visa: Applying for a visitor visa to travel to the United States can be a complex process. One important document that sometimes causes confusion is Form I-134, known as the Affidavit of Support.

In this comprehensive guide, answer the question – Is Form I-134 Required for a Visitor Visa? and explore the purpose of Form I-134, the visa categories where it may be required, common questions about its use, and tips for completing it correctly if needed for your application. By understanding the nuances of this form, you can ensure your visa application is as strong as possible.

Table of Contents

What is Form I-134?

Form I-134 is an affidavit of support that serves as evidence of a financial sponsor who will be responsible for the visitor’s expenses and ensure they do not become a public charge while in the United States. It shows that if the visitor is unable to pay for their stay, the sponsor will provide financial support and ensure they have sufficient funds and intentions to return home at the conclusion of their visit.

The I-134 form requires the sponsor to provide personal information like their name, address, and citizenship status. They must also disclose financial details such as employment, income, assets, and any other individuals they sponsor financially.

By signing the form under penalty of perjury, the sponsor legally guarantees to provide support for reasonable costs related to food, housing, medical care, and other living necessities. Get the form I-134 from here.

Is Form I-134 Required for a Visitor Visa?

No, Form I-134 is not required for a visitor visa. Form I-134, known as the Affidavit of Support, is typically used for sponsoring someone to visit the United States on a visitor visa when proving financial support. However, it is not a mandatory document for obtaining a visitor visa. Visitors may need to provide evidence of their financial means or a sponsor’s support during their visa interview, but this does not necessarily require Form I-134.

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Visitor Visa Categories and Form I-134 Requirements

Not all visitor visa categories require Form I-134. Whether the form is mandatory depends on factors like your nationality, purpose of travel, and intended length of stay. The Department of State determines I-134 requirements based on their level of confidence that visitors will abide by the conditions of their temporary admission. Here is an overview of common visitor visa categories and if Form I-134 is needed:

B-1 Business Visitor and B-2 Tourist Visa

  • Most nationals do NOT need an I-134 for a B-1/B-2 visa for trips lasting 90 days or less. However, some applicants may be asked to provide one at the discretion of consular officials.

B-1 In Transit Visa

  • I-134 is generally NOT required for short transit trips through the United States.

Visitor Visa for Canada, Mexico, or Bermuda (B-1/B-2 for Visa Waiver Program Nationals)

  • Citizens of VWP countries do NOT need an I-134 for visitor visas valid for up to 90 days.

Visitor Visa for Extended Stays (B-1/B-2 Valid More than 90 Days)

  • Mandatory I-134 for most citizenship nationalities if staying over 90 days on a B-1/B-2 visa.

Visitor Visa for Canada or Mexico (Border Crossing Card/B-1/B-2)

  • I-134 generally NOT required for short visits from Canada or Mexico with a border crossing card.

Temporary Worker Visa (H-1B, H-2A, etc.)

  • I-134 required for most applicants requesting a change of status to a temporary work visa from within the United States.

Student Visa (F-1 or M-1)

  • I-134 mandatory for financial support documentation for most student visa applicants.

In short, Form I-134 is most commonly required for extended visitor stays, changes of status to work visas, and student visas – but consular officials have discretion to request one for any application as deemed necessary on a case-by-case basis. Always check the specific visa category requirements or consult with an immigration attorney if unsure.

Completing Form I-134 Successfully

If Form I-134 is a requirement for your visitor visa application, it is important to complete the form correctly and fully document the financial sponsor’s support. Here are some tips:

  • The sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Undocumented individuals or foreign nationals cannot serve as sponsors.
  • Provide all personal details (name, address, date of birth, citizenship status, etc.) about the sponsor clearly on the form.
  • Describe the sponsor’s employment with specific details like job title, employer name, length of employment, average or total annual income. Pay stubs help demonstrate income claims.
  • List all assets owned solely or jointly by the sponsor like property, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement funds with supporting documentation like property deeds or bank statements.
  • Disclose all other individuals financially sponsored by this sponsor such as spouse, children, or others visiting the U.S.
  • Attach a notarized affidavit if the sponsored visitor is not the sponsor’s spouse or child attesting the relationship and commitment to provide support.
  • Sign the form under penalty of perjury in front of a notary to affirm the accuracy of all information.
  • Provide certified translations of any documents in other languages along with originals.
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Ensure the total assets and income stated on Form I-134 are more than 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Incomplete forms or discrepancies undermine the credibility of financial support claims and risk visa denial. Take time to complete Form I-134 fully and correctly.

Common I-134 Questions

Many applicants have questions when Form I-134 is required. Here are answers to some commonly asked queries:

Can I use the same Affidavit of Support for multiple visa applications?

Yes, the same I-134 with a valid notarized date can be submitted for multiple immediate family members including spouse and unmarried children under 21 applying together. However, new applicants may require an updated form.

What counts as assets and income for the I-134?

Count all types of income – salary/wages, interest/dividends from investments, rental properties, alimony/child support, etc. Assets include cash savings, investments, real estate solely owned. Do not include primary residence equity or retirement funds unless withdrawing.

Does the Affidavit create a legal obligation for the sponsor?

Yes, by signing Form I-134, the financial sponsor agrees under penalty of perjury to financially support the applicant for reasonable living costs during their authorized stay. If the sponsored visitor receives public benefits, the sponsor may have to repay costs.

How long is Form I-134 valid?

An approved I-134 remains valid for the duration of the visa issued based on it. Make sure to submit an updated form if the original expires or circumstances for the sponsor change significantly before the visa is issued or used for entry.

Can a joint sponsor sign Form I-134?

While not required, including an additional joint sponsor can strengthen financial support claims for higher-risk applicants. Joint sponsors must also qualify individually and sign the I-134. Their income and assets are counted cumulatively with the primary sponsor.

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Comprehensively addressing common questions demonstrates your knowledge and preparation to consular officials reviewing applications.

Use Form I-134 strategically and focus on credibility to improve chances of visa approval when it’s a required document. With diligent preparation, this form can tell a reliable story of visitor intentions and financial support.

Alternatives to Form I-134 as Evidence

In some cases, Form I-134 may not be strictly necessary but other types of financial support documents can help satisfy officials that the visitor has sufficient funds and won’t overstay. Here are some alternative options to consider including with your visa application:

Personal Bank Statements – Recent statements showing sizable cash balances in your name help prove access to funds without relying on a sponsor. Consulars want to see at least $100-200 per day for planned length of stay.

Invitation Letters – Especially useful for academic/conference visits, invitation letters detailing funding from hosts for transportation, accommodation and program activities signal support.

Pre-paid Accommodation – Hotel or Airbnb bookings already paid for the trip duration demonstrate proof of suitable housing arrangements without needing a sponsor’s I-134.

Return Flight Itinerary – A confirmed roundtrip airline reservation valid for no more than 6 months into the future shows concrete plans and ability to pay for return travel home.

Employment Letters – Proof of a stable, well-paying job at home with income and paid leave approval makes self-funding very believable without Form I-134 dependence.

While these alternatives don’t carry the same legal obligation as an I-134, presenting solid evidence of your own financial means and support systems can satisfy officials that you are credibly able to afford your planned temporary visit.

Consider including multiple supporting documents when the affidavit of support is not strictly mandatory. Reliable proof of ties and intent to return are still key factors regardless of Form I-134 requirements.

Final Checklist Before Submitting

Before sending your visitor visa application with or without Form I-134, double check all requirements are fully addressed:

  • Verify visa category guidelines and if I-134 mandate applies in your case
  • Obtain valid Form I-134 if the guidance specifies its necessity
  • Ensure sponsor fully qualifies and complete application requirements as applicable
  • Notarize all required signatures and obtain translations
  • Compile credible financial evidence beyond I-134 if possible
  • Include solid proof of residential ties such as property, family, job
  • Provide a detailed travel itinerary clarifying your vacation/business plans
  • Collect documentation

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