The I-134 is required to help assure the Government that the alien fiancé will not become a public charge (welfare recipient) in the United States after entry.  The Form I-134 is often used in cases involving nonimmigrant visa applications such as the K1. The Petitioner is to file an I-134 for the beneficiary but if he or she would not qualify financially by demonstrating the means to maintain an annual income equal to at least 125% of the federal guidelines another can usually step in as a joint sponsor so long as the joint sponsor is a U.S. citizen, or lawful permanent resident, and meets the financial requirements.

The sponsor agrees that he or she is willing and able to receive, maintain and support the beneficiary. That he or she is ready and willing to deposit a bond, if necessary, to guarantee that the beneficiary will not become a public charge during his or her stay in the United States, or to guarantee that the beneficiary will maintain his or her nonimmigrant status, if admitted temporarily, and will depart prior to the expiration the authorized stay in the United States. The agreement is binding upon the sponsor or joint sponsor for three (3) years after the entry of the beneficiary. The information and documentation provided is also made available to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture, who may make it available to a public assistance agency.

Here is a recent question I received about this:

“I am intending to marry my US fiancé and we are researching the process of the visa to make sure we are prepared for everything that will be required of us. The one thing we can’t find many answers to is the requirements for adequate financial support once I am in the States. How do we prove this and what sort of documents would I be required to produce at the interview? If they do not see us as financially fit can we be sponsored by someone who is?”

The government can look at a number of different things in determining adequate financial support. In my experience the government prefers to use annual income supported by the last three (3) federal tax returns and W-2 and or 1099’s but there are other ways as well. Here is where you can download the most current poverty guideline from our site.

Also be aware that if you do not qualify a joint sponsor can be used to meet the requirement as well. Often, if the sponsor cannot meet the requirement with income and tax returns alone my office usually encourages the sponsor to seek a joint sponsor who can meet the requirement with annual income.
Items the government can considered for adequate financial support may include.

  • Annual Income. Supported by the affiant’s most recent federal tax returns and W-2’s.
  • Savings. A statement from each bank or other institution verifying the balances on hand should be obtained.
  • Personal Property. This can include the affiant’s major personal property (i.e., cars, jewelry).
  • Stocks and Bonds. This is the market value of stocks and bonds held by the affiant. This also can include the value of mutual and other funds in which the affiant participates. One should attach a list detailing the individual stocks and bonds as well as mutual funds with an itemization of the number of shares and current market value (i.e., 100 shares of ABC Co., currently valued at $X per share).
  • Life Insurance. The total dollar amount of life insurance held on the life of the affiant can be considered.  Include document verification.
  • Cash Surrender Value of Life Insurance. The government can also consider the current cash surrender value of life insurance held on the life of the affiant. Include document verification
  • Real Estate. This would be the total value of real estate held by the affiant, the amount of outstanding mortgages or encumbrances, and the address of the real estate. A rider should be used to list the address of more than one property.

You can find all the help you’ll need for all of these forms in the SimpleK1 Visa Guide as well. If you have any additional questions about this, please post it as a comment below.