Qualifications Check Self Sufficiency & I-134
A Consular Officer will during the Visa Interview look at your chances of finding employment. He/she will ask how much savings and/or assets you have. The Officer will also look at the costs you and if applicable your family – must make to immigrate and how much you will need during the period after your arrival.
An offer for a possible job in the U.S. is the best option. Without a job offer you must have adequate savings and/or other assets.
Bring what applies to your situation:
Bank statements proving income/assets, proof of income as an employee, proof of income from being self employed, mont recent income tax assessment or tax return, proof of assets to be sold.
Bring statements from your bank showing deposits for the past year and current balance. The same applies to your spouse’s bank statements if these are separate from yours.
Also bring proof (copies) of your income over the last year and copies of the most recent tax filing you did your home country. If your spouse earns income too the same applies to him or her.
If you have a new car and/or a nice house and/or assets that you intend to sell before you leave for the U.S. bring pictures, a description of the item and its value, location, proof of ownership.
Most Consular Officers require an amount at least equal to one year of household income above 125% of the U.S. poverty level guidelines. For one person this amounts to $20,000, for a family of four to almost $30,000. Consular Officers are allowed to mandate higher amounts.
Sponsorship (Form I-134)
If you have limited assets you can ask a relative or a friend in the U.S. to sponsor you. He/she must complete the Affidavit of Support Form I-134 and mail this form to you together with the mandatory proof of income and/or assets.
Many Consular Officers require this sponsorship for all applicants who do not have a U.S. job offer. Some Officers require it even from applicants with a job offer.
Your sponsor must live in the U.S. or one if its territories and be 18 years of age or older. He/she does not have to be a U.S. citizen but must reside in the U.S. legally.
A sponsor’s income must be equal to or higher than 100% of the U.S. poverty level guideline for that size household. The household includes the sponsor, relatives that depend on him/her, you, and if applicable your spouse and/or child/children.
The sponsor needs to provide a statement from the bank regarding his/her account(s) with the date it was opened, deposits for the past year, current balance.
Also included must be proof of current employment or self-employment and a copy of his/her most recent income tax return including W-2 (if applicable).
Proof of Employment is a letter from sponsor’s current employer preferably on business stationary. The letter must include the date of hire, position and title, type of work done, whether position is permanent or temporary, salary paid. Also marital status, number of dependents claimed, contact information.
In case of Self-Employment proof is a copy of sponsor’s business license, pay statements.
Nota Bene. Make sure sponsor uses the NEW version of Form I-134 (8 pages) and indeed adds all required documentation.
Sponsor should check at Question 38 the box for Intend to Make Specific Contributions. On the next line he/she should write “room and board until Mr./Ms. (your name) has found a job.”
Go to www.uscis.gov and search Form I-134 Affidavit of Support, to print the form and for most recent information.
Some U.S. Embassies and Consulates require that the Form I-134 is notarized or legalized. This must be done by a U.S. public notary.
However some U.S. States have rules that prohibit notarizing forms without a special ‘box’ for the Notary Stamp/Signature. If this is the case where your sponsor lives, he/she must include a letter citing the Paragraph in the State Notary Law prohibiting notarization and include this letter with the I-134.
For Selected Entrants already living in the U.S.:
A Diversity Visa AOS Applicant is ‘self-sponsoring’ and does not need to submit an Affidavit of Support.
However an AOS DV Primary Applicant must provide the Affidavit of Support I-134 for a family member or members immigrating with him or her as Derivative Applicants.