Tips on Filling Out Form I-134 for the K-1 Fiance Visa

How a U.S. citizen sponsoring a fiance can successfully fill in the form showing intended financial support.

By , Attorney · University of Miami School of Law

As part of the K-1 fiancé visa application process, the U.S. consulate will require applicants to show that they are not likely to become public charges—that is, that they won't depend on government assistance or welfare. Typically, the petitioning U.S. citizen is asked to show a willingness to support the applicant, as described in How Much Income a K-1 Fiancé Visa Applicant's Sponsor Needs to Show. In order to make this showing, the consulate may ask the U.S. citizen to fill out what's known as a Form I-134 Declaration of Financial Support, issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Below are some tips on filling out Form I-134 and preparing the accompanying documents. Unfortunately, the USCIS instructions don't make it entirely clear how each question should be handled. The guidance below is based on our understanding of the U.S. government's goals in collecting this information, and is directed to the U.S. citizen who will be filling out the form.

This form should not be confused with Form I-134A, which is only for financial supporters in certain humanitarian cases.

Is One I-134 Enough, Or Do Children Need Their Own?

If you are the U.S. citizen and your foreign-born fiancé is immigrating with children, the children won't need separate Forms I-134; listing them on the I-134 you fill out is sufficient.

Preparing USCIS Form I-134

This article discusses the version of the form dated 11/09/23.

For Form I-134, the petitioner needs to show an income of at least 100% of amounts listed per family size in the federal Poverty Guidelines. Your foreign-born fiancé might be required to bring a completed Form I-134 to the visa interview, at which point the form becomes part of their permanent record.

However, you will have to meet a higher, 125% requirement just a few months later, after your wedding, if and when your fiancé applies to adjust status to that of U.S. conditional resident (apply for a conditional green card). Therefore, we recommend that, if possible, you show that you can meet the 125% requirement on Form I-134 even at this point.

Part 1. Basis for Filing

As someone sponsoring a fiancé, it only makes sense to check box b (the fiancé being the beneficiary of the visa petition).

Part 2. Information About the Beneficiary

Form I-134 starts by asking about the "Beneficiary," which is the foreign-born person being sponsored, namely your fiancé. Fill in the personal information. In Question 8, make sure not to check "married" in answer for the person's marital status, since that would disqualify them for a K-1 fiancé visa.

For Question 12, "Beneficiary's Anticipated Length of Stay," it makes sense to say "No end date" if your fiancé plans to apply for adjustment of status in the United States (apply for a green card). If your fiancé plans only to get married and then return home, however, you would want to supply an end date for their stay, within 90 days after the estimated entry date.

Question 13 asks you to list the income that your fiancé will have after arriving in the United States. There's no obligation for fiancés to be self-supporting, so don't get too worried about this; it's unlikely the fiancé will have a source of income lined up in the United States after arrival (unless they can continue a remote job). This should include any income from any of your fiancé's dependents (obviously, this should not include you—the financial supporter). This table can be confusing. You and your fiancé should write "Beneficiary" in the column titled "Relationship to the Beneficiary." Do not write "Self." USCIS doesn't really explain the column titled "Income contribution to the beneficiary annually," so it's up to you and your fiancé to determine how this would apply to your specific situation. For example, if your fiancé has a dependent child who works part time and pays your fiancé rent, you could include the rent as income from that child.

If the foreign fiancé has assets that will help them to be self-supporting in the United States, it will help the application to list these in Question 16. See the USCIS instructions to the form for details on what assets qualify. "Assets" are something of value that a person owns, including real property or intangible items such as savings or stocks. Your fiancé should list any assets that can easily be converted into cash within 12 months. The same applies to the section for listing the assets of the U.S. citizen (your assets), discussed more below. If you're unsure whether some of your assets can be listed here, you might wish to speak to an immigration attorney.

Part 3. Information About the Individual Agreeing to Financially Support the Beneficiary Named in Part 2

This section asks for information about the U.S. citizen sponsor. The information about employment, income, and assets is key to proving to the U.S. government that the K-1 fiancé visa applicant will not become dependent on "means-tested public benefits," often referred to as welfare.

This table can also be confusing. USCIS doesn't really explain the column titled "Income Contribution to the Beneficiary Annually." It likely is more applicable to supporters for applicants of other types of visas, for example where someone is sponsoring a relative who is not a child or spouse, and won't be sharing their entire income as you typically would with a spouse. As a fiancé, you'd more likely want to share your entire income, even if that doesn't exactly make sense when you factor in taxes and living expenses, etc. You can put your entire income, or any number that makes sense to you. If you're worried about meeting the 100% or 125% of the poverty guidelines, you will want to ensure the total in this column is as high as possible.

Under the section on "Financial Responsibility for Other Beneficiaries," the U.S. government asks for this information in order to evaluate your overall capacity to simultaneously sponsor multiple people. You don't want to appear to be spread too thin.

Question 21 refers to specific grants of money, which it makes little sense to allocate to the person you'll be marrying. (This is probably the same type of situation the "Income Contribution" column refers to in the Part 3 income table.) It makes sense to check the "do not intend" box.

Part 4 and Part 5 ask for contact information and certain declarations that you will sign your name to (you should always read anything you are signing). The remaining sections are self-explanatory, mostly calling for the contact information of any professionals who helped prepare the form.

Documents to Accompany Form I-134

Along with Form I-134, the U.S. citizen should provide copies of documents proving income, as described below. Not every consulate will require such extensive documentation, but in case yours does, it's best to prepare in advance rather than risk delays in the process.

Copy of most recent federal tax return. Include the W-2 slips—at least one year's worth, and maybe three. There is no need to include the state tax form. The consulate prefers to see the tax return in the form of IRS transcripts (an IRS-generated summary of the return that was actually filed), which can be requested online (fastest method) or by using IRS Form 4506-T-EZ (shorter form which returns a shorter version of the tax transcript) or Form 4506-T (required if you file based on a fiscal tax year instead of a calendar year). These forms are available through the IRS website at or by calling 800-908-994.

However, it can take several weeks to get the tax transcript. Don't let this hold up the immigration process. If the transcript hasn't come by the time of the visa interview, simply use your (the U.S. citizen petitioner's) own, personal copies of the tax returns. Make sure the copy is of a form with the petitioner's signature on it, or that you send a copy of the e-signature authorization.

If you are self-employed, instead of a copy of your last-filed income tax return, the State Department will accept a report from a commercial rating concern (a company that provides credit reports about businesses).

Letter from U.S. citizen's bank(s) confirming the account(s). The U.S. citizen (you) should ask all of your banks holding money reported in Form I-134 to draft simple letters confirming the accounts. The letters can be addressed "To Whom It May Concern," and should state the date the account was opened, the total amount deposited over the last year, and the present balance. Banks will often (without your asking) also state an average balance. Be aware that if this is much lower than the present amount, the consulate will wonder whether the U.S. citizen got a quick loan from a friend to make the financial situation look more impressive. Some consulates prefer a recent bank statement instead.

Bond information. If you stated the amount of bonds you hold, create a list containing their serial numbers and denominations with the name of the record owner(s) of each bond.

Employer letter. It helps to also obtain a letter confirming the U.S. citizen sponsor's employment, which should include the date and nature of employment, salary, and whether the position is temporary or permanent. Here is a sample letter, which you can show the employer when making this request.

Sample Letter From Employer

Hitting the Road Trucking
222 Plaza Place
Outthereville, MA 90000

May 22, 20xx

To Whom It May Concern:

Ron Goodley has been an employee of Hitting the Road Trucking since September 4, 20xx, a total of over five years. He has a full-time position as a driver. His salary is $45,000 per year. This position is permanent, and Ron's prospects for performance-based advancement and salary increases are excellent.

Very truly yours,
Bob Bossman
Bob Bossman
Personnel Manager
Hitting the Road Trucking

Proof of Any Assets Listed on Form I-134

This might include, for example, copies of the title to a home and mortgage documents, car, or boat, along with appraisal reports; or a copy of a recent statement from an investment or retirement account. Mortgage and other financing documents should show the amount paid and the balance left, which you can use along with an appraisal to determine the cash value for purposes of the form. USCIS will only consider the value of your car or other vehicle if you own more than one, presumably because if you only have one vehicle you are unlikely to sell that to convert it to cash to support your fiancé. If you own more than one vehicle, you should list only your secondary vehicle.

How an Attorney Can Help

Although hiring an immigration attorney is not required for this type of application, you might nevertheless find that consulting with or hiring an experienced immigration attorney. is a good way to help ensure that all of the legal strategies available to you are explored and that you receive help with the paperwork and bureaucracy.

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