Avoiding Pitfalls Series – Marriage or Fiance Visa? Different Types of Affidavit of Support Docs


Avoiding Pitfalls Series – Marriage or Fiance Visa? Different Types of Affidavit of Support Docs

By John B. Buda

The USCIS requires that anyone sponsoring a family member for Permanent Residence (Green Card), must make a showing of financial support for the intending immigrant. This showing is achieved via one of the several different USCIS Affidavit of Support forms.

In a nutshell, if you are going for the green card via marriage, you need the longer and more complicated I-864 Affidavit of Support form. If you are bringing your loved one to the United States on the Fiance Visa, then the shorter, less detailed I-134 form is required. Most employment types of visas do not require support documentation.

The I-864 Affidavit of Support for a “spouse” of an U.S. citizen is a much more detailed “legal” document that will hold the U.S. petitioner financially responsible for an immigrant. Form I-864 is a legally binding contract in which the family member sponsor commits to provide financial support to the immigrant. This form is absolutely required for all family-based green card cases. The contract put in place by the Affidavit of Support is enforceable for a long period of time. It can only be terminated once the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. Citizen, or when he or she has worked or can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work as defined by the Social Security Act, if the immigrant dies or if he or she is no longer a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Divorce does not terminate the legal obligation for support under the I-864.

On the other hand, the K1 Fiance Visa is filed with an I-134 Affidavit of Support. There is no binding “Contract” involved with the I-134 as opposed to the I-864. The USCIS knows that this document will not likely hold up in court if something goes wrong. The I-134 does ask for a showing of income or assets to prove the ability to support your fiance.

The simple fact is, consulate officers take a hard look at both marriage and fiance visa evidence of financial support, but they look a little more so with CR1 Marriage Visa applicants through the I-864 Form.

U.S. – Foreign couples need to continue to produce a trail of evidence throughout the visa process. The process of documenting your evidence starts with the USCIS form I-130 for marriage or I-129F for fiance. The documentation continues up until the time of the interview.

Thank You,

John B. Buda
Buda Law Group
Please note that Buda Law Group and the good folks over at http://chinesemarriageusa.com/ to offer affordable, effective marriage and fiance visa services for Chinese – American couples.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_B._Buda




  1. Harry Doyle says:

    Dear John,

    Just enquiring if you can be of some assistance.

    I am teaching English as a foreign language in Dalian, China. I met my wife who is a Chinese citizen over 1 and a half years ago. We got married in China last October. I am presently waiting for an interview for a spousal visa for my wife to enter the US. As I have no US based income my parents are willing to co sponsor. Will my poor income have an affect on my application? My parents have assets and a large income.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards


  2. Randy says:

    Harry, I’ve forwarded you comment at the blog to attorney John Buda. You should hear from him soon.
    Randy´s last blog post ..Save Time Filing Petitions for China Marriage and Fiance Visas

  3. Michael says:

    My girlfriend and I plan on marrying in China next year. Immediately after we want to go to the USA to register the marriage there. My girlfriend has a 10 Year tourist visa to the USA already, so it is no problem for her to come to the USA. We don’t plan on living in the USA until a few years later. Can you advise me please on the best way to do this? We do plan to eventually settle in the USA but not now. I am currently working as a teacher in China. Thank you!

  4. John Buda says:


    Your girlfriend and you can come to the USA, and register your marriage. If you go back to China, then you don’t need to worry about any other filings with the USCIS.

    Because you live and work in China, you can file an application for her Green Card directly with the US Embassy in Beijing or US Consulate in Guangzhou. We can help you with this. We do many of these “DCF” or Direct Consular Filings.

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