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Form I-134A, Explained

Understanding the financial sponsorship form for certain parole programs

What Is Form I-134A?

Form I-134A, or the Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, is an online document filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by individuals who wish to sponsor a foreign national for admission to the United States. Form I-134A is specifically for financial sponsorship, and is currently only accepted for two specific immigration programs:

  • Sponsorship for Ukrainian refugees as part of the Uniting for Ukraine program; or
  • Sponsorship for Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan migrants as part of the new humanitarian parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans

Form I-134A includes detailed information about the sponsor’s financial status and their ability to provide financial support for the beneficiary in question. The I-134A is typically used to show that the sponsor has the financial resources to support the beneficiary during their temporary parole in the U.S.

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Form I-134A Requirements

The requirements to be a Form I-134A sponsor are:

  • You must be U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder with legal immigration status
  • You must be physically present in the U.S. when filing
  • You must undergo and pass a background check
  • You must personally file and sign Form I-134A – beneficiaries seeking parole under these processes may not file the form on their own behalf
  • You must include the name of the beneficiary on Form I-134A
  • You must be willing to file a separate Form I-134A for each beneficiary you are planning to support, including children under the age of 18

Form I-134A Process

A U.S.-based sponsor must submit Form I-134A with USCIS through the online myUSCIS web portal to initiate the process. The form includes questions about both the sponsor and the beneficiary, including basic biographical information and immigration history. The sponsor must also provide a comprehensive overview of their finances, including information on their assets, liabilities, income sources, and general expenses. The sponsor must file a separate Form I-134A for each beneficiary they are wishing to sponsor, even in instances where the sponsor is supporting multiple members of one family.

Once filed, USCIS will review the form and all supporting documents to ensure that the sponsor is able to financially support the beneficiaries. At this stage, USCIS will also conduct a background check on the sponsor to detect any potential fraud, exploitation, or legal red flags.

The I-134A form is an important part of the sponsorship process, as it helps demonstrate that a potential beneficiary of a parole program will not become a public charge in the United States. To ensure that a foreign citizen can be successfully sponsored and admitted to the United States, it is important that Form I-134 is filled out completely and accurately.

You can find more information on how to start filing Form I-134A on USCIS’ official form portal here. If you have more immigration questions, Boundless’ easy questionnaire helps guide you through your options to find the right path for you.


Tips For Avoiding Processing Delays

Due a large number of inquiries and assistance requests related to Form I-134A, USCIS recently released a list of key tips to help avoid processing delays when filing:

  • Be sure to file the correct form. For this type of sponsorship, USCIS will only accept Form I-134A not  Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support).
  • Only file one form per beneficiary. USCIS requests that sponsors do not file more than one Form I-134A for the same beneficiary.
  • Check your Form I-134A for errors or typos. Before filing, make sure your form is mistake-free and contains the correct contact information for the beneficiary.
  • Utilize your USCIS online account.  After filing, applicants can use their USCIS online account to check their case status and edit the information on your submitted form if need be.

Ukrainian Sponsorship Program

The Uniting for Ukraine program provides a pathway for Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members to come to the U.S. and stay temporarily for a two-year parole period. In order to be eligible for parole, Ukrainian nationals must have a sponsor in the U.S. who agrees to support them financially during their stay in the country.

Sponsoring a Ukrainian refugee through the Uniting for Ukraine program requires a commitment to providing financial and emotional support throughout the resettlement process. The sponsorship process typically involves helping the individual find employment in the new country, locate housing and healthcare services, secure transportation, and other tasks.

In order to sponsor a Ukrainian refugee through the Uniting for Ukraine program, sponsors must first fill out Form I-134A and submit electronically to USCIS.

After the sponsor files Form I-134A, USCIS officers review the form and supporting evidence to ensure that the sponsor has sufficient financial resources to support the beneficiary for the duration of the parole period. At this time, USCIS will also conduct a background check on the sponsor. If Form I-134A is approved, Ukrainian beneficiaries will receive an email directly from USCIS on how to set up a USCIS and other instructions on next steps.

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Humanitarian Parole Program

The Biden administration’s new humanitarian parole program applies to migrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. This policy offers an alternative pathway for migrants from these specific countries who are facing dangerous conditions, violence, or severe economic hardship at home.

Under the special parole program, eligible individuals may apply for U.S. travel authorization at U.S. Embassies or consulates without having to exit their home countries. If approved, they will be able to enter the U.S. on parole status, and legally reside and work in the country for a period of up to two years.

In addition to finding a financial sponsor in the U.S., eligible applicants must demonstrate that they meet certain criteria such as being at risk of serious harm in their home country. They must also demonstrate that they are not inadmissible to the U.S. based on criminal history, previous immigration violations, and other guidelines outlined in U.S. immigration law.


I-134A FAQs

In addition to filing Form I-134A itself, the sponsor must also provide documents that prove their identity, biographical information, and show proof of income or assets. These documents vary, but may include employment records, tax forms, bank statements, Social Security benefits awards letters, or other official financial documents.

Immigrants cannot apply directly for parole under the Uniting for Ukraine program or the new humanitarian parole program. To start the process, a sponsor must first file Form I-134A with USCIS on behalf of the beneficiary and include the beneficiary’s name and contact information.

If USCIS determines that the Form I-134A is sufficient, they will send the beneficiary information directly about the next steps in the parole process.

There is no application fee to file Form I-134A.

Form I-134A is specific to the Ukrainian sponsorship program and those looking to sponsor Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan nationals. Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support) is a paper form, filed by U.S. citizens or permanent residents who plan to financially support a visa applicant during their temporary stay in the U.S. You can learn more about when Form I-134 is filed in Boundless’ guide.

It is possible for an organization or business to financially sponsor an immigrant. An individual is required to file and sign Form I-134A, but they can do so on behalf of a group. Individual supporters filing with or on behalf of an organization or business must submit evidence of the group’s financial commitment when they file the Form I-134A.

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