While not required, it is always a good idea to have the signatures of the Declarants notarized. Make sure to end any declaration/affidavit with the "under penalty of perjury" sentence.
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Yes, affidavits should be notarized. Declarations are under penalty of perjury and not notarized.
You don't need to provide a notarized affidavit. You could provide a sworn or affirmed statement, ie beginning with something like "I affirm the following facts under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States." The statement should include the name and contact info the writer and other details as mentioned in the I-130 form instructions on the USCIS website.
An affidavit must always be signed in the presence of a notary public, who verifies the identity of the person signing the affidavit, witnesses the signature, signs it as well, and places his or her notary seal on the affidavit. Otherwise, without being notarized, it will not be an affidavit. It will only be a statement that does not have the notarial authentication of the person's signature and will not be a sworn statement, made under oath in the presence of a notary public. As such, it will not have as much value as evidence in support of the I-130 Immigrant Petition.
You may want to consider scheduling a consultation with an immigration lawyer prior to having the affidavits signed by the persons who will be providing them, so that the lawyer may review the drafts of the affidavits to ensure that they have been correctly prepared.
This information does not establish an attorney-client relationship or any responsibility or liability on the part of the attorney for actions taken by the recipient arising from having read this information. The recipient of the information is advised to contact an experienced attorney for a formal consultation regarding this matter.
YES; have your local bank act as the Notary Agent.
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