Proof of Funds for your F-1 International Student Visa

April 30th, 2012 by Jennifer Frankel

It’s that time of year when students have received acceptance letters from their colleges and universities.

Once they’ve narrowed down their schools and confirmed admissions, the next step is to apply for a F-1 international student visa to get government authorization to study in the US.

All prospective foreign students are required to demonstrate that they have the financial capability to support him or herself while studying in the US. This includes covering tuition and fees, living expenses, and any dependents – without working during your studies.

Proof of Funds

To meet the Proof of Funds requirement for your F-1 visa, you will either need to present proof of funds for yourself or do so through a sponsorship (such as a relative financially backing your education). It is important that you check directly with the consulate as this may vary by country and agency, but here are some general considerations and documents you should bring during your visit.

Proof of liquid assets

The consulate will want to see that you are able to cover your education and living expenses. While there are generally no specific documents that prove this, there are some commonly used documents that help support proof of funds including:

  • Original tax returns from the last three years (Form 16)
  • Three years of bank records and/or fixed deposit statements of your sponsor (which can also be your parent)
  • Pay slips, employment letters
  • Chartered accountant statements
  • Scholarships (which should be indicated on your I-20)
  • Property documents

The US government is concerned more with liquid assets such as savings accounts and checking accounts since they want to ensure that you have easy access to these funds. Investments with fluctuating values and property deeds are not generally recommended as proof of funds. The embassy is looking to see that you have immediate funds to cover the first-year costs of your education and that you’ll have access to funds for the following years needed to complete your degree.

Original Documents in English

Additionally, it is important that all of your documents are original, in English (or an official translation attached), and official. Your bank documents should be on bank letterhead with the name of the account holder, account number, and the total amount of funds indicated on the forms.


If you are planning to study in the US but do not have sufficient funds, you can have a sponsor support you instead. Many international students have a sponsor, such as a family member, to help cover their educational expenses. Sponsors can be located inside or outside the US.

There are a lot of available scholarships that are designed specifically for international students. Take for example the scholarships offered by the World Health Organization’s MPOWER which are the Global Citizen Scholarship and Women in STEM Scholarship.

All you have to do is to make sure that you are eligible for the scholarship. Some of the requirements are having the right positive attitude in school and towards one’s future career, the willingness to excel in his or her academics, and many more.

Affidavit of Support Form

If the student is sponsored by a US citizen, they would need to complete the I-134 Affidavit of Support Form that requires the sponsor to cover any expenses that the student cannot afford.

If the student is sponsored with funds outside the US, then the embassy would check to see if there are any fund transfer restrictions from the specified country. If there are any restrictions, the student must be equipped with evidence that the student will be able to access these funds during the period of study.

Consulate and Embassy

The final determination of sufficient proof of funds is determined by the consulate or embassy. Even if you provide these documents they can still deny the student visa. Be sure to check with your school and consulate to make sure you have all the proper forms necessary when arriving for your F-1 student visa interview.

Also make sure that you are prepared to answer all of the questions in the interview in the best way possible. Be eloquent, explain things clearly and in a straightforward manner, and always be at your best form. Doing these and matching it with your complete documents gives you a higher chance of being accepted for an F- Visa.


  1. Deepak Basnet says:

    Can you please provide similar article on proof of finance for Canada? I heard that Canada accepts bank loans from local banks of international students. Is it true

  2. Razia Bano says:

    i want to study in USA on scolership so please mail me the answer.

    • Bryanna Lindblom says:

      Hi Razia,

      Thank you for your interest. has multiple scholarships that you are able to search through. Once you find a scholarship that you are interested in, you can contact the institution directly to apply. You can begin your search here.

  3. FAVOUR O. UBA says:


    • Bryanna Lindblom says:

      Hi Favour,

      Unfortunately a co-signer is required for all international student loan programs. That co-signer must be a US citizen or permanent resident, with good credit, who has lived in the US for the past two years. My best suggestion would be to contact any family or friends that you might have who meet these requirements then go from there. Good luck!

  4. michaelk says:

    I was looking for a way to take a loan before i go to college in the US.
    The banks I have seen say that I have to be at college for at least 3 months. 🙁

    • Bryanna Lindblom says:

      Thank you for your comment Michael.

      I’m sorry to hear that you have not yet found a lender. You might want to visit here and complete the comparison tool to make sure you have checked out every available lender.

      Good luck!

  5. mulindwa Gonzaga says:

    my friend is a citizen in the US. she wants to sponsor me for a masters degree in the US. I am not a US citizen. do you think that is possible?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Mulindwa,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is possible to have a US sponsor for your studies in the US. Keep in mind your sponsor must be able to provide the proof of funds and complete a I-134 Affidavit of Support Form.

      Keep in mind that final approval will come from the consulate or embassy.

  6. Monir Uz Zaman says:

    My father is a farmer, never pay taxes even not having any bank account. Well, if i can manage full fund from professors then would it be possible to obtain visa?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Monir,

      Thank you for your message. You will need to show proof of funds to be approved for your visa. This can either be through your assets or a sponsor’s (someone who agrees to financially assist you) assets. Either way, you will need to have documentation to prove you have funds available to you.

      Good luck!

  7. Roshen maduranga says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am Roshen Maduranga.And I am following a media cause.Therefor I need to buy necessary equipment.
    My Parents are poor.So they cant buy those things for my study.Please support me to have my equipment from your agency.
    If you need documents to proof for my study I am willing to forward it.
    I am waiting for your positive response.
    Thank you
    Best Regards
    Roshen Maduranaga

  8. supriyo says:

    hi, i am from India want to work in south korea, can you tell me is there any requirement of bank statement of fund proof for work visa?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Supriyo,

      You will want to contact your consular’s office as they will be able to give you the most accurate information on this. Good luck!

  9. ankita says:

    My Colleague wants to sponsor me for masters study in germany ..I want to know wether he can sponsor me for my education,not completely,only a part of the total sum.My colleague is not in my blood relationship.Please reply

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Ankita,

      That is great if you found a sponsor. However, the embassy will have the final say on if your proof of funds will be approved- the only way to know for sure is to apply.

  10. Archak says:

    I am from India, and one of my relatives is partially sponsoring my graduate studies in US. He will be providing his bank statement proof for the same. He is concerned to know that will there be some monitoring or restriction to maintain a minimum balance in his bank account by any department, because he has signed an affidavit of sponsorship ?

  11. Maeel says:

    I want to studdy in USA but the thing is my parents can’t sponsor my studies since we have some debts but my uncle is a US citizen he has his own business. Can he sponsor all my studies and expenses there? even if I have no money in my bank account?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Maeel,

      Thanks for visiting. If you would like to be sponsored by a US citizen, they would need to complete the I-134 Affidavit of Support Form that requires the sponsor to cover any expenses that you as the student cannot afford. Good luck!

  12. paacal says:

    can I use a fixed deposit account statement to show proof of funds at the interview?

  13. Lenny Rose Ravelo says:

    Hi! I want to take IEP. I am turning 19 years old. My parents cannot sponsor me or even my other relatives. But someone in the US wants to give me a scholarship, he is a us citizen. He is not my relative, he is only someone who wants to give me a scholarship. Is he qualified to be my sponsor in my study?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Lenny,

      Usually sponsors are different than someone offering you a scholarship. Sponsors usually agree to cover all or a large portion of your fees while scholarships are usually a set portion. You will need to speak with the individual directly as to how much they plan on funding. Good luck!

  14. Nukuzo says:

    Hi Bryanna, I’m planning to do my Masters in the states. What is the minimum proof of fund required by the immigration dept?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Nukuzo,

      Thanks for visiting! You will be required to demonstrate that you have the financial capability to support yourself while studying in the US. This means you will need to show that you have the funds to cover tuition and fees, living expenses, and any dependents – without working during your studies. This exact amount will vary depending on where you’re studying, but your school should be able to give you a better idea of how much you will need.

  15. Aakanksha says:

    I am going to pursue my MS in US. My education shall be part sponsored by my relatives in UK. Is that feasible? And would it require any additional document during the Visa application?
    Would be helpful if you could clarify. Thank you.

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Aakanksha,

      Thanks for visiting. You will need to show proof of funds from each outlet you have. So if you have some funds coming from family, some from another bank account and other funds from a different outlet- you will need to show proof of funds from each. Good luck!

  16. MVP says:

    Can a US registered company sponsor my expenses(tution and living) while I’m on F1 VISA with a condition that I will work for them after my education ?

    • Bryanna Davis says:


      Thanks for your message. Typically you need to have proof of liquid funds such as bank statements, property, etc. Best of luck to you!

  17. rezwana says:

    i am applying for F1 visa and my father will sponsor me but the only problem is my fathers name is slightly different than my passport’s name e.g. Abu Bakar Siddiq and the name on his bank is Sheikh Abu Bakar Siddique. can i do a affidavit for that?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Rezwana,

      Thanks for visiting. There are many students who have non-family members sponsor them without any issues, although only the consulate can say for sure, your father’s name being difference from yours shouldn’t be a problem. However, when it comes to showing proof of funds you will need to be able to show proof that the funds are there. Make sure you bring any supporting document that shows how he will be paying for your education. Good luck!

  18. Pavi says:

    Should we show financial proof for the 1st yr of MS alone while getting visa or for 2yrs?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Pavi,

      You will need to be able to show proof of funds for the entire time that you’ll be studying in the US or have a sponsor that is able to show that they will have the means to support your expenses. Good luck!

  19. joseph says:

    is a student loan enough for financial proof ? we it be enough if it cover all my school fees living expensive, health insurance etc?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Joseph,

      Thanks for visiting.

      Some students are able to use loan approval as proof of funds, but its not easy and its up to the school and consular officer if they’ll accept a loan approval as proper funds. You would need to apply for the loan now, list the school you plan to attend, get initially approved based on the credit of your co-signer, then use that initial approval to complete your acceptance to the school. Good luck!

  20. Purna says:

    Dear Bryanna,
    My company is ready to sponsor for my MS in US. Company has a current account. Can I use current account statement of company as supporting document? Or it should be only savings account?
    And what other documents are to be taken from company?
    Awaiting for your reply,
    Thanks & Regards

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Purna,

      Thanks for your message. It doesn’t need to a savings account. As mentioned above, it can be and of the following when trying to show proof of liquid funds:

      •Original tax returns from the last three years (Form 16)
      •Three years of bank records and/or fixed deposit statements of your sponsor (which can also be your parent)
      •Pay slips, employment letters
      •Chartered accountant statements
      •Scholarships (which should be indicated on your I-20)
      •Property documents

  21. harsha says:

    can brother in law(husband of sister) be sponsor for usa education who stays in india?or it must be parents?if it can be brother in law will there be any visa problem even if he met requirements in terms of money?

    • Bryanna Davis says:

      Hi Harsha,

      No, your sponsor doesn’t need to be your parents. However, they must be able to show adequate proof of funds. Good luck!

  22. Jasmer singh says:

    I am from India, and one of my family Friend is partially sponsoring for my daughter’s graduate studies in US. He will be providing his bank statement proof for the same. He is concerned to know that will there be some monitoring or restriction to maintain a minimum balance in his bank account by any department, because he has signed an affidavit of sponsorship ?

    • Hi Jasmer, thanks for your question. I would recommend that you contact your daughter’s international advisor to see what requirements your family friend will have in terms of maintaining a balance in his bank account. They’ll be able to provided further guidance on requirements for proof of funds, as required by both your school and the Department.

  23. Lakshman says:

    Dear Bryanna,
    First of all, Thanks for your answers, you are doing a great job.
    Now my question:
    Can my father’s friend sponsor 40% of my US education as a second sponsor, as my father is able to provide only 60% of the amount.


    • Hi Lakshman, thanks for your kind words! We surely hope the information we provide is helpful 🙂 That shouldn’t be a problem, but you will need to contact your school directly to see if this would be okay to use as proof of funds.

  24. Aastha says:

    Hi, my parents are sponsoring my education in US for the F1 visa appointment do they need to provide any affidavit or sponsorship letter. They are Indian citizens.

  25. Aastha says:

    For F1 visa proof of funds can we use FD deposit certificates instead of the Bank FD statement. Also, so FD statements need to be for a period of 3 years or a recent statement will work.

  26. PK says:


    I am working here in US under F-1 visa (OPT), I would like to sponsor a friend of mine for his Masters here in the US.
    Will my documents work for sponsorship? If they do, where can I find more information about it?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Thanks for your message. Your friend will need to contact their school to see if you can act as the sponsor, and he/she can also verify with them what documents you’ll need to provide. Good luck!

  27. Sujat Hussain Khan says:

    Hello sir i just want to apply for U.S study close relative (first cousin) wants to sponsor me he is able to bear the all expenses. He has sufficient funds in his bank account. Can he sponsor me?

  28. raviferozepuria says:

    My sweet friend is in usa florida but we will not yet meet with each other just chatting chatting she sponsor me is it is possible i want to join her and also want to study there so can you give some advice to me or for her

  29. raviferozepuria says:

    She said i will sponsor you

  30. raviferozepuria says:

    Dear sir or madam am waiting for your sweet reply kindly do a will for me

  31. Heston Dsouza says:


    If my uncles are depositing X amount of money to my sponsor’s account, how do I explain this in my Visa interview?

    • We recommend that you contact your school for guidance on what documents you’ll need and also contact them regarding your multiple sponsors. During your visa interview, it’s important that you are honest and straight forward with them regarding the funds and sources.

  32. Dillon says:

    If I’m a US citizen and I am sponsoring a friend for f1 student visa. I have had a bank letter show proof of my funds but after a few months most of the money has been spent. My account is fluctuating. . Does that influence the acceptance? Or the once I showed them proof is enough ? Is my account being monitored ?

    • Hi Dillon, thanks for your question. While your account is not being actively monitored throughout the year, it is possible that you may need to show proof of funds again. The best thing to do is contact the DSO at the school to confirm their requirements of showing proof of funds.

  33. Rashmi Choudhary says:

    My brother is sponsoring my F1 visa.Do i need affidavit of support from him or he can just write a letter and sign it.

  34. Sridhar Kathera says:

    I am moving my son from his current H4 to F1 status.
    As a proof of financial support, would my 401K funds be sufficient?
    Or, would a home equity line of credit suffice?


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