F-1 student visa proof of funds

July 15th, 2021 by IEFA

Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of schools and confirmed admissions, the next step is to apply for an F-1 international student visa to get authorization to study in the U.S.

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

Proof of funds for U.S. student visa

To meet the proof of funds requirement for your F-1 visa, demonstrating your financial ability is crucial for the visa process as it shows you have sufficient funds to cover your education and living expenses in the United States. You will either need to present proof of funds for yourself or do so through a sponsorship (such as a relative financially backing or funding your education), and applicants must submit evidence of their financial ability as part of the application process. It is important that you check directly with the consulate as the financial evidence required 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 the cost of 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
  • Account statement
  • Original bank statement

These financial documents should reflect the applicant’s own currency to ensure clarity and ease of conversion to U.S. dollars.

The U.S. 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 acceptable 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 financial 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 statement and 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.

Financial sponsorship

If you are planning to study in the U.S. but do not have sufficient personal funds yourself, many international students rely on a financial sponsor, such as a family member or an entity, to provide financial support instead. Many international students have a financial sponsor, such as a family member, to help cover their educational expenses. Sponsors can be located inside or outside the U.S.

Financial support can come in various forms, including scholarships, family support, or a loan sanction letter, demonstrating the availability of funds to support the entire academic program.

There are a lot of available scholarships that are designed specifically for international students. You can search for the latest listings of international scholarships.

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 U.S. citizen, they would need to complete and submit 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 U.S., 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 a letter of evidence that the student will be able to access these funds during the period of study.

Consulate and embassy services for student visa

The final determination of whether an applicant has sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses is made 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 documentation and 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 and visa application gives you a higher chance of being accepted for an F- Visa. It’s crucial to demonstrate your financial ability to cover tuition and living expenses during the visa interview.

*Please note: you should always confirm the latest requirements with official sources as they can change and this article may not reflect the latest changes.

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