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International and Immigrant Students issues I-20s to more than 500 students every year. We are required by law to verify that each person has enough funds to cover the period of their stay in the United States. In most cases, the documentation we require will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for the F-1 visa (keep a copy for that purpose).

To obtain your I-20 quickly, follow the guidelines below when submitting your request.

Funding must include a Certificate of Finance along with one of the following documents:

Personal funds:

  • Bank statements** in your name showing a balance of account in the equivalent of $24,670 (USD) or greater.

Private sponsors, including parents (must include both of the following):

  • The sponsor's bank or other financial statements

  • Financial Sponsorship Agreement Form (PDF), indicating the relationship between you and your sponsor, and confirming the sponsor’s agreement to provide financial support.

  • Salary statements are not accepted

Loan certificates/letters:

  • Must indicate your name and the amount of approved loan

  • Loan applications are not accepted as proof of funding

NOTE: Any bank/financial statement/letter must include the account holder’s address.

**Bank/Financial Statement Criteria

  • Should be a single page document showing the criteria below. DO NOT submit long statements that include transaction history
  • A certificate of finance needs to be submitted with each bank/account that is submitted
  • Bank/financial statements from multiple accounts are acceptable. Each must:
    • indicate the financial institution's name
    • indicate the account holder's name and address
    • clearly show the account's ending balance
    • be dated within the past 6 months (older statements will not be accepted)
    • be translated into English (especially names) unofficial translations are accepted
    • clearly show the type of currency
    • be from statements that show liquid assets that can easily be converted to cash

Dependents (spouse or child-legal dependent under 21):

  • The equivalent of an additional $5,000 USD must be shown for each dependent.
  • All funding for dependents must be liquid and meet all the above criteria.
  • Inform IISS that you intend to bring dependents.

Important: The following types of funding are NOT accepted:

  • Documents older than 6 months
  • Income or salary statements
  • Funds that are not immediately accessible
  • Assets that are not in liquidated form (house, car, etc.)
  • Life insurance policy statements
  • Pension funds
  • Tax return forms or documents
  • Balances from equity portfolios in taxable accounts
  • Insurance will not be waived from the estimated cost of attendance
  • F-1 students are not permitted to sponsor other F-1 students

Submitting/Resubmitting Documents

Make sure all supporting documents are included with your request before you submit them to our office. Missing or separate documents will only slow down the process. Your I-20  documents cannot be processed until all proof of funding documents are received.

IISS wants you to have a successful educational experience. Having consistent financial support is expected. Limited scholarship and work opportunities are available. You should never anticipate scholarships or employment to cover the costs of your education. You should anticipate having funds available.

Note for sponsors:

Financially sponsoring an international student is a serious and ongoing financial commitment (like supporting a child’s education). Sponsorship is a contractual relationship between you and the student. It does not give you the right to own/access the student’s academic record or I-20.

You need to ensure you’re willing to sponsor the student without the expectation of services in return for sponsorship (for example: the student cannot work in your home). International students are not eligible to work off campus without authorization and have limited opportunities to work on campus. This is a financial commitment which needs to be honored for a minimum of one year. Expectations are for continued support beyond the first year of funding.