Documenting Finances for International Students
F-1 and J-1 visa regulations dictate certain financial requirements, which Eastern as an institution must uphold in order to maintain government certification to receive international students. Basically, to be approved for a visa, the student must show that he/she has the financial resources to pay for the entire degree program. Typically F-1 visas are for students with personal or privates sources of funding, whereas J-1 visas are for students with government funding.
Acceptable Financial Documents
One or more of the following documents may be used to fulfill the requirements stated above. The sum total of all monies should equal or surpass the costs for tuition and living expenses.
- Financial aid letter stating a scholarship of a specific amount has been awarded.
- A letter granting a graduate assistantship as a type of campus employment.
- Statement of Support (see instructions below).
- A notarized letter or other legal affidavit promising financial support in a specific amount from a specific source, with proof of assets attached.
- Receipt of an advanced deposit made directly to Eastern University
Instructions for the Statement of Support Form
The student may show personal resources available to pay for studies by filling out the Statement of Support. The person or organization providing financial support fills out the form, and attaches a bank statement or other proof of assets. If in the U.S., he or she signs the form in the presence of a notary public, who provides an official seal. If the student is not in the U.S., the documents should be official by the standards of his/her country. The student, parent and any other person, group or organization providing financial support to the student should fill out forms. The student and/or the sponsor should be prepared to send the first payment prior to the student’s start date.
Required Initial Deposit
Before the I-20 or DS-2019 can be issued, the student, or one or more of the sponsors, must pay an initial deposit totaling at least $5000 U.S. dollars (or whatever amount the individual Eastern program requires). This is not an additional amount, but rather goes on the student’s account as a first payment toward the actual cost of the program. Keep in mind that scheduling a visa interview (or filing for a change of status in the U.S.) may take from 60 to 90 days. The student may need to defer the start date of their program if there is not enough time to complete all processes.
In the case of an F-1 or J-1 student already in the U.S., the required deposit must be paid before the transfer of the SEVIS record and the issuance of an Eastern University I-20 or DS-2019.
Two Sets of Original Documents Needed
The student must prepare two sets of original, notarized financial documents. One set will remain in the possession of Eastern University. The student keeps the second set to take to the visa interview.
Questions regarding documenting finances for the international student can be directed to an International Admissions Adviser, or to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at Eastern University.