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melvina

Proof of Financial Means - for the I-20

5 posts in this topic

Hello!

I recently received the automated email by the university to start filling out the form so they can issue me an I-20.  I started and got up to the financial info and now i'm stuck.  The form shows me a table with the following info (amounts are approximate):

Without an assistantship:
Tuition + Fees: 30k
Living Costs: 18k
Insurance: 3k
TOTAL: 51k

With an assistantship:
Tuition + Fees: 17k
Living Costs: 18k
Insurance: 3k
TOTAL: 38k

I will have an assistantship, so i have to prove $38k.  Now my question is, do I need to prove the full $38k with bank statements, OR can i prove half of it with my assistantship stipend (since that will be covering most of my living costs) and the rest with bank statements?  

Also, can the bank statements be online printouts or do i need a stamp from the bank? 

The form I'm filling out lacks this kind of basic information, and i emailed the international office, but they are on spring break, so I likely won't hear anything until next week, and it seems like such a waste of time to be waiting for an answer when it takes them 3 weeks after submission to issue the I-20.  

Any advice would be appreciated! :)

 

PS  Did anyone's form include examples of what these bank statements should look like?  Mine don't, and it seems completely bizarre to me that they would not include any samples since there are literally 180+ different banking systems/statements in the world and a bank statement from my country could look like SOMETHING they have never seen.  

Edited by melvina

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For this stage of the paperwork, you just need to provide the international services office (ISO) with enough proof so that they can write it on the I-20 form. Note that later on, when you apply for a visa (if necessary) and when you enter the US, you will also need to have this proof again, just in case they ask to review it. So be sure to check on those requirements later.

For your specific question, yes, you can use your assistantship money to account for the $38k as long as you're not double-counting it. That is, if your assistantship provides the $13k difference in tuition waiver, you cannot count it again. But as you said, if your assistantship also pays you a bunch of money, then you can certainty include that. You should provide a copy of the letter of offer with the stipend amount to the ISO office. Note that although both your department and the ISO are part of the same University, it's unlikely they have a lot of communication, so you will have to provide proof that you have a funding offer etc. (by providing this letter).

For bank statements, usually you want to provide something that shows the total balance you have in your account, in US dollars. So, one way you can do this is to get a statement from your bank that shows how much you have in your home country's currency, plus something that shows the exchange rate. I would just start with that, using the online printout. When you submit this to your school's ISO, also ask them in the email if they want something more official. In the meantime, research what you need to bring to your visa interview (if you have one) and get whatever paperwork you need for that, in case it will take awhile.

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That's really great advice, thank you so much, @TakeruK:)

In terms of what the school writes on the I-20.... do you know if they just tick a box that says that i have enough funding, or do they specify the amount of funding that I have shown them?  (because i dont want to go to get the visa with one thing on the I-20, but perhaps a different amount in my bank account (in case I need to top up the amount, or need my parents to co-sign, since I don't have $38k fully in my name)).

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Your I-20 will show the estimated amounts. You can see an example here: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/image005.jpg

Basically, on one column it will list the expenses (for example):
Tuition and Fees: $30,000
Living Expenses: $18,000
Expenses of dependents: $0
Other: $3,000
TOTAL: $51,000

And on the other side, it might say (just example numbers):
Personal Funds: $ 19,000
Scholarship and Teaching Assistantship: $32,000
Funds from another source: $0
On-campus employment: $0
TOTAL: $51,000

So, whatever amount you tell the school will appear on your I-20 and when you appear for your visa interview and when you cross the border, you need to be able to prove that you have the matching funds as your I-20. Of course, if you have more than what's listed in your I-20 then that's okay. In the above example, if you have $32,000 in tuition waivers and assistantships then you "just" need $19,000 in your bank. I know it's not always easy to come up with the money but hopefully you will have time between now and then. I don't know what kind of evidence the visa process needs though, so please check up on that. For example, I am not sure if the money has to be in your name only, or if it just has to be accessible by you, so please check with the US embassy or consulate where you will be applying for your visa.

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Yes, that makes sense.  Thanks so much for finding that sample for me, really helpful!   I feel like my school at the moment has no idea how much i got in funding, so they are showing the "highest amount", but your advice about submitting what i have, and then emailing them to ask if that's enough is AWESOME!!  That way i'm not delayed.  Thanks SO MUCH!

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