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thegraydude

F1 Visa Question: As a fully-funded PhD student, would I be required to show Affidavit of Support to VO?

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My department provided the Affidavit of Support to the 'Admissions Office'. So, the I-20 issued to me clearly show my cost (Tuition + Living + Health Insurance) to be around US $30,000, and it states my personal funds to be: '0.00' and 'funds from this school' to be around US $34,000.

 

So, cost = 30,000 and funds from school = 34,000 as part of my TA position.

  • Is there a possibility of VO asking to show additional funds in cases of emergency?
  • Should I be getting an Affidavit of Support from my parents as well (like Masters' students do)?
  • Also, should I be requesting my department to give me a copy of this affidavit of support to show the VO?

(I searched a lot on Google, but all the F1 VISA information on the Internet seems to be focused on Masters' students, and no one talks about PhD students.)

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If you want the absolute best answer, you should ask the International Office. 

 

However, in general, your I-20 serves as your proof of funding for visa/entrance and status purposes. I also had a copy of my school's offer letter stating the funding amount, just in case, but they did not ask to see it. I do not think you will need the Affidavit of Support from your department directly--the I-20 is a more powerful/authoritative document. I would recommend having copies of any letters of admissions/funding that were already sent to you for your visa interview, just in case, but you don't have to request additional documents.

 

The VO will not ask for more funds than the requirement, unless there is some reason to believe that you will have higher costs (e.g. you are supporting F-2 dependents). However, the VO is expected to go by the cost on your I-20. 

 

You do not need an affidavit of support from your parents because you already have more funding in place than the minimum cost so you meet all F-1 requirements. I think it would be best if you reviewed the F-1 requirements and ensure you provide all documentation that is asked for. It would be best if you did not provide extra unsolicited information!

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Sounds like you're all set -- your I-20 says that you have sufficient funding from your school, so there is no reason why anyone would want to see proof of extra funds (unless you have dependents who are getting a F-2 visa, in which case you may be asked to show that you can fund their stay). You could get a copy of the affidavit of support from your department, just in case, but it should already be clear from your I-20 that this support is guaranteed. 

 

[disclaimer: I am NOT an immigration expert]

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Thank you Fuzzy and TakeruK. I did read that I would be required to show ability to pay for 1st year of school -- and the TA position covers that. However, I was confused because the TA position itself is contingent upon:

 

1. My continued progress towards the PhD  

2. GPA of 3.5 or above  
3. Satisfactory performance of TA duties  (By the way, do other TA positions have the same conditions or is it just mine?)

 

So, I thought the VO might ask what if the TA funding is taken away if I fail to satisfy these conditions (in the worst case).

 

Sorry, I know I'm possibly over-thinking things but I just do not want to "f*** things up on the last yard" (as one of my friends from Canada put it).

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All TA offers (pretty much all funded offers) come with some kind of conditions. Usually they are worded qualitatively like "satisfactory performance" and "continued progress" but you do get the occasional quantitative requirement (e.g. GPA > 3.x). 

 

However, your I-20 does not state the requirements and if the school is willing to commit the first year funding to you on the I-20, it is good enough. The visa officer's job is to ensure you meet F-1 visa requirements at time of application. Things can change but they cannot predict the future so generally, these issues are not considered in your application. It is up to you to ensure you remain compliant with F-1 status requirements once you enter the US.

 

By the way, usually the only way you do not reach "satisfactory performance" or "continued progress" is getting kicked out of the program. Very few programs will decide that you are not good enough for basic funding but still good enough to remain in the program!

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Mine has the same conditions, except for GPA which is just 3.0, I think.

 

Thank you Fuzzy and TakeruK. I did read that I would be required to show ability to pay for 1st year of school -- and the TA position covers that. However, I was confused because the TA position itself is contingent upon:

 

1. My continued progress towards the PhD  

2. GPA of 3.5 or above  
3. Satisfactory performance of TA duties  (By the way, do other TA positions have the same conditions or is it just mine?)

 

So, I thought the VO might ask what if the TA funding is taken away if I fail to satisfy these conditions (in the worst case).

 

Sorry, I know I'm possibly over-thinking things but I just do not want to "f*** things up on the last yard" (as one of my friends from Canada put it).

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On 4/22/2015 at 10:23 PM, thegraydude said:

My department provided the Affidavit of Support to the 'Admissions Office'. So, the I-20 issued to me clearly show my cost (Tuition + Living + Health Insurance) to be around US $30,000, and it states my personal funds to be: '0.00' and 'funds from this school' to be around US $34,000.

 

So, cost = 30,000 and funds from school = 34,000 as part of my TA position.

  • Is there a possibility of VO asking to show additional funds in cases of emergency?
  • Should I be getting an Affidavit of Support from my parents as well (like Masters' students do)?
  • Also, should I be requesting my department to give me a copy of this affidavit of support to show the VO?

(I searched a lot on Google, but all the F1 VISA information on the Internet seems to be focused on Masters' students, and no one talks about PhD students.)

As this question was asked in 2015, I hope you got through the interview and are successfully attending your programme.

I am in a similar situation, my course of PhD starts in Fall 2019. The university is offering me a tuition waiver and TA of $12,400 for 9 months. The total estimated cost is $42,000 and they are providing with almost $39,500 including the tuition fee. The rest has been covered by my family and a bit extra.

I am worried that I will have to show proof of funding for 5 years of the course, as I have seen in most of the forums for MS students. So my question is did u have to show documents of funding for 5 years of your course ?

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Hello @Paramita

I too have secured an admit to a doctoral program in the fall of 2019 and I have my visa interview this month. I assume your visa interview is not over. If not, then you do not have to worry about showing proof of finance for the entire duration of your PhD. I too had the same query and I did some extensive research to find a satisfactory answer to it. The visa officer is only concerned if you can meet the financial requirements for the first year. And, as TakeruK mentioned in his comment, we can never predict what happens in the future. So, as per your I20, you are short by 2.5k dollars, and you have the financial documents which can be used to prove that you are able to take care of the remaining expenses. So you are all set to go.

In case your interview is over by this time, I hope you got your visa.

 

Vijay.

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