Financial Stipulations for an F-1 or M-1 Student Visa

As an applicant for an (F-1 or M-1) student visa to the United States you are expected to demonstrate that you meet the tuition and living expenses requirement. This means that you will need to cover not only your tuition but also living expenses for your spouse and children, that is if your spouse and children will be residing with you in the U.S. Additionally, you will have to cover expenses for your spouse and children without being dependent on any employment that you might be able to obtain in the U.S. while studying there and that’s without your spouse or children working at all. Consult with an Immigration Attorney to discuss more about financial requirements.

Finances Needed to Qualify for an F-1 or an M-1 Student Visa

If you submit an F-1 Application for an (academic student) visa or status, your finances must show that you can clearly cover a 12 month academic term. You will need to show that you are able to cover additional years of study, as well. While the U.S. government does not require that you are literally able to subsidize all your years of studies immediately, it does demand that you show your source of income. The same goes for an M-1 (vocation student) visa. Your resources must cover a complete 12-month study term in the U.S.

Financial Support Acceptable While Studying in the U.S.

Your sources of financial support can include personal funds, personal assets or property that are readily accessible to cash out. Financial support also includes pay from work that you do as part of a fellowship or scholarship or specified funds from other people or organizations.

Part of the application process, you will need to collect supporting documentation that will provide evidence of the requirements. Case in point, you might show proof of:

  • Personal or family funds, such as copies of bank statements or stock certificates. Put together this with a list summarizing your total cash assets. Take note that if a bank statement shows a recent deposit but a low average balance, the U.S. government will want to know why and what happened there. A written explanation is either a personal or an official statement showing the source of the new cash attached to the copy of the bank statement. The goal is to ensure that the financial situation is better than it looks.
  • The employment status of family members who will support you is in good standing. An employer’s letter that shows the family member's job title, salary and permanent position. Including copies of income statements will also help.
  • Any assets owned by you or family members that can be converted into cash. The cash conversion must be done in a country whose currency is traded on the international exchange. Take for example, real estate (land or properties owned) are good assets to show. The U.S. immigration authorities will want to see whether the properties owned are free and clear or whether it carries any debt or lien, so you will want to attach bank statements or other receipts that prove to what extent any loans or mortgages have been paid off. If in the case the ownership papers do not make the value clear or they show a value that seems quite low, it is advised to hire a professional evaluator to prepare an estimate and report.
  • Any scholarships, grants or loans from your school, government or private sources. Although those will also be listed on the Form I-20 that you receive from the school that accepts you into their program, you must confirm information of your independence. Sometimes a copy of a notification letter works.
  • If your family members will be supporting you, they can use the USCIS Form I-134 that specifies that they not only have the income and assets you have shown but they are willing to sponsor your studies and living expenses.

Hire an Immigration Lawyer

Applying for an F-1 or an M-1 student visa can be a daunting task and will demand that you retain the services of an immigration attorney. To better understand the financial requirements for a student visa, call theGambacorta Law Office today at 847 908 4913.