Reminder: Proof of Financial Support Needed to Issue Form I-20
Prospective F-1 or M-1 students must provide proof that they have the financial resources to live and study in the United States. Prospective students should provide this information to their Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school when requested.
Designated school officials (DSOs) must capture this proof of financial support in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to create an initial Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.” You can find the directions explaining this process on the Create Initial Form I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility) page of the SEVIS Help Hub. The finances outlined should be enough for up to one year or the length of the program, whichever is shorter.
Evidence of financial support includes, but is not limited to:
- Family bank statements.
- Documentation from a sponsor.
- Financial aid letters.
- Scholarship letters.
If a DSO does not collect the proper financial information from a prospective international student, they cannot issue that student a Form I-20. Students need their Form I-20 in order to complete the necessary steps to studying in the United States, including:
- Paying their I-901 SEVIS Fee.
- Applying for their nonimmigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State.
- Receiving F or M status at a U.S. port of entry.
- Applying for benefits.
Do you have questions about the financial proof needed to issue a Form I-20 to a prospective student? Contact the SEVP Response Center.