Form I-20 Requirements

GETTING YOUR FORM I-20.

The following information contains rules for issuance of your Form I-20 by Caldwell University. Read and follow them VERY carefully. You cannot complete this process without following them step-by-step. Sometimes, we may have to ask you to give us more evidence of your financial ability, perhaps more than once. The U.S. Government requires that we be absolutely sure, to the best of our ability, that you will have enough financial support to cover the full costs of your stay in the U.S. Too little money causes pain and distress for students. We insist that students and their families look closely at the costs of living and studying in the U.S. and make careful plans to be sure your needs will be met.

You must be a “bona fide” student intending to pursue a full course of study in the program to which you have been admitted. We recommend that you start preparing your financial documents as soon as possible, so your I-20 can only be issued after you have been admitted.

Carefully review Caldwell University’s Estimated Annual Financial Requirements For International Students.

These requirements represent a modest average budget, which does not include luxuries of any kind. We strongly recommend that you budget at least 10% more if possible.

Expect annual increases in tuition and living costs of about 7%.

U.S. law requires that you prove your ability to support your estimated annual costs for every year of your program of study ( Estimate 2-3 years for a Master’s and 4 for a Bachelor’s.) You must provide documents that will convince the government that you have:

  • Cash to cover your first year in the U.S.
  • Sufficient and dependable financial resources to cover every additional year your financial support can come from any combination of sources explained in numbers six, seven and eight below.

Do not expect that you will be able to work in the U.S. to help meet your annual costs!

Off-campus employment is strictly controlled by the Immigration Service and opportunities on campus are very limited and competitive.

All documents you give us must be less than two months old and in English. (We cannot review documents that are not in English.) Send us photocopies or faxes, not originals. You will need the originals of all the documents you have sent us to give to the American Embassy when we send you your I-20.

You can support yourself with your own personal funds which comes only from your own income or resources. Unless you have enough cash to support yourself for your entire program of study or can prove other sources of personal income, you will need a sponsor with an income sufficient to support you. Prove your personal funds with the following documents:

  • Bank Statements in your name only, which state the date the account was opened, current balance in U.S. dollars, average deposits and average balances. We cannot accept statements that do not specify balances unless it is stated to be a minimum of six figures in U.S. dollars. If your statement shows that your funds are “fixed,” meaning that they do not produce substantial income, your balance will be divided by the number of years in your program of study to determine the amount you will have available to you for each year of study.
  • Employment Letter certifying your salary — if you are on authorized employment or continuing to be paid by your home country employer.
  • Statement of Liquid Investment

You may support yourself with funds from this school such as a scholarship, assistantship, or fellowship. University support does not cover all expenses, so you will need additional resources to meet your minimum annual costs. Provide us with a copy of your award letter or contract to prove that you will receive this form of support.

You may support yourself with funds from other sponsors such as parents, relatives, or organizations. You may have as many sponsors as you need. It is highly recommended that at least part of your financial support come from your home country for purposes of visa issuance. Sponsors may provide you with support in the form of cash and/or room and board. Free room and board is determined to be when you live with someone and do not have to pay for your room or food.

A sponsor should only promise as much money as he or she is able to give you. Some sponsors believe that the more money they promise to give the easier it will be to get your I-20. The most common reason for rejection of financial documents is that we do not believe that the sponsor can afford to give as much as promised. A sponsor should promise only what he or she intends to give and only as much as can be afforded.

Each sponsor providing cash support must give us all the following documents to prove financial responsibility. If all these documents are not received, your sponsors support will not be considered.

  • Affidavit of annual financial support. This form may be photocopied for each sponsor in the presence of a notary public. The notary public will sign and affix the official seal on each affidavit. There are notary publics at all U.S. embassies and consulates. In the U.S., most neighborhood pharmacists, lawyers and accountants are notaries. There are notaries in all countries, though the names for them may be different. There are officials licensed by the national or regional government to take sworn statements for courts of law or to witness contracts and property deeds.
  • Proof of income. (a) Individual Sponsor: this must be on the employer’s letterhead, on income tax returns or receipts, or estimated by a bank or private accountant when the sponsor is a self-employed businessperson or retired. The income of a company is not the income of the owner of the business and will not be accepted as proof of income. You must provide an official statement of the salary paid to the owner/sponsor. (b) Company Sponsor: Submit the most recent “Profit and Loss Statement” for the company.
  • Bank statement in the name of the sponsor only, that states the date the account was opened, the current balance in U.S. dollars, and the average deposits and average balances. We cannot accept statements that do not specify balances, unless it is stated to be a minimum of six figures in U.S. dollars.

Sponsors providing free room and board (free room and board is determined to be when you live with someone who gives you your room and food for no payment) must provide all of the following evidence of financial ability:

  • Affidavit of free room and board fully completed and signed in the presence of a notary public.
  • Photocopy of lease deed, deed, rent receipts in sponsor’s name.
  • Proof of income. This must be on the employer’s letterhead, on income tax returns or receipts, or estimated by a bank or private accountant when the sponsor is a self-employed businessperson or retired. If you are presently in the U.S., you must be living with the sponsor at the time you file this application for this to be counted towards your means of support.

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