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The Definitive Guide to Visa Finances
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bikernin Offline
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bikernin Offline
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The Definitive Guide to Visa Finances
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The Definitive Guide to Visa Finances :

This is perhaps the most worrying factor for Visa applicants and every case usually needs to be treated independently. I have attempted here to answer the most commonly asked queries.

How much funds I need to show for my Visa Interview?
For the entire duration of your stay which is equal to the duration of your program as mentioned on your I-20. This will be 24 months or 2 years for most of the programs and 16 months for some specific ones, which again is Univ specific. The estimates on the I-20 come with a 9-12 month period or a normal 12 month period, the latter being a common occurrence. So, thumb rule is twice the I-20 amount in most of the cases which should be covered by liquids and non-liquids. For cases where your program duration is 16 months, do your math and show an appropriate amount.

What if your I-20 mentions a bloated program duration ?
For cases where your I-20 states something like your program duration as 36 months but its common for people to finish the program within or in 2 years, check if you can get a written communication from the Univ stating this or an e-mail version/soft copy of the same. Also, take supporting documents to back your claims that you need to finish the program in 2 years to maintain your F-1 status while you are at the Univ by taking appropriate credits each sem. The VO's have got every right to buy this argument or even reject them and hence be prepared for any sort of explanation that the situation may demand.

DISCLAIMER : This document is by no means comprehensive. I will do my best to update is according to feedback. But each case has to be treated on an individual basis. This is to give you a starting point and answer most frequently asked questions.

Showing Actual Source of Funds for Visa Interview :

In several cases, the finances that you show for your Visa interview is not the actual source of funds you will be using for your education. While it is of course highly recommended to show your actual source of funds, this may not be a practical thing to do. Here are a few reasons why this may be the case :
1) The living expenses on the I-20 are much higher than what you will actually be spending. (This is true for almost everybody)
2) You will have some degree of reliance on on-campus jobs.
3) Your funds may not be readily available at the time of the visa interview, but will be ready by the time you have to pay the fees.
4) You are taking funds from a source which might raise suspictions for the Visa Officer (such as loans from US banks)
There might of course be more reasons.

How much money do I need to show at the Visa Interview?
This amount is dictated by your I-20. The cost estimate on the I-20 is for the first 12 months only. Hence it is important to consider the course duration mentioned on the I-20 while calculating the amount to be shown. Sometimes, the course duration on the I-20 is more than what it actually might take. In this case, you still should prepare sufficient finance for the written duration.

In what forms can these funds be shown?
Technically they say that funds for the first year must be shown in the form of Liquid Funds. Funds for the remaining duration of the course can be shown as Non-Liquid Funds. Also, its better to not show property as a source of funds as one hardly sells it for funding his/her studies. However, properties/lands can be shown as an asset to establish strong home-ties, a reason for the VO's to believe that you have a strong base in your native country and won't immigrate to the country for which you are requesting a visa.
LIQUID FUNDS :

Liquid Funds are those funds which are at your instant disposal. The following is a list of sources which can be shown as Liquid Funds along with the necessary documents required for each of them.

1) Savings Accounts :
This is considered as good as cash in hand.
But few people actually store huge amounts of money in Savings Accounts for obvious reasons. You will most likely be transferring money from a non-liquid source into your savings account to show for the visa interview. In this case carry documents as proof of transactions.
In any case, be prepared to justify any significant deposits in your Savings Account with necessary documents
Documents Required : Original Passbooks with transactions of atleast last 6 months, Bank statement (optional), Proof of significant transactions
Note : Some banks do not provide passbooks. In this case, you can do either of the following :
a) Get a printed transaction history of the past 6 months from the bank (Recommened)
b) If you have Internet banking, print the bank statements over the past 6 months.

2) Fixed Deposits :
A fixed deposit is a long term deposit with a bank which yields a higher rate of interest. You can show either the Principal Amount or the Current Amount of a Fixed Deposit as Liquid Cash. Current amount will be higher than Principal Amount due to accrued interest, but will require an official bank statement as proof.
The Maturity Amount of a Fixed Deposit cannot be considered as Liquid Funds unless the Maturity Date is before the time when you will be needing the funds.
Documents Required : Original Receipts, Bank Statements for Current Value

3) Bank Loans :
A bank loan which has already been sanctioned can be shown as Liquid Funds. Maximum Bank Loan available in India = Rs. 20 Lakhs
Be ready to explain what was used as collateral to obtain the loan, if required.
I would strongly advise against showing a loan from a foriegn bank as source of funds.
Documents : Original Loan Sanction Letter with the name of the university mentioned

4) Scholarships :

Any monetary scholarship is also counted as Liquid Funds. These can be granted by various organizations, both from India and abroad. Make sure you are prepared to explain how you were eligible for the scholarship and your ties with the awarding organization.
Documents : Original Scholarhip Letter, Documents proving ties with the awarding organization (especially for caste specific trusts etc.)

NON - LIQUID FUNDS :

These are funds which are not available instantly, but can be made available in the near future if required.

1) Provident Funds :
There are several provident funds and it is beyond the scope of this document to discuss each one of those in detail.
Provident funds will pay you a certain amount of money at a given date. A percentage of this final amount is immediately available. Only this percentage can be shown as Liquid Funds. The rest is counted as Non-Liquid Funds.
There are also Public Provident Funds (PPF). Funds available through PPF can be shown as Liquid Funds.
Documents : Original Passbooks or Original Statements as applicable

2) Policies :
All policies are considered as Non-Liquid Funds.
Documents : Original Policy Letter

3) National Savings Certificate :

NSC's are Non-Liquid Funds.
Documents : Original Certificates

4) Bonds :
There are again several kinds of bonds and each of them will have specific conditions. Unless you dissolve these bonds and transfer them to savings accounts, they are counted as Non-Liquid.
Documents :Original Bond Certificates

5) Shares :
The value of these assets is constantly fluctuating and hence have to be shown as Non-Liquid Assets. I would recommend you calcualte the value of the shares approximately one week prior to the Visa Interview. You can do this yourself also and do not need to pay any professional to do it.
Documents : Original Share Certificates (if possible), DMAT Account Statement

6) Mutual Fund Investments :
These are also constantly fluctuating in value and to be shown as Non-Liquid Assets.
Documents : Original Mutual Fund Investment document, Investment Portfolio (if you are investing through an agency)

7) Other Investments :
Any other investments not covered above or later can be counted as Non-Liquid Assets only.
Documents : As per investment

NOTE : Most of the above Non-Liquid Assets can be dissolved into Liquid Funds. If you do so, make sure you carry the necessary proofs for the dissolution of these assets so that you can explain the influx of Liquid Funds in your Savings Account.

PROPERTY :

Property is not directly included in Non-Liquid Assets since you will rarely be selling property to generate funds.
While it is not compulsary to show property, it is higly recommended. There are two reasons :
a) It shows strong ties to your home country.
b) In case you are falling short of funds for 2nd year onwards, you can show property as a collateral for loan.
Documents : Original Proof of Ownership, Evaluation Certificate from a Registered Evaluator (Optional, Will cost money to obtain)

ANNUAL INCOME :

Along with all the above assets, you will also need to show the annual income of your sponsors. This is generally required to prove that your sponsors can sustain themselves while providing money for your education.
The annual income may include income from one of your Liquid assets such as FD Interest, or pay-offs from other investments. In this case, make sure that their income excluding these sources is sufficient.
Documents : Income Tax Returns of the past 3 years of each sponsor. If IT Returns of the current year have not been filed, carry salary slips, bills, receipts or any other proof of income over the past year as applicable.

How do I show these funds to the VO?

There are two ways :
1) Prepare a consolidated statement in tabular format. It should have three columns - Asset, Value in Rupees, Value in Dollars. Have four separate sections for all the above four forms of funds.
2) Prepare a Fund Flow Statement. State the funds required for your education semester-wise and the source of funds for each semester. So you will have three columns - Semester, Funds Required, Source of Funds
I would recommend option 1, since I have heard cases where VO's get suspicious about involvement of a counsellor on seeing a Fund Flow Statement.
You do not need to get these documents from any CA. You can make them yourself.

What other documents do I need from my sponsor?
The most important document you will need from your sponsor is an Affidavit of Support. Mention only the amount of Liquid Funds made available by each sponsor on the Affidavit. Do not mention Non-Liquid Funds.
Here is the format :
Quote:AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT
This is a Financial Affidavit of Support for Mr/Mrs/Ms. (Self). I Mr/Mrs/Ms. (Sponsor), (relation) of (Self), am willing and able to pay a sum upto USD XXXX/- equivalent to Rs. XXXX/- (In Words) for my (Relative's) education at (University Name).
Please find enclosed the necessary documents that support the same.
Sincerely,

(Sponsor)

The Affidavits must be printed on a stamp paper of minimum Rs.20 value and then signed and notarized.
Alternatively, you can print the affidavit on a paper and get Franking done. Notarize it after that.
It is recommended that each sponsor have a separate Affidavit made, since each will have a separate set of documents.

THE END

P.S. : Please do not PM me with your doubts and queries. As a student, my knowledge is limited and if theres something I have not put in this document, there is a good chance I do not know much about it. Please address your doubts and queries in the forum.

<a href="http://www.edulix.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=73159">The Complete Guide to F1 Visa Application</a>
<a href="http://tinyurl.com/lvfdb7">The Definitive Guide to Visa Finances</a>
(This post was last modified: 06-22-2012 06:26 PM by Dark Knight.)
06-10-2009 12:39 PM
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The Definitive Guide to Visa Finances - bikernin - 06-10-2009 12:39 PM

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