English Language Institute

Requirements for an F-1 Student Visa*

Students who need an F-1* student visa to enter the United States must provide proof of financial support depending on the source of support.

1.  If you or a personal sponsor in your home country are paying for your studies, you need:

  • an original bank statement or a scanned, color copy of one from within the last six months in your own name or your personal sponsor's name showing a balance in the bank of at least US $21,570. (This is equivalent to tuition and living expenses for two terms of study. You must show this amount even if you plan to study for only one term.) For 6-week programs such as PAEP and E4U, you must show a balance of at least US $6,135.

2.  If you have a scholarship from your government, company, university, or other organization, you need:

  • a current, original scholarship award letter from your sponsor organization
    • The scholarship letter must state that your sponsor will pay for English courses and living expenses.

3.  If your sponsor is someone in the United States, you need:

  • an original bank statement or a scanned, color copy of one from within the last six months in the name of your personal sponsor.  The bank statement must show a balance in the bank of at least US $21,570. (This is equivalent to tuition and living expenses for two terms of study. You must show this amount even if you plan to study for only one term.) For 6-week programs such as PAEP and E4U, you must show a balance of at least US $6,135.
  • You must also provide a letter from your sponsor stating that the sponsor will pay for English courses and living expenses.

How to Get an F-1 Student Visa*

  • If you are applying for a student visa* for the first time, an in-person interview is usually required. June, July, and August are usually the busiest months, so it might be difficult to get an appointment during this time. Don't wait until the last minute! You are encouraged to apply for your visa as soon as you know when you plan to travel. Allow several weeks for planning and getting an appointment for the visa. You can call the embassy or go to the embassy web site for information and instructions.
  • Be prepared to show the required documentation at your visa interview and to answer questions from the consul (embassy official). 
  • Read more about how to get a student visa...

*Please note that students entering the U.S. with an F-1 student visa must engage in full-time study.