Insufficient Funds

Youโ€™re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resourcesโ€”including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

If you donโ€™t show sufficient funds for at least the first 12 months of your studies, along with indications on how the rest of your studies will be funded, they will most likely reject your visa.

How to Avoid

First and foremost, your funds must be in the form of liquid assets: either cash or something that can be converted into cash immediately. This is what Ilono Bray, an award-winning author and legal editor at Nolo, says:*

Your sources of financial support can include personal funds; personal assets or pieces of property that are readily convertible to cash; pay from work that you do as part of a fellowship or scholarship; or specified funds from other persons or organizations.

Breaking that down into more detail, you need to show evidence of one or more of the following:

  • Personal or family funds, which can be one or more of the following: payslips, tax returns going back up to 3 years, bank statements and passbooks, etc.

  • Asset(s) held by you or your family member that can immediately be converted into cash. A good example here is real estate. If you or your family own real estate, be sure to include documentation on that along with documents on the amount left to be paid, if there is a mortgage or loan taken on it.

  • Scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, or loans from your university, government, or private sources.

  • Employment status of family members who will be supporting you, in the form of a company letterhead or copies of income tax statements.

  • Form I-134, or an Affidavit of Support, if you are being sponsored by a U.S. citizen or someone holding a green card.*

โ€‹dangerโ€‹ Note that if there is an unusually large amount of recent deposit in your bank account, it will raise their suspicion that it was borrowed from a friend or relative for the sake of the interview. To avoid that, attach an official document or something in writing, explaining the source of the fund.

Immigrant Intent

If you come across as someone who has immigrant intent, meaning someone who wants to settle down in the U.S. (or a foreign country), they will most likely reject your visa.

How to Avoid

By default, the consular officer will assume that your intent is to settle down abroad. The burden of proof is on you to display nonimmigrant intent by proving that your visit is temporary in nature. Boston Universityโ€™s ISSO says,*

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