Demonstrating Financial Resources
Immigration laws require international students who wish to study in the U.S. on an F-1 visa to show proof of finances for one year. As part of the I-20 Application Process, students must verify that they are able to afford tuition and room and board, as outlined in our Tuition and Fees schedule.
I-20 Application Process
After you have been accepted to the college and paid your admissions deposit, you can begin the I-20 application process. In order to issue the I-20, you must submit the documents listed below to the Mount Saint Mary College Admissions Office no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester:
- Copy of your current passport. It must be valid up to six months after your intended period of study.
- Financial documentation (no more than three months old) for each sponsor. Download and complete the Certification of Finances form, which includes a notarized affidavit of support. You must also submit proof of income and bank statements with this form.
- F-1 Transfer Verification Form, if transferring from another school in the U.S. This will allow Mount Saint Mary College to issue you a Form I-20 to replace your previous school’s paperwork.
Once all of the above documents are submitted, it typically takes up to 2 weeks for the I-20 form to be issued.
Obtaining an F-1 Visa
If you are entering the U.S. as a new F-1 student, you will need to obtain an F-1 visa in your home country. Follow the steps below to apply for a new visa.
Please note: If you already have an F-1 visa that has not expired, you do not have to get a new F-1 visa as long as you have not been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months. If you have been out of the U.S. for more than 5 consecutive months, then you must obtain a new F-1 visa if you plan on travelling during your studies.
- Obtain the Form I-20. You will receive this form by mail from Mount Saint Mary College once you have satisfied all requirements for eligibility.
- Pay the mandatory SEVIS fee. You must pay the SEVIS fee prior to your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in your country. In order to pay the fee, you must have your I-20 form, complete Form 901 online, and obtain the receipt or Form l-797. Please note that this process requires the use of a credit card. For more information regarding this topic, please visit ice.gov/sevis
- Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160) form. This requires you to upload one (1) passport picture. Please make sure to carefully review the instructions prior to starting the process.
- Prepare documents for your visa interview. You must have a valid passport, letter of admission from the school, evidence of financial ability to meet expenses (original documents no older than 3 months), and evidence of intent to depart the United States after completion of studies. During your interview, you will need to speak about (1) who you are, (2) what your intent is in the U.S., (3) your plans to return home after completion of study, and (4) how you will cover the costs of studying and living in the U.S.
Questions? We're here to help! Contact our Admissions Team at 1-888-YES-MSMC or email firstname.lastname@example.org.