Financial Documentation Requirements

U.S. immigration requires specific financial documentation to allow for an update or issuance of “Certificate of Eligibility” documents (i.e., Form I-20 or Form DS-2019). Therefore, to issue or update MIT “Certificate of Eligibility” documents, students must submit the required financial documentation through their iMIT portal account, which meets the cost of attendance expenses for their MIT program. *NOTE: Cost of attendance expenses are subject to change and vary based on the MIT program and length of study.

Current published costs of attendance expenses are available via a student’s iMIT portal account when requesting and MIT-issued “Certificate of Eligibility” document(s). For a detailed itemization of the cost of attendance expenses, covering specifics such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, housing, food, and transportation, refer to the MIT Student Financial Services (SFS) website:

Students must carefully review the below information to ensure that the financial documentation they submit to the ISO meets the requirements. Failure to adhere to the below instructions and requirements will result in the delay in processing a student’s “Certificate of Eligibility” document(s).

ATTENTION: Ensure that all submitted documentation is either in English or accompanied by certified translations. Additionally, the ISO reserves the right to request additional financial documentation if needed for the processing of a student’s “Certificate of Eligibility” document(s) and for the student to be properly prepared for their visa interview at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate and for entry to the U.S.

NOTE: Students must retain all original financial documentation, as the documentation is required for a visa sticker/stamp application and entry into the U.S.  

MANDATORY FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION

As students prepare to request “Certificate of Eligibility” documents from the ISO, it is important for them to ensure that all financial documentation submitted meets the below requirements for a successful submission:

  1. Issued on official letterhead.
  2. Issued within the past 6 months at the time of submission of any request to the ISO (documentation issued more recently to the submission is strongly recommended).
  3. The funds presented cover the total cost of attendance for the MIT program, including tuition, living expenses, health insurance, and related fees for either 12 months or the program’s duration (e.g., for a 9-month program, only provide financial evidence for 9 months / for a 21-month program, only required to provide financial evidence for 12 months).
  4. Ensure all documents are clear and concise, listing the student’s or account holder(s) name in the documentation.
  5. Ensure all documentation provided is signed and dated by the account holder(s) or a designated official(s). NOTE: Some financial documentation may require a stamp for authenticity.

**TIPS TO EXPEDITE PROCESSING**

  • Include a cover letter outlining all financial documentation submitted and converting any foreign currency financial documentation into U.S. dollars (USD).
  • Consolidate all financial documentation into one comprehensive document/letter instead of submitting separate financial statements/documents where appropriate.
  • For financial statements/documents longer than two (2) pages in length, highlight the required information mentioned above (#1 to #5).

Personal Funding
Students providing personal financial documentation must ensure all documentation submitted:

  • Meets the criteria outlined above (#1 to #5).
  • Provides clear and concise account details, including the account holder(s) name, date, and account specifics (checking, savings, or certificate of deposit accounts ONLY).
  • Indicates the amount of funding available for withdrawal from the account(s).

Family Sponsorship
Students sponsored by family members must ensure all financial documentation submitted:

  • Meets the criteria outlined above (#1 to #5), for each family member providing financial support to the student.
  • Provides clear and concise financial documentation, for each family member providing financial support to the student. Including the account holder(s) name, date, and account specifics (checking, savings, or certificate of deposit accounts ONLY).
  • Provides a signed and dated “Financial Sponsorship Affidavit Letter”, for each family member providing financial support to the student, confirming:
    • (1) Student’s name.
    • (2) The family member(s) relationship to the student.
    • (3) The family member(s) willingness to support the student financially.
    • (4) The duration of the family member(s) support.
    • (5) The total amount of financial support being provided (in USD) by the family member(s).

MIT Department Sponsorship
Students receiving an Assistantship, Fellowship, and/or Scholarship support from an MIT Department must ensure all documentation submitted:

  • Meets the criteria outlined above (#1 to #5).
  • Confirms the specific MIT program’s total cost of attendance, including tuition, living expenses, stipends, health insurance, and relevant fees.
  • Confirms the type of financial support being provided (i.e., Assistantship, Fellowship, Scholarship, etc.).
  • Confirms the precise amount and duration of funding the student will receive, which expenses will be covered, the dates/duration of the award, and whether the funding includes dependent support. Letter should confirm if the funding is only available for 9 months (Fall and Spring terms) or 12 months (Fall, Spring, and Summer terms). If a student is only receiving a 9 month award, and the program length is 12 months or longer, then the student will need to provide documentation of an additional funding source for the additional 3 month period.
    • For Example: “To accompany this offer, the Department of [“XXXX”] will grant you an [Fellowship, Assistantship, etc.] appointment for the academic year, commencing from September 1, 2024, until August 30, 2025. The following is a breakdown of the funding we expect you to receive during the Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 terms, pending satisfactory academic performance.
      • Salary/Stipend: Monthly amount of $4,000, totally $48,000 for the academic year.
      • Additional Dependent(s) Support: $5,000 for the academic year.
      • Tuition Costs: Totaling $59,750 for the academic year.
      • MIT Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP): Totally $3,237 for the academic year.
        **Total value of the [“XXXX”] award/appointment amounts to $115,987 for the twelve-month academic year.**

Bank/Student Loans
Students sponsored by a loan provider must ensure all documentation submitted:

  • Meets the criteria outlined above (#1 to #5).
  • Certifies that the loan was APPROVED by the lender and specifies the total loan amount in U.S. dollars.
    • NOTE: Sanctioned student loan approval letters are considered personal funding, except for loans approved through MIT
  • Documentation that confirms that the student has accepted the loan will be necessary; though the funds would not have to have already been provided/disbursed to the student yet.

External Sponsorships (e.g., Companies, Governments, and Organizations)
Students sponsored by external sponsors (e.g., companies, governments, and outside organizations) must ensure all documentation submitted:

  • Meets the criteria outlined above (#1 to #5).
  • Confirms the precise amount and duration of funding the student will receive, which expenses will be covered, the dates/duration of the sponsorship, and whether the funding includes dependent support.
  • If the sponsorship provides funding for living expenses, the support letter should confirm the total amount, or monthly amount, of the living stipend being provided (preferably in U.S. dollars).

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UNACCEPTABLE FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION

MIT must comply with U.S. government regulations mandating verification of acceptable forms of financial documentation to cover a student’s cost of attendance expenses. In addition, the U.S. Embassy/Consulate will require for the visa interview, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S. port-of-entry, will require this documentation for a student to obtain an entry visa and enter the U.S. Below are forms of financial documentation that are considered unacceptable to the U.S. government:

  • Planned or future U.S. employment.
  • Salary or paystubs (except for requests from alumni on approved F-1 Post-Completion Optional Practical Training, F-1 STEM OPT Extension, J-1 Academic Training)
  • Projected income.
  • Value of property, jewelry, or personal belongings.
  • Chartered Accountant statements.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Tax return documentation.
  • Retirement accounts.
  • Cryptocurrency accounts.

NOTE: Retirement funds, stocks, bonds, and/or investment accounts are typically NOT accepted by U.S. immigration officials as valid forms of financial documentation. However, if submitted, these documents must explicitly state that the funds are accessible for “educational purposes” and specify the dates available for withdrawal or maturity. The maturity dates of the funds should be immediately available (or for newly admitted students, the funds must be available by the start date of your academic program at MIT). Students should consult the specific U.S. Embassy/Consulate website and/or contact the specific Embassy/Consulate to confirm the acceptability of this type of financial documentation.

ATTENTION: All financial documentation submitted to the ISO MUST meet the specified requirements outlined above, as MIT is required by U.S. government regulations to verify that students have available funds to cover their estimated educational costs of expenses before the Certificate of Eligibility (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019) can be issued to a student.

Additional Questions?
After thoroughly reviewing the ISO ‘Getting Started’ webpages, students with additional questions are encouraged to use the search tool located at the top of the ISO website or consult the comprehensive FAQ section on the ISO ‘Knowledge Base’ webpage. Additionally, MIT students have the option to contact their designated ISO Advisor directly for assistance.

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