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Financial Documents Required for Study Abroad Applications
Studying Abroad is a dream that requires extensive planning, various steps of application and a long meticulous documentation. Starting from collecting the transcripts, the scorecards to writing and submitting admission essays/ statement of purpose/ Letter of Recommendation to the long application forms. The process does not stop there and with admissions begin a completely different set of paperwork – for student visas. An important component of the same are the financial documents. And while the specifics might change from country to country and university to university, every document essentially follows a format. This is a guide of the many documents students would require, samples of formats for financial documents specific to study abroad and basic good to know facts.
Proof of Funds or Financial Capacity: Meaning
One of the basics of Student Visa Applications is the requirement of Proof of Funds or Financial Capacity. For almost all countries (barring very few), students are required to provide evidentiary proof that they are able to not only pay for the fee but also normal living expenses for the duration of the stay.
1. Fees and other University charges
Students are often required to make payment of this component in advance to confirm admission offer. Since the payments are made up front, the proof of this component comprises of receipt of payments made.
2. Living Expenses
Most of the countries have a basic minimum living expense requirement, which is specified. The students are in turn requested to provide proof that they have access to the same. Here is a list of some of the countries and the minimum fund requirements (living expenses) specified.
Name of the Country
Statutory Fund Requirements for Living Expenses
CAD $10,000 for every year of your intended stay
£11,385 per annum (£1265 per month) for University situated in London
or £9,135 (£1,015 per month) for anywhere other than London
AUD $ 20,290 per year
€ 670/month of stay or € 8,040/ annum
€ 615 for each month of stay
€ 862, 50 per month for the period of stay
SEK 7,974 for each month of your stay in Sweden, computed for a the
intended stay with a minimum of 10 months for every year of stay in Sweden
€ 7000 as living expenses for every year of stay
For admissions to Universities in USA, the Financial Proofs are requested
at the time of confirmation of admission by the universities. It is only when
the proofs are provided that the I-20s are issued by the university.
Also, as mentioned, there is no minimum requirement but the University
would provide a basic cost, which the student would have to provide
proof of capacity for.
Documents accepted under Proof of Funds
There is no standard list of documents that would be required by countries abroad. As the application process for the countries vary so does the student visa requirements and accordingly the list of documents that are required as proof of funds. Every country’s Student Visa/ University requirements list a separate set of acceptable documents. Here is a list of what all they can be, along with samples wherever necessary. Also, often more than one proof (unless a specific account/ deposit is requested) can be combined with another.
Affidavit of Support / Sponsorship Certificate
Property Valuation -1.5 to 2.0 Crore
Annual Income – 1.3 to 2.1 Lakh per month.
Bank Loan or 3 months statement (32 to 45) Lakh Deposit or Loan
Tax Clearance Letter
1. Bank Account Statements
Simple enough, the universities/ Visa Consulates might require you to submit your/ your sponsors’ bank account statements for a specific period. Again, the formats are plain and simple. Students should remember that
2. Loan Approval/ Disbursement Letter
Students can also provide a Loan Approval Letter as proof of funds. This is easy enough to get from the bank you have applied a loan from. While the banks might have a set format, the letter essentially conveys the approval of the bank of loaning the specific amount to the student for his higher education abroad. Here are a few things a student should keep in mind:
3. Affidavit of Support/ Sponsorship
Strictly speaking, an Affidavit of Support is not a Financial Document but rather a validation of financial support being provided to the student. Since, the document is often asked for by Universities in USA and Australia along with Financial Proofs, we have included the same in the list.
4. Bank Letters
Simply put these are letters that clearly mention the nature of accounts held by the student/ sponsor in the banks as well as the balance in the account. As suggestive, these are provided by the bank and should be accordingly on Bank’s official letterhead, duly signed and stamped.
5. CA Certificate
Some countries also require what is commonly referred to as a CA Certificate. Prepared by a certified CA, the document specifies the actual assets held by the student/ sponsor as well as the liabilities. This essentially includes both the current assets (like bank balance, fixed deposits, shares, bonds, etc.) as well as fixed assets (land, property, gold, etc. with an estimated value of the same). The document must be signed and stamped by the CA. Again, there is no fixed format and usually the CAs have their own formats.
6. Property Evaluation Report
This is more common for Australia and New Zealand Visas. In case a student has applied for a Student Loan and the same was procured against property, the student is also required to attach a Property Evaluation Report alongside the Loan Approval Letter. This is a comprehensive report prepared by competent authority (the bank/ financial institution in case of a student loan). Here is what all the Property Evaluation Report usually includes
Size of the property and specifications
Ownership proof of the property being evaluated
Banks have their own formats and you need not worry about the same. Simple mention of the same to the lending institution would suffice. At times, CAs can prepare the same as well.