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Required Funding for Student Visa Sponsorship

In order for International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to issue the immigration documents for a visa, we have to complete a certification of financial support. This shows that the student has sufficient funding to complete an academic year of study in the U.S. This is submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) when the immigration documents are created.

How much is required for visa sponsorship?

The amount required is based on cost of attendance estimates provided by the University of Tennessee One Stop Student Services Cost of Attendance. This is an estimate that accounts for tuition and fees, living expenses, books, and required health insurance.

Important, this is an estimate of the cost of attendance for visa sponsorship. You actual cost of attendance may be higher depending on personal lifestyle, inflation, currency conversion, and changes in fees.

Undergraduate Funding Requirements

Tuition and Fees $31,664
Living Expenses and Books $19,414
Health Insurance $2,520
Total Funding for Visa Sponsorship $53,598 (USD)

Graduate Funding Requirements

Tuition and Fees $31,798
Living Expenses and Books $21,458
Health Insurance $2,520
Total Funding for Visa Sponsorship $55,776 (USD)

What is required if I want to bring dependents?

You can add your spouse and children to your visa. However, Federal regulations require that additional funding is shown for each person added for sponsorship. The amounts required are listed below. This is based on a requirement exceeding the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by 150%. This aligns with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Income Guidelines for Reduced Fees.

Additional Funding per Dependent $7,080 (USD)

What documents do I need to show the required funding?

Proof of funding is submitted with the Certification of Financial Resources. This is submitted when you apply for your immigration documents after being admitted. You can find the information on how to submit these documents in our guide Getting the Correct Documents for Immigration. 

There are several general requirements for all financial documents. These are:

  1. The documents must be written in English or include an official translation;
  2. the name of the account holder, the currency, the account balance, and the type of account must be clearly stated;
  3. all assets must be liquid, meaning that the funding could be withdrawn immediately;
  4. the statement cannot be dated more than six months in the past.

The types of documents we accept are as follows:

  1. University of Tennessee assistantship, fellowship, or scholarship funding indicated by an official letter;
  2. employment at the University of Tennessee indicated by an official letter including the rate of pay, hours worked, and duration of the appointment;
  3. bank statements, bank letters, or statements of account;
  4. loan letters (not all loan letters are acceptable, the lender must be cleared and approved by ISSS in order to be valid);
  5. external government sponsors, employer sponsorship, international scholarships, and financial guarantees. These must be approved by the Bursar’s Office, and you must complete the necessary billing paperwork for this funding to be valid. Information on this is available at Third Party (Sponsor) Billing.

Who can provide my funding?

Funding can come from several different sources. Acceptable sources include:

  1. Yourself (personal bank statements);
  2. the University of Tennessee;
  3. your home government;
  4. international scholarships and sponsors;
  5. your employer (with official documentation and approval by ISSS);
  6. your spouse;
  7. your parents or legal guardian (proof of guardianship is required).

Funding from friends, relatives, or non-approved organizations is not acceptable and cannot be used as a proof of funding for immigration. If you have a friend, relative or other organization (for example a religious entity or community organization), the funding must be transferred to an account in your name in order for the funding to be used for immigration purposes.