Berkeley International Office issues I-20 and DS-2019 Certificates of Eligibility to more than 5,000 students and scholars every year. We are required by law to verify that each person has sufficient funds to cover the period of their stay in the United States. In most cases, the documentation we require will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for the F-1 or J-1 visa (keep a copy for that purpose).
To obtain your I-20 or DS-2019 in a timely manner, follow the guidelines below when submitting your request for a new or extension document:
Acceptable Proof of Funds
UC Berkeley Awards (scholarships, GSI/GSR, grants etc):
- UC Berkeley sponsoring departments should complete the Guarantee of Financial Support - Academic Departments form.
- If you cannot obtain this form, please provide an official letter. The letter must be:
- printed on official UC Berkeley letterhead
- signed by the sponsoring department
- issued in the last 6 months
- state the amount, length, and type of funding
- Bank statements in your name showing balance of account (see below for criteria**)
Private sponsors: including parents (must include both of the following):
- The sponsor's bank or other financial statements (see below for criteria**)
- Letter(s) indicating the relationship between you and the sponsor(s), the amount of support and the length of support
- As an alternative to the sponsor letter, you may submit the Guarantee of Financial Support-Private Sponsors along with the sponsor's bank statements.
Other institutional support/award letters:
- Letter from an employer or another institution on official business letterhead, including a signature showing the amount and length of support
- Salary statements are not accepted
- Must indicate your name and the amount of approved loan
- Conditional loan approvals may be accepted only if the condition is the receipt of your I-20 or DS-2019.
- Loan applications are not accepted as proof of funding
**Bank/Financial Statement Criteria:
- should be a single page document showing the criteria below. DO NOT submit long statements that include transaction history
- showing bank/financial statements from multiple accounts is acceptable
- indicate the financial institution's name
- indicate the account holder's name
- clearly show the account balance
- be dated within the past 6 months (older statements will not be accepted),
- be translated into English (especially names) unofficial translations are accepted
- clearly show the type of currency
- be from statements that show liquid assets that can be converted to cash
IMPORTANT: The following types of funding are NOT accepted:
- Documents older than 6 months
- Income or salary statements (except UC Berkeley GSI/GSR positions)
- Funds that are not immediately accessible
- Assets that are not in liquidated form (house, car, etc.)
- Life insurance policy statements
- Pension funds
- Tax return forms or documents
Make sure all supporting documents are included with your request before you submit them to our office. Missing or separate documents will only slow down the process. Your Certificate of Eligibility (I-20/DS-2019) documents cannot be processed until all proof of funding documents are received.
For J-1 Scholars Only
Scholars are required to document at least $2,000 per month, plus $600/month for a spouse, and $400/month per child. For more detailed information on J Scholar Financial Requirements, please see J Scholar Financial Requirements.