J-1 Financial Documentation Required

Before a DS-2019 certificate of eligibility can be issued for a new J-1 scholar, the U.S government requires that Washington University has evidence of appropriate financial readily available and sufficient funding. Financial documentation must be provided showing access to sufficient funds to cover the minimum amount established for the scholar and any dependents for the entire length of the program. Minimum living expenses are based on the university pay-scale and can be found on the International Scholar Dossier homepage (note you must have access to this database to view this information).

Proof of funding may come in the form of a bank statement, bank letter, or sponsorship letter from the source providing funding. Scholars are always encouraged to send original documentation; however, the OISS will accept printouts of online bank statements and scans/copies of original statements or letters.

It is important to note photographs and screenshots will not be accepted. Additionally, the OISS reserves the right to require original documentation.

Washington University Funding

If the sponsoring department is providing funding for the scholar, an official letter to the OISS demonstrating their intent to provide financial support must be provided. This information can be included in the offer or invitation letter or as a stand-alone document.

If the total amount listed does not equal or exceed minimum living expenses for the entire length of the program, for both the scholar and any dependents, additional funding documentation will be required.

Outside Sponsor Funding

Common forms of outside funding include scholarships, fellowships and employer funds (foreign or domestic). When funding comes from a source other than WashU, it must be documented, in English, as follows:

  • A letter on official letterhead stating the entity’s intent to provide financial support for the scholar and/or dependents, if applicable, while at WashU
  • The type and amount of the support being provided
  • The dates that support will be provided

If the total amount listed does not equal or exceed minimum living expenses for the entire length of the program, for both the scholar and any dependents, additional funding documentation will be required.

Personal Funding

If a scholar is solely using personal funds for the J program, or is bringing dependents that are not being supported by a sponsor, a copy of an official bank letter or bank statement is required. All documents from a financial institution must include the following information:

  • A date which is no older than 6 months from the date the documents were received by OISS.
  • The account holder’s full name in English. Initials only or first name and last initial will not be accepted.
  • The total amount listed per account or a sum of all the accounts which equals or exceeds minimum living expenses based on the university pay-scale for the entire length of the program for both the scholar and any dependents.
  • All bank letters must be printed in English and on official bank letterhead or contain an official logo, stamp, seal, or signature.

Unacceptable Financial Documentation

Please be aware that the following items remain unacceptable as proof of financial support:

  • Retirement Accounts
    These accounts are subject to taxes and a plethora of laws which would greatly reduce the amount of money received compared to what appears on the document.
  • Proof of valuable property
    Property cannot be easily sold and the value is subject to many outside factors.
  • Tax and income statements
    Tax and income statements show only how much money a person made over a given time or their projected income, not the amount which is currently liquid.
  • Photographs or screenshots of bank statements or letters
    The OISS will not issue a DS-2019 based off photos – for example photos taken with a cell phone of bank documents.