Going for higher studies abroad is a huge milestone in any student’s life. It, therefore, requires extensive planning, proper documentation, and managing an arduous application process. As per Ministry of External Affairs’ latest data from July 2018 (Source: The Hindu) the estimated number of Indian students studying various courses abroad, across 90 different countries, is 7.52 lacs, and the number is rising every year. Apart from students having to submit various documents regarding their academic and/or professional background and their fields of interest, there are a host of financial documents that need to be submitted. Though the applications for different universities abroad require different documents, there are a few mandatory financial documents that you should be aware of.
Financial Documents Required for Study Abroad Applications
- Proof of Funds (Bank Statement): To apply to any foreign university, you need to first establish that you can manage the tuition and living expenses. Hence, the universities or the visa consulate of the country require you to submit your bank account statements to ensure that you can pay for the entire expenses during your study period.
- Bank Letter: This letter provided by the bank states the nature of the bank account and the account balance available. It must mention the name of the account holder and the information must be on the bank’s letterhead, duly signed and stamped.
- Scholarship Letter: If you have received a scholarship from the university or a government grant, the letter stating the amount of scholarship received has to be provided with the visa application form. In case there is a partial scholarship, both the bank statement and the grant of scholarship letter need to be provided.
- Loan Capability Certificate: This certificate provided by the bank states that the bank is willing to provide you with the requisite loan, should you get accepted by the university. This document is required by many universities in the USA for issuing I-20s. Students are often also required to provide a loan disbursement letter.
- Loan Disbursement Letter: In case you are taking an education loan to fulfill your educational aspirations, the university also might require you to submit the loan approval letter from your bank citing the loan amount that is to be disbursed.
- Affidavit of Sponsorship: The affidavit of support/sponsorship is a notarized document specifying the name of the person who is sponsoring your living and educational expenses. This shows that you are financially supported by your sponsor.
- Property Evaluation Report: In case the education loan is taken against property, you are also required to provide a property evaluation report along with the loan approval letter. This report usually comprises the property specifications, proof of ownership, and pictures of the property.
- Chartered Accountant Certificate: This document, provided by a certified Chartered Accountant (CA), provides a list of your assets (both current and fixed), and your liabilities (or the assets and liabilities of your sponsor) in detail. This document must be duly signed and stamped by the Chartered Accountant.
- GPF or EPF Statement: The funds available in your guardian’s Provident Fund (PF) account are also accepted by several countries for their study abroad programs. Here the authority disbursing the provident fund clearly states the amount present in the PF account and the amount of money which can be withdrawn from it. This statement must be on the letterhead of the bank where the PF account is maintained and state the name of the account holder, as well as the amount that can be withdrawn and the relationship of the account holder with the student.