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J-1 Scholar Funding Requirements

Michigan State University's (MSU) Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) issues Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" to allow individuals to apply for a J-1 visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. 

In the event an Exchange Visitor (EV) is not sufficiently funded by the MSU host department, OISS must then obtain reliable documentation that the Scholar has financial resources that will adequately meet the local living expenses and health insurance cost while pursuing a J-1 Program at MSU.  

MSU is required by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to receive, review, and evaluate the availability of financial support before issuing immigration documents.  

Scholars must have accurate and up-to-date financial information printed on their immigration documents at all timesIn most cases, the documentation we require will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when applying for a visa stamp.  

Scholars must keep a copy of their financial support documents to present during their visa appointment. 

To obtain the DS-2019 in a timely manner, follow the guidelines below when submitting the request. If an Amendment Request is needed, make sure to update the financial proof if needed.

Minimum Funding Requirements

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Acceptable Proof of Funding

Personal Funds

  • Bank statements or bank letters

  • Please review Criteria for Bank Statements and Bank Letters* tab

Sponsors (including parents, relatives, friends, etc.)

  • Bank statement/letter detailing the sponsor’s name and account balance 

  • Please review Criteria for Bank Statements and Bank Letters* tab

  • If the account holder is notthe prospective scholar or dependent included in the application a signed Affidavit of Support must be provided

Government/Employer/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

  • Must detail Scholars’ name 

  • Must be on letterhead 

  • Must be dated within the last 6 months 

  • Must detail the covered amount of the sponsorship and/or confirmation that the scholar’s salary will continue to be paid during the J-1 program 

  • Must detail the number of months/years covered by the sponsorship 

  • Must include a signature representative or an official stamp  


Certification by Translator

  • Any document not in English must include the original document along with the English translation and the certification below. 

  • Translations can be made by anyone who is competent in both English and the language in which the document is written. The prospective scholar or a family member of the prospective scholar cannot make the translation. 


I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and ______________ languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled ______________________________. 




Typed name 


Criteria for Bank Statements and Bank Letters*

  • Must be on bank letterhead  

  • Must include the financial institution’s name 

  • Must include the account’s holder name 

  • Must include a date (issuance date for bank letters or last bank statement date) 

  • Documents cannot be more than 6 months old  

  • Must detail the currency type 

  • Must include current balance 

  • The balance must be in cash, i.e. liquid, available funds->no investments or lines of credit. 

  • For letters: must state the minimum amount needed for the J-1 program 

  • Must be in English or provided in its original form with a third-party translation that includes a “Certificate of Translator” 

  • Submitting bank statements/letters from multiple accounts is acceptable 

Unacceptable Proof of Funding

1. Funds that ARE NOT immediately accessible or that can change in value, such as: 

  • Salary Statements that are missing the language specified under “Government/Employer/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)” above 

  • Paystubs 

  • Life insurance policies 

  • Loan applications 

  • Retirement funds 

  • Credit card statements or lines of credit 

  • Trusts 

  • Stocks or cryptocurrency 

  • Assets that are not in liquidated form (house, car, etc.) 

2. Documents dated older than 6 months at time of DS-2019 request 

3. Screenshots of bank accounts

4. ATM Receipts

5. Passbook savings copies