Step 1: Submit the VIDOF and Required Documents
In order to be issued a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, international students should submit the VIDOF (Visa Information/Declaration of Finances) form and required supporting documents to the appropriate admissions office. VIDOFs are submitted electronically.
The purpose of the VIDOF form is to assist the admissions office and the ISSO in collecting information necessary to issue a Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility.
All incoming students who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents must be issued either a Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 visa stamp or Form DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside of the United States. The F-1 or J-1 visa stamp will allow an international student to apply for entry in F-1 or J-1 student visa status at the U.S. Port-of-Entry.
Required Documentation for VIDOF
Scan a photocopy of your Passport Page(s) that includes your photo and validity date(s).
If you have a spouse or unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21 accompanying you to the U.S. and you are requesting a visa document for your family member(s), please complete the Dependent Section on the VIDOF and submit a copy of each dependent's valid passport and additional financial support in the amount of $9,600 per dependent. Note: students should anticipate that $9,600 is the minimum estimated dependent cost per year for each dependent. Actual Dependent costs may be higher depending on lifestyle choices. For more information on dependents, please see Dependents.
If you are requesting to transfer your F-1 or J-1 student visa from a previous school (or from OPT/Academic Training) to Brandeis, please see Transfer SEVIS Record to Brandeis.
Please follow instructions on the VIDOF specific to your program of study to determine the amount of assured funds you need to provide according to your program's cost of attendance.
U.S. Federal law requires ISSO to verify immediate availability of assured funds for you to study at Brandeis.
Students requesting a form I-20 to apply for the F-1 student visa are required to provide proof of assured funds to cover at minimum one full academic year.
Students requesting the form DS-2019 to apply for the J-1 student visa are required to provide proof of assured funds to cover the entire duration of his or her academic program (of which at least 51% of this funding must be from sources other than personal or family/friend funding). This does not apply to students who are requesting a J-1 student visa for exchange programs.
Any expenses not covered by Brandeis financial aid (i.e. scholarships/loans/fellowships/assistantships), must be covered through Personal, Family or Outside Sponsored funds.
To verify the availability of such funds, we require that all students submit the following items:
Bank Statement(s) or Bank Letter(s) which verifies the availability of funds in each bank account that will be drawn upon to cover your program costs. Bank statements or letters must include the account holder(s) name(s), account balance, balance date, and currency type.
If the bank statement/letter which provides proof of sufficient funds belongs to anyone other than the student, the bank statement must also be accompanied by a Sponsorship Letter.
An official Award Letter from each organization granting you a scholarship or loan, stating the terms and the exact amount of the award. Please note that if you are using a loan as proof of funding, your loan(s) must be approved prior to the ISSO issuing a Form I-20 or DS-2019.
Students will be required to provide such original financial documentation and support letters to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the time of their visa appointment.
Students may also be asked to provide these original documents to the officer at the port-of-entry upon entry to the United States.
Please Note: Bank documents must include a date on the form and can be no more than one year old from the intended date of enrollment at Brandeis.The document must also include a specific balance or a minimum specific balance (in U.S. Dollars or foreign currency). Bank documents verifying that an account holder is "in good standing" but does not indicate a specific balance will not be sufficient.
All documents should be provided in English or should be accompanied by an official English translation.
All funding sources must be liquid/available (not frozen) and transferable to the U.S.