An F-1 visa allows foreign students to pursue education in the United States. It is for full-time students and is not for immigrants, and it lasts as long as the recognized educational program continues. If you want an F-1 visa, you need to know the sponsor requirements.
An applicant for an F-1 visa must show proof he has the money available to pay for his educational program. One way is through a sponsorship. The sponsor must submit bank statements, bank letters, account numbers and the amount of funds in the accounts. The sponsor's name must match the name on the accounts, bank statements and bank letters. The money in the submitted accounts must be readily accessible and liquid, as in a checking account.
Sponsors for F-1 visa applicants fall into three groups, according to the U.S. State Department, which administers the program: self-sponsors, sponsors abroad and U.S. sponsors. Students who can show they have the financial means to support themselves in pursuing their education in the United States can sponsor themselves, serving as self-sponsors. More common is for a student to rely on a parent or other family member abroad for funds; such foreign sources of support, regardless of relationship to the student, are sponsors abroad. U.S. sponsors are Americans who provide the necessary funds; they can be relatives or representatives of programs that facilitate foreign study. F-1 visa holders, however, may not sponsor other applicants for F-1 visas.
The U.S. State Department requires documentation that a sponsor can and will provide the necessary funds for an F-1 visa applicant. For an applicant making his initial entry to the United States or seeking a change in visa status, a U.S. sponsor must provide a notarized affidavit of support and either a federal income tax return or a letter from an employer affirming the sponsor’s salary. A sponsor abroad for such an applicant must submit a guarantee letter of support in addition to financial statements. A self-sponsor needs only those recent financial statements. For an F-1 student seeking to transfer between educational programs, the sponsor must provide a recent bank statement to show the ability to pay for the new program.