International Admissions

Financial Documents

Why do I need to submit financial documents?

All international students must show financial support for one academic year. Financial documents must be submitted in order for Cleveland State University to issue a Form I-20 for F1 visas or a Form DS-2019 for J1 visas. The financial documents and Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 must be presented at the US Embassy or Consulate when applying for either an F1 or J1 visa. 

We are required by the Department of Homeland Security/US Citizenship and Immigration Services to carefully check the financial ability of each student prior to requesting approval to issue your SEVIS Form I-20. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of the cost of attending CSU and that you have all necessary funds to support yourself. The amount of financial support that a student must show is equal to the Total (Academic Year=Fall & Spring semesters) amount listed on the Tuition and Fees webpage.

Listed below are the procedures necessary to obtain the Certificate of Eligibility (the SEVIS Form I-20 for F1 student status). The process for issuing your Form I-20 will begin once you have been admitted to CSU. If you are currently holding an F1 student visa and are transferring from another US institution to CSU you still need to follow this procedure.

Prepare Your Documents:

Please have two original financial documents prepared - one for Cleveland State University and one to present to the US Embassy or Consulate.

All documents must be dated and issued within the past 6 months.

The following documents or combinations of documents are acceptable:

  1. A bank statement in your name or in the name of your parents that indicates the amount of funds available in either a checking or savings account, accompanied by a letter from your financial sponsor confirming his or her intention to provide support for you.. A bank statement must be dated, must indicate the exact amount held in the account, and must be presented on the bank's letterhead.
  2. A bank statement in the name of a non-parental financial sponsor that indicates the amount available that is also accompanied by a letter of confirmation from the guarantor of his or her intention to provide financial support for you. 
  3. A letter from your financial sponsor’s employer, indicating the employee’s annual salary, accompanied by a letter from your financial sponsor confirming his or her intention to provide support for you. The annual salary of the financial sponsor noted in the letter must be sufficient to demonstrate that he/she has the ability to support you given the primary (personal) financial obligations of the sponsor. 
  4. A Financial Guarantee from your government or other sponsoring agency that indicates the amount of funding available to you and that clearly stipulates any and all additional provisions of the support agreement, such as health insurance coverage. Please provide a copy of the Financial Guarantee to the Center for International Services and Programs (CISP). 

If your documents indicate an amount in a currency other than US dollars we will convert the amount according to the exchange rate on the day we receive your financial support documents.

The following documents are not sufficient for Form I-20 issuance and will not be accepted:

A.   Deeds for real property or lease holdings

B.   Insurance policies

C.   Pension or retirement accounts (including certificates of deposit)

D.   Form I-134 Affidavit of Support will no longer be accepted

When to Submit Financial Documents:

Once you are admitted to CSU. The Center for International Services and Programs (CISP) will email you a Newly Admitted I20 request form. Submit financial documents directly to the form and the I20 will be processed in a timely manner. 

Your financial documents will be reviewed by CSU CISP International Team to determine your ability to meet the financial obligation while you are attending the University. If your financial documents are not approved or if there are additional questions, you will be notified by email.

All financials documentation must be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to International Orientation. The CSU CISP International Team will no longer issue I20s for after: 

  • July 1st for Fall semesters
  • April 12th for Summer semesters

Transfer Students:

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that you obtain a release from your current institution before your new Form I-20 is issued. Once you are admitted to Cleveland State University and receive your admission letter, please contact your immigration advisor at your current school and request that your SEVIS record be transferred to Cleveland State University.

Married Students:

A married student who plans to bring his/her dependents will require an additional $3,500 for the spouse, $2,000 for the 1st child, and $1,500 for each additional child. These amounts should be added to the total number under the appropriate column. Additional insurance for family of F1 students is optional, but highly recommended. F2 dependents are not permitted to work or enroll in classes.

Enrollment Requirement:

Immigration regulations require that all students are enrolled full-time. Students who are admitted to the summer semester must enroll full-time for that semester and subsequent terms.

Full-Time Enrollment:
Undergraduate = at least 12 credit hours per semester
Graduate = at least 9 credit hours per semester

Important Information:
  1. All bank, scholarship, and sponsor letters must:
    a. Be original with original signatures
    b. Specify the amount of funding available to you
    c. Indicate which currency is being used
  2. Copies, faxes, and emails will be accepted only if they are legible
  3. All financial documents must be current - documents older than 6 months from your expected entry date will not be accepted
  4. Your name must appear on all bank, scholarship, and sponsor letters
  5. The funding you demonstrate must be sufficient to meet the costs of attending Cleveland State University as specified

Failure to comply with any of the above conditions may delay the issuance of the Form I-20.

Mailing of the Form I-20*: ​​​​​​​

*Exceptionally during the COVID-19 pandemic and remote work orders, all Form I-20s will be emailed to students (ICE guidance -March 26, 2020). Please do not pay for a hard copy to be mailed to you until further notice. 

Cleveland State University is unable to provide scanned or photocopied Form I-20s. You must use express shipping to receive your I-20 form. The I-20 form must be express mailed to your physical home mailing address because regular post will not arrive in time to ensure you are able to receive a student visa. I-20 forms cannot be mailed to relatives or friends in the United States.  

Sending your immigration documents through express mail is at YOUR expense and your credit card will be charged upon requesting the service. The Express mailing must be paid by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards only). 

To receive your immigration document from Cleveland State University, you have  2 express mail options: 

You will be required to create your own user name and password to create an account.

Contact Us:

For questions about new or immigration transfer Form I-20s please contact