One common visa requirement that many of our travelers ask about is the “proof of sufficient funds” requirement. When a consulate requests this, they are just verifying that when you arrive to their country, you will have enough money to support yourself. Many people don’t like sharing this private information, and others have a hard time documenting where their funds will be coming from in a format accepted by the consulate.
The easiest way to meet this requirement is to provide a bank statement showing a balance greater than the minimum balance requirement defined by the consulate. If you are able to provide this, we suggest blocking out the account number and other sensitive information with a sharpie. It’s important that you leave the account holder name and balance on this bank statement. In most cases, this will need to be your most recent bank statement, using one that is a few months old will not work. It is OK to print it from an online record as long as it looks like a typical bank statement that you would receive in the mail. If it has limited information, and no bank logo or information, it probably won’t work.
The South Korean Consulate requires proof of sufficient funds to pay for the following:
• All tuition fees
• All living expenses for the student for the duration of their stay
Students on a one term program (3-4 months) must provide a recent bank statement with a minimum balance of $3,000 and students on a year-long program must provide a recent bank statement with a minimum balance of $10,000. It is not uncommon for a student to have trouble providing this requirement, especially if they are waiting on their student loans to come through. If that sounds like you, you can provide a combination of the following items to satisfy the requirement. The more precise and detailed you can be the better.
- Signed letter from a parent stating that they will be providing all necessary funds related to tuition and living expenses while you are in Korea. The signature should be original, and they should also include a copy of their ID, and a bank statement showing a balance greater than the minimum required. See sample letter here.
- Credit card statement showing a line of credit. This can be used to supplement other items, but just this statement alone will not be sufficient.
- Letter from your college or study abroad program detailing anything that they will be covering on your behalf. Sometimes these institutions can verify that you have loans coming through, and that can be counted as proof of funds. This letter should be on letterhead, and signed by a program manager.
It is OK if you need to supply multiple items to meet the requirement. So, for example, if you need to show that $3,000 available to you, you could supply your personal bank statement showing $1,000, a letter from your parents and a copy of their bank statement showing $1,000, and then a copy of a credit card showing a $1,000 line of credit.
We have seen a combination of the above work out just fine for many travelers. A good approach is to assume the consulate is reviewing this requirement with a critical eye. If you do your due diligence to paint a clear picture of where your semester funding is coming from, you should be just fine. If you are using a combination of items like in the example above, Swift suggests typing and signing a letter detailing how the multiple items combined meet the requirement. See sample letter here. It will make it easier for the Consulate to distinguish your plans and how you are meeting the requirement.
If you still have additional questions about the proof of sufficient funds requirement, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at 877-917-9438 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.