Financial Certification Form (FCF) for F-1/J-1 International Student Admission to UNC Charlotte
Important Notice: The Fall 2020 Financial Certification Form (FCF) deadline for student outside the U.S. is July 31st, 2020. This deadline does not apply to transfer-in students who are in the U.S. and who do not require new visas.
The purpose of the Financial Certification Form is to help UNC Charlotte obtain complete and accurate information about the funds available to international applicants who want to study in the United States. Strict government regulations, rising educational costs and economic conditions have made verification of financial resources of international applicants essential. Institutions do not have the option of deciding whether or not to verify the financial resources of their international applicants; financial verification must be made prior to institutional issuance of form I-20 or DS-2019.
Q: When should I complete the Financial Certification Form?
A: You will receive an email with a link to the Financial Certification Form when it is time for you to complete it. You do not need to contact the ISSO office. We will contact you when it is time for you to complete the form.
Q: Why do I need to do this?
A: In fulfillment of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements, international students MUST provide evidence of sufficient funds available for their studies in the Unites States. Additionally, most U.S. consulates or embassies require original copies of all financial documents when students apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa.
Q: How much money do I need to demonstrate to attend school at UNC Charlotte?
A: Submitted financial documents must show funds for one full academic year. View the estimated academic year cost of tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses at UNC Charlotte.
Q: What if I don’t have enough funds in one account but I have other sources of support?
A: On the Financial Certificate Form you will have the opportunity to upload multiple documents from more than one source in order to add up to the minimum estimate which will be reflected on the I-20 or DS-2019. (For example, a graduate assistantship or partial scholarship plus additional personal funds from a family member.)
Q: What is the difference between an I-20 and a DS-2019?
A: An I-20 is issued to an admitted student to apply for an F-1 visa at the U.S. consulate. A DS-2019 is issued to an admitted student to apply for a J-1 visitor visa at the U.S. consulate. Most of the time, J-1 visitors are sponsored either by their government or have full financial support from sources that are not family or personal funds.
Q: What kind of financial documents should I submit?
A: It could be any of the documents listed below as long as they are:
- Dated within the past 12 months;
- In English;
- Converted into $U.S. (online currency conversions submitted by the student are acceptable); and
- Clear and readable
- Copy of bank statement or letter
The bank statement or bank letter must meet all of the requirements listed above as well as the financial requirements listed below. If any of the following elements are missing from your bank statement or bank letter, the I-20 or DS-2019 will not be issued.
- The bank statement or bank letter must be on the financial institution letterhead.
- The bank account types that most commonly indicate liquid assets are checking, savings, or deposit accounts.
- UNC Charlotte Awards and Graduate Assistantships
International students as non-U.S. citizens are not eligible for U.S. Financial Aid and most scholarships and awards. However, some graduate assistantships are available directly through the academic department or Graduate School. If a graduate assistantship, scholarship or award is granted, the granting department must submit this decision electronically, which will reflect automatically on the international student’s Financial Certificate Form. It may take some time for these updates to be reflected in the University’s database.
If a graduate assistantship includes health insurance coverage, it is assumed to be only for the student. Separate health insurance should be provided for any accompanying spouse and/or child(ren).
- Government funding support letter
If your education is being sponsored by an organization, government or a business, not an individual, you must provide a letter from the organization, company or government on the organization’s letterhead. This letter must state that business funds can be used towards the student's estimated academic year cost of tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses.
- Educational Loan Letters
Must show an exact amount of funds available OR clarify that the sponsorship covers student’s tuition, tuition, housing, food, health insurance and personal expenses
Q: What are the next steps to obtaining my I-20 or DS-2019?
A: Once you have submitted your completed Financial Certificate Form and attached the necessary scanned copies, the ISSO will review and process them. If something is incomplete or difficult to understand, a member of the ISSO staff will send you an email asking for clarification. Otherwise, the I-20 or DS-2019 will be issued within 10 business days and you will be notified via email.
Q: Why can’t I access the Financial Certification Form?
A: You will not be able to access the form until you have been fully admitted to UNC Charlotte. This means that upon your admission, you will received an admissions offer/decision from UNC Charlotte via an e-mail including a link to the Financial Certification Form (FCF) at which time you should be able to access the FCF using your ‘Niner Net’ credentials to complete and submit the FCF. The FCF will prompt you to upload financial documentation, so prepare those forms prior to accessing the FCF.
Q: I have two majors but I can only see my primary major listed, how can I make my secondary major show also?
A: If you have two majors, the student data base (Banner) will reflect a primary and secondary major. Thereafter, your SEVIS I-20 / DS-2019 form will only display the primary major as indicated in Banner.
Q: My address is listed incorrectly on the Financial Certification Form, how do I change my address in order to receive my I-20 / DS-2019?
A: You need to login to the Banner Self Service via the My UNC Charlotte portal to correct your address, e-mail and phone number. Please make sure to avoid entering an expiration date for the validity of the address. (DO NOT enter a date in the ‘Until This Date’ section (leave it blank).
Click “Submit” and simply log out. The information will be saved.
Q: My academic department told me that I am receiving a Graduate Assistantship but it is not reflecting on the FCF?
A: It is always competitive to get an assistantship and there is no one centralized location on campus that handles all of the applications. To learn more about the available assistantships you may visit the following websites:
The Graduate School (only for graduate students)
The University Scholarship Office (open to undergraduate and graduate students)
If you have been promised an assistantship, please ask the awarding department/office to update the Student Educational Awards (SEA) Report to allow the ISSO to issue you a new I-20/DS-2019 that reflects the new financial assistance.
Q: The source of my financial support has changed, how do I get a new I-20/DS-2019?
A: The ISSO serves thousands of students and therefore is unable to issue multiple documents for one student. However, ISSO will issue a new I-20/DS-2019 to students who have received new assistantships from UNC Charlotte upon the information being available in the Student Education Awards Report within Banner.
Q: Can I submit multiple bank statements and can I use a bank statement from my home country?
A: Yes, you may use multiple financial documents as long as the total funding matches or exceeds the estimated cost of attendance listed on the FCF. Additionally, you may use financial documents from your home country as long as they are in English, and reflect the funds available.
Q: Do my financial documents have to be in U.S. Dollars?
A: It is preferred for the financial documents to reflect the funds in U.S. dollars, however if the financial documents reflect currencies other than U.S. dollars you may convert the currency to U.S. dollars at www.xe.com, print out the conversion page, scan and upload the document to your FCF along with your supporting bank statement(s).
Q: How long do I have to complete the form, can I save my work and return to the form later?
A: Once you open the Financial Certification Form it will remain available/open for a maximum of 60 minutes so please have the required financial information available to you. Please Note: The form will ‘time-out’ and cause you to restart the FCF from the beginning if not completed within 60 minutes.
Q: The form is asking me my current status and my intended status, what does this mean?
A: If you are currently in the United States, you MUST have a visa/status which is referred to as your “current status.” If you are outside of the United States, do not select ‘current’ and you MUST select ‘Intended’. Once you select the ‘intended’ option, you will choose F-1 or J-1 (most of the students in the United States are in F-1 status, with a small number arriving as exchange students in J-1 status).
Q: I have just completed the FCF, what are my next steps?
A: ISSO will review your completed Financial Certification Form and if approved, an I-20/DS-2019 will be issued approximately 10 days after the successful submission of your FCF. All I-20s or DS-2019s are sent via USPS first class mail which can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to reach prospective students in their home country. However, once your FCF is submitted, you will receive an email providing you with the option to pay for express mail in order to receive your I-20/DS-2019 more quickly.