Learn about the financial guarantee you will need for studying in the US or Canada.

What is the financial guarantee?

The financial guarantee is an exercise where you need to demonstrate to the partner institution or Embassy (in the case of Canada) that you have access to a certain amount of money. This is a mandatory part of your visa process if you are studying in the US or Canada.

The host country and university needs to see that you can support yourself during your studies. They require evidence that the money is available, so  they can ensure you will not seek unlawful employment or live off state funding.

How much money do I need to have?

For the US, the amount of money that has to be guaranteed varies according to which campus you attend. Each campus will set the figure that they estimate you’ll need in order to live and study there (including meal plans, health insurance, accommodation books and supplies etc.). This amount is not necessarily what you will spend, but it gives you an estimation of the total costs.

For Canada the figure is set by the Canadian government, although it is not a representation of the costs of studying and living in Canada (and it is likely you’ll spend more than that during your time there).

No money will be transferred or deducted from you or your sponsor’s bank account.

The financial guarantee can be made up by several sources, including:

  • a recent statement from a bank account (yours or relative’s)
  • a recent statement from a savings account (yours or relative’s). Most institutions will insist that the money in a savings account must be easy to withdraw
  • a recent letter from bank stating that a proposed sponsor or guarantor has a certain amount available to them
  • a student government loan for the following year. If you need to complete the financial guarantee before applying for next year’s loan, we can write a letter indicating how much you will receive. This is normally accepted by the partner university
  • any other projected scholarship you will receive.

Sources not accepted include:

  • credit card statements
  • ATM statements
  • premium bonds and some ISAs
  • letters from employers or wage slips
  • mortgage or company ownership statements
  • share certificates.

When do I complete the financial guarantee?

This process happens whilst you are still at Sussex, during or just before Semester 2 (for students starting in Autumn of the following year) or Autumn (for students going during Semester 2 only).

For the US you need to complete the financial guarantee at application stage. Depending on the institution, it can be done between January and April.

For Canada you will need to show proof of sufficient funds at the moment of applying for the Study Permit at the Embassy.

See more from Funding your study abroad