Tier 4 visa financial requirements
You have to prove that you have enough money available to you to pay for your first year’s tuition fees and living expenses in order to get a Tier 4 student visa.
You must provide specified documents to the Home Office in order to prove you meet these requirements.
How much money you'll need to show
All students and their dependants applying for Tier 4 leave on and after 12 November 2015 must show they have the following levels of funds available:
|Course length as per your CAS||Amount to be shown|
|Less than 9 months||Full course fee +£1,015 for each month of course length|
|More than 9 months||1st year course fee + £9,135 (£1,015 x 9 months)|
If you have dependants you will also need proof that you have £6,120 for each dependant for courses of over nine months. If the course is less than 9 months you will need proof that you have £680 for each month of the course for each dependant;
Making deductions after paying your fees
Any money you have paid towards your tuition fees can be deducted from the required total amount of money you have to show for tuition fees. To prove the amounts you have paid you will need to provide an original paper receipt or the amount paid must be shown on the CAS statement.
If you have already paid some of your accommodation fees to the University before making your application, then a limited amount of this which can be taken away from the amount of money you will need to show for your living costs. The amount taken away cannot exceed a maximum of £1,265 even if you have paid more than this. Money paid to private landlords or letting agencies cannot be deducted from your living costs.
Proving you have enough money
The immigration rules are very strict about the financial documents you must show to prove you have enough money for your visa.
The Immigration Officer will only accept the following documents:
- Cash in your, or a parent or legal guardian’s, bank account for a 28-day period
- A loan in your name
- Letter from an official financial or government sponsor. The UKVI define an official sponsor as:
- Your country’s government or the UK government
- British Council
- Any international organisation
- Any international company
- Any University.
Evidence you'll need to provide
Cash in your own bank account
Your money must be held in cash and you must show that you have held the money in your account for at least 28 days prior to the date of application. Shares, bonds, overdrafts, credit cards, pension funds and similar savings accounts will not be accepted.
Funds must not be held in a bank or a financial institution which the Home Office is unable to make satisfactory verification checks. The UK Government website lists these institutions.
You must provide one of the following specified types of documents:
Original personal bank statement
Which must cover a consecutive 28 day period. The end of that 28 day period and the closing balance must be no more than 31 days before the date of your application.
Statements must show:
- Your name
- Account number
- Date of statement
- Name and logo of bank / building society
- That your balance has not fallen below the required amount for the full 28 day period
- That the required funds must be in your account up until the closing balance of the statement;
Electronic bank statements
These must contain all the details highlighted above and every page must be stamped by the official stamp of the bank to prove authenticity. Please note that some banks will not stamp their statements, so check with yours if you will be able to rely on this method;
Original joint account statements
Joint account statements can be used as long as you are named as one of the account holders and they include all the information highlighted above
Letter from your bank
If you don’t have a bank statement, you can also provide a letter from your bank including the same information as on the personal bank statement.
Cash in a parent or legal guardian's account
If you're relying on money held by your parents or legal guardian, you must also show that they have given their permission for you to use this money. You must provide a letter from your parents or legal guardian which must confirm:
- the relationship between you and them
- that your parents or legal guardian have given their consent to you using their funds to study in the UK.
If your parents or legal guardians are providing your tuition fees and living costs, you must also prove that they are your parents or legal guardians.
You can do this by providing one of the following:
- your original birth certificate, showing the name of your parents
- your original certificate of adoption showing your name
- original court documents stating the name of your legal guardian
You must also include your parents’ or legal guardian’s original bank statement which outlines all of the same information as the personal bank statement.
Cash in a joint account with your relative or friend
If you're being sponsored by another relative or a friend, you must show a joint bank account statement in your and their name with all the above details.
Closing balance in pounds sterling
If you are submitting any bank statements with your visa application, you must write the closing balance in pounds sterling on the original statement using OANDA, UKVI's official exchange rate website.
How long the money must be held
If you are using your bank account or the bank account of your parents or legal guardian, your money must be held in cash and you must show that you have held the money in your, your parents', or your legal guardians' bank account for at least 28 days prior to the date of your visa application.
Property, shares, bonds, pension funds, life insurance or similar savings accounts will not be accepted.
During the 28 days leading up to the date the bank statement is generated, your balance must not have dropped below the right amount. If it has dropped below the right amount even for just one day, you will not meet the financial requirements and your student visa will be rejected.
The money must also not be held in a bank or a financial institution which UK Visas and Immigration view as untrustworthy.
The loan must be:
- in your name, not in the name of your parents or legal guardian
- from a bank that is regulated by an official regulatory body for your home country
- dated no more than six months before the date of your student visa application.
To evidence your loan, you must provide a letter from the bank confirming the loan. The letter must show:
- your name
- the date of the letter
- the financial institution’s name and logo
- the money available as a loan
- the start date of the loan.
The loan funds must be available to you before you travel to the UK, unless the loan is an academic or student loan from your country’s national government and will be given to you, or the University, when you arrive in the UK.
US Federal loans
If you're an American student who is applying for a US Federal loan, you'll need to submit a "Notification of Student Loan" letter with your visa application.
For more details on how to apply for your Federal Aid Loan, please visit the US country page.
The UK Visas and Immigration defines an official sponsor as one of the following:
- The UK Government or your government in your home country.
- The British Council.
- An international organisation.
- An international company.
- Cardiff University.
If your official financial sponsor is paying all your tuition fees and living expenses, you don't have to provide separate evidence of your savings.
However, you must provide a letter from your official financial sponsor confirming that your sponsor will pay all your tuition fees and living expenses.
This letter must be on official letterhead paper showing:
- your name
- the name and contact details of the official financial sponsor
- the date of the letter
- the length of the sponsorship – start and end date
- the amount of money the sponsor is giving you or confirmation that they will pay all your tuition fees and living expenses
- the official stamp of the organisation.
If your sponsor only pays some of your costs, you'll need a letter from them and proof that you have enough money yourself to meet the rest of the maintenance requirements (eg personal bank statements).