Money required for tier 4 student visa
When making a Tier 4 application, one of the requirements is that you show Home Office UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) you have sufficient funds to pay your tuition fees for the coming academic year and maintenance funds for yourself and any dependants. The level of maintenance funds you need to show varies, depending on whether the Home Office class you as having an ‘established presence’ in the UK.
The Home Office have specified exactly what documents they will accept as evidence of your finances in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance and you are advised to read the relevant section (as detailed below) extremely carefully before submitting your application. One of the most common reasons for Tier 4 refusals is that students do not provide financial evidence in a format acceptable to the Home Office.
Below are some commonly asked questions which should make clear, how much and how you can show you have sufficient funds.
Is there still an ‘established presence’ provision?
From 12 November 2015, there is no long a ‘established presence’ provision. ALL students must show they have sufficient funds to support themselves throughout the duration of their course/ remaining study, or for up to a maximum of nine months, whichever is shorter (part month is rounded up to one month). The only exceptionis if you are making a Tier 4 application under the Doctorate Extension Scheme, in which case you will only need to evidence 2 months of maintenance.
How much money do I need to show I have?
Your CAS will indicate the course fees you need to show evidence of to the Home Office. If you receive any scholarship from University/College to cover partial course fees, your CAS will state the amount of remaining course fees after deducting the scholarship. If your scholarship pays full course fees, your CAS will show ‘0’ as course fees.
You will also need to show a level of maintenance funds, and the amount will vary depending whether you are applying for a Tier 4 visa or a Tier 4 visa for Doctorate Extension Scheme. If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa, you will need to show you have the money for your course fees plus £1,015 for living costs for each calendar month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months, i.e., £9135.
What if I have paid some money to my tuition fees or University accommodation?
The CAS should show any payments you have made to for your course fees and/or University accommodation. You are NOT required to pay accommodation fees before you make your Tier 4 visa application, but if you decide to do so (perhaps because you are required to pay a deposit for accommodation fees), The total amount of tuition fees and up to a maximum of £1265 of accommodation payments made to the University can be deducted from the amount you need to show is available in your bank account.
It is your responsibility to ensure that any payments you have made for course fees and accommodation are added to your CAS. The Student Finance office will do this for you and should email confirmation to you. If you have not received an email confirmation that the payment has been added to your CAS, you should assume that it has not and should contact the Student Finance team urgently to ask them to do this.
What evidence can I use as proof I have enough money?
You can use evidence of personal cash funds held in your own account or a joint account (where both account holders names appear on the statement), or you can use money held in an account owned by your parents/legal guardian.
The Home Office have strict requirements of what information must be included in documentation from your bank. For detailed information of the format of bank statements/bank letters you should refer to the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (see link on the right hand side).
If you are using a parent’s bank account you need, in addition to their bank statements or bank letter,:
- Your birth certificate showing the name of your parents (with translation if applicable – refer to the section about English translation); and
- A letter from your parents/guardian confirming the relationship between you and them and that they have given their consent to you using the funds to study in the UK.
If you are going to be making a Tier 4 application shortly after your arrival, you need to ensure that you can submit appropriate evidence of your finances with your application. It is therefore advisable to complete the process of opening a bank account and transferring appropriate funds as soon as possible. You will need to show evidence of the required funds for every day within the 28 consecutive days prior to making your application online.
To avoid problems with the suitability of bank statements, you are advised to request monthly postal bank statements. This is because some ad hoc bank statements provided by some banks do not contain all of the information required by the UKVI.
Can I use an overseas account as evidence?
Yes, it is possible to use an overseas account as evidence you have enough funds. However, you need to be extra careful to ensure overseas bank statements meet the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
If you are using an account that shows a foreign currency, you will need to convert the amount of the closing balance of the account (and the lowest balance in the 28-day period, if different) using the OANDA website. Use the ‘Date of Application’ (this is the date you make your Tier 4 online application and pay the IHS charge and application fees) as the date to convert the currency. Please also see the question below for information about some financial institutions overseas that are not accepted as evidence of finances.
Can I use a Certificate of Deposit as evidence of my finances?
Certificates of deposit are documents issued by a bank which confirm an individual has deposited or invested a sum of money. You can use a Certificate of Deposit to show evidence of funds available to you if it meets the format set out in the Home Office document, Modernised Guidance: Studying under Tier 4, v 34.0:
- the certificate of deposit must have been issued within 31 days of the date of application (the date of your application is the date the visa application fee is paid online)
- at least 28 days must have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate, and
- there must be no wording on the document which indicates the funds are frozen or otherwise inacessible
If your Certificate of Deposit does not confirm the above details then your visa application is likely to be refused. Check the certificate carefully, especially the reverse of it. You can find an acceptable sample on the top right section of this webpage.
Are there any banks or financial institutions that are not accepted by the Home Office?
The UKVI has published a list of financial institutions (Click ‘Appendix P’) in various countries that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements. Currently, the list affects financial institutions in Cameroon, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The list is reviewed regularly. This means that it is not possible to use financial evidence from financial institutions that appear on this list with your Tier 4 application. If you do so, your application will be refused.
How long do I have to have held the required funds in my account?
You need to have had the required funds in your account for a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application.
For example, if your ‘date of application’ (this is the date you pay for the Tier 4 visa application fees online) is 28 July, you must have funds held from 1 July – 28 July, if your bank statement is printed on 28 July. However, if your bank statement is printed on or states a closing balance date of 20 July (this is acceptable because it is within 31 days of 28 July), then your bank statement should cover the period with the required amount of funds held from 23 June to 20 July.
How recent does my bank statement need to be?
Your bank statement must be dated within 31 days of the date of your application (the date that the application fee payment is made).
If you bank statement is dated after the ‘date of application’, the caseworker will only consider funds held for 28 days up to the ‘date of application’. For example, if your ‘date of application’ is 1 September but your bank statement is printed on 10 September which is also the closing balance date, the caseworker will look at whether you have held the required funds for 28 consecutive days from 5 August to 1 September.
Can I use more than one bank account as evidence?
Yes, you can. If you are submitting evidence from two or more accounts, the Home Office will assess the funds as being the closing balance of one account plus any additional money available to you on the date of that closing balance for which you have provided the required evidence. The Home Office will always use the closing balance that most favours you. In this case, we would advise you to enclose a covering letter explaining how, with 2 accounts combined, you meed the Tier 4 requirement.
Do I need to keep the money in my account once I have submitted my application?
Yes, you are advised to keep the required funds in your bank account until your application has been processed by the Home Office and you have received back your new visa. The Home Office may want to verify that you have the correct funds available and that these are available to be used for your studies in the UK. If you are using one bank account to evidence your finanical requirement and pay the visa fee and health surcharge, please ensure that there is enough money to cover everything. If paying the visa application fee or health charge results in your bank balance going below the amount of money required, your application may be refused.
What if I am financially sponsored?
The Home Office classes an Official Financial Sponsor as Her Majesty’s Government, the student’s home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or United Kingdom independent school. If you only receive partial sponsorship, covering only some of your tuition fees and/or living costs, you must show additional evidence (for example, your personal bank statement which meets the requirement for a Tier 4 visa) that you hold the rest of the money needed.
What evidence do I need to provide confirming my sponsorship?
You will need to obtain a letter of confirmation from your official financial sponsor on official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation of the official financial sponsor; and have the official stamp of that organisation on it. The letter must show:
- Your name
- the name and contact details of the official financial sponsor
- The date of the letter
- The length of the sponsorship; and
- The amount of money the sponsor is giving to you or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs.
What if my sponsorship has ended?
If you were fully sponsored (i.e. all tuition fees and living costs) and this sponsorship ended within 12 months of your Tier 4 application being made, you must obtain your sponsor’s permission tostay in or re-enter the UK. You will need to get your sponsor’s unconditional consent in writing. This needs to confirm that the sponsor has no objection to you continuing with your studies in the UK. If you do not get this consent, the Home Office will refuse your application.