Money requirements for student visas

In order to come to the UK with a Tier 4 (General) student visa you will need to show that you have enough money to cover your course and can support yourself during your studies (maintenance).

The 28 day rule

Any money you use for maintenance and fees needs to be in your account for a full 28 days. The most recent balance on the statement must be within one month of submitting your application.

How much money do I need?

You will need to show that you have enough money for both:

  • the full tuition fee for the first year of your course - the amount will be be on your CAS statement 
  • an amount of maintenance money set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) which is part of the Home Office

Maintenance money amounts

New to study in the UK

If you are new to study in the UK, you will need the following amount for your maintenance.

  • For courses lasting 9 months or longer: £7380  Note:  Tier 4 applications made on or after 12 November 2015 will need to show £9,135
  • For courses of less than 9 months: £820 for each month of your course  Note:  Tier 4 applications made on or after 12 November 2015 will need to show £1,015 per month.

If you have already paid accommodation fees to the University (and this is indicated on your CAS) this amount can be deducted from the total maintenance required, up to a maximum of £1,020. Note:  this will increase to £1,265 for applications made on or after 12 November 2015. 

Recently studied in the UK

If you have current immigration permission as a Tier 4 student (or as a student under the immigration rules in place before 2009) or as a Postgraduate doctor or dentist you may qualify for having 'established presence' which means you will be able to show a lower amount of money.  Your visa must not have expired and you need to have completed at least 6 months of a course using that visa, unless you have completed your studies and are now applying for leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) student on the Doctorate Extension Scheme. If you qualify for established presence the maximum amount you will need for living costs is £1640.  If your visa has expired you will not qualify for reduced maintenance.

Note:  Tier 4 applications made on or after 12 November 2015 cannot benefit from 'established presence' unless the application is for a Tier 4 (Doctorate Extension Scheme) visa. 


Tuition fees already paid to the University of Birmingham 

If you pay your tution fees as stated on the CAS, in full, before submitting your visa application, you will only need to show money for maintenance. If you are going for an appointment in person with the UKVI, you should make sure you pay the tuition fees at least 5 working days before your appointment.

Documents you need

As part of your visa application you will need to include documents that prove you have the required money.  Evidence of your money must meet specific requirements. If it does not, your visa application will be refused. It is important that you check your documents carefully, and note that the documents you need to provide with your application will be different depending on whether you are a sponsored student or whether you are self-funded.

Low-risk countries and documents to submit

If you are from a ‘low risk’ country you should still collect all the documents but you will not be required to submit this as evidence with your application, however the Home Office can ask for this evidence when processing your visa application. If you are asked for evidence and fail to provide the documents on time your visa application will be refused.

For a full list of low risk countries see Appendix H of the Immigration Rules

Sponsored students - documents

Documents list

You can receive official financial sponsorship from a government, the British Council or any international organisation, an international company, a university or an Independent School.

You must provide an original letter that meets all of the following requirements:

  • on official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation with the official stamp of that organisation
  • with your name
  • with the name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • with the date of the letter
  • with the length of your sponsorship
  • with the amount of money the sponsor is giving to you or a statement that the official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs.  If your sponsor is not covering all your fees and maintenance, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the rest of the money required.

If your sponsor is a government of international scholarship agency, their sponsor letter should specifically state that they consent to your Tier 4 (General) application. If you have previously received sponsor ship from a government or international scholarship agency and the sponsorship ended less than 12 months ago, you must also obtain and include a letter of consent from this financial sponsor.


Self-funded or parent-funded students - documents

Documents list

If you do not have an official financial sponsor, you are only able to provide evidence of funding using your own bank account (including a joint account you hold with someone else) or your parents or legal guardian’s bank accounts. If the money is in someone else’s account, or in a business account that does not have your parent’s name on it, you will need to move it so that you can provide the correct documents. Maintenance must be in the form of cash funds, you cannot use an overdraft facility or credit card.

You must provide original bank statements meeting every one of the following requirements:

  • In your name or your parents' name - not a business name
  • Showing that the money has been in the account for a full 28 days, and that the amount of money has never gone below the required amount in this time
  • Dated no more than one month before the date of your application
  • Showing the account number, the bank's name and the bank's logo

If you use electronic statements then as well as including all the standard required information, they must also either be stamped on every page, or be accompanied by a supporting letter from the bank or building society confirming that the statement is authentic.

Appendix P of the Immigration Rules contains lists of financial institutions in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka that verify financial documents to their satisfaction, and which can therefore be used in immigration applications. If you use bank statements from an unacceptable institution your visa application will be refused.

If you are using your parents' account you must also provide:

  • Your original birth certificate or a notarised copy, showing the names of your parents
  • A dated letter from your parents confirming that they are your parents and that they give permission for you to use their money in the UK

If you cannot provide these documents, you should read the Home Office guidance for other types of evidence that can be accepted.