If you are applying for a Student visa you must have enough money to pay for your course fees and your living costs, known as the maintenance requirement. You are normally required to submit financial documents to show that you meet the maintenance requirement.

Who does not need to meet the financial requirements?

You do not need to meet the financial requirements described below and submit financial documents if you are applying for permission to stay in the UK and have been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of your visa application.

Who must meet the financial requirements but does not need to submit financial documents?

If you are a national of a country listed in Appendix ST paragraph 22.1 of the Immigration rules, you must meet the financial requirements described below but do not need to submit your financial documents as part of a Student Visa Application. To benefit from the Differentiation Arrangements as what is known as a ‘low risk national’, you must be applying in the UK or the country you live in.

If you rely on the differentiation arrangements, you must have the financial documents available and in the required format as the Home Office may request evidence that you do meet the financial requirements at a later date. Failure to provide these documents, when asked, will lead to your application being refused.

All other Student Visa Applicants must meet the financial requirements and submit financial documents.

The financial requirements

Your financial documents must meet the specific financial requirements to prevent a visa refusal. You must have the correct funds for the required period before you submit your online visa application form. The Student Visa Guidance gives detailed information on the requirements for supporting documents.

How much money do I need?

Course/tuition fees

You must have enough money to pay for the course fees for the first year of your course. If your course is less than one year long, you are required to have the funds for your entire course fees. Your fee amount will be confirmed on your Confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS).

You will normally need to pay a deposit of £4,000 towards your tuition fees in order to be issued with a CAS. You can deduct this £4,000 plus any extra fees you have paid towards your tuition fees (if applicable) from the total amount you need to show for your fees. Any payments you have made towards your course fees must be stated on your CAS.

Some applicants are not required to pay a CAS deposit. For information about the CAS deposit and to check if you need to pay, visit the International Student Deposits page.

For example, if you are applying for a visa to study a 1-year Master's course and:

  • Your fees are £14,000
  • You have paid the £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees
  • Your CAS states: Course Fees for the Year: £14,000, Course Fees Paid so far: £6,000
  • Your remaining course fee is £8,000

You must have £8,000 in your account or your parent(s)' account for your tuition fees in addition to the funds for your living costs.

The Home Office will use your CAS to confirm how much money you need for your course fees. It is important that you check the information on your CAS thoroughly before you make your visa application. You should check that your CAS states your total fee amount and any fees paid, correctly. If there is a discrepancy on your CAS, you should email [email protected].

Living costs

You must have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in the UK. The amount you need to show will be changing on 1 December 2020.

For applications made before 1 December 2020 you will need to show £1,265.00 for each month, or part month, of your course for a maximum of nine months. The maximum amount you will need for your living costs is £11,385.00.

For applications made on or after 1 December you will need to show £1,334 for each month, or part of a month, of your course for a maximum of nine months. The maximum amount you will need for your living costs is £12,006.

The Home Office have set a fixed amount for the living cost requirement, irrespective of whether you intend to live with family in the UK or you if you have paid for your accommodation in part or in full already.

If your course or the remainder of your course is less than 9 months, then you will need to look at your CAS to assess the length of your course. Look at the CAS start date and calculate the months or part of months until the course end date. Use a date calculator if this helps. Remember that if you are applying in the UK and you have been in the UK with permission for a period of 12 months or longer, you are exempt from the financial requirement

If you are applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme and you are not exempt from the financial requirements, you have to show living costs for two months.

Worked examples for living costs:

If you are going to study on a 3-year undergraduate course, you will need to show £11,385.00 (£1,265 × 9 months) for your living costs if you apply before 1 December 2020 and £12006 on or after 1 December.

If you are current student and have not been in the UK for the past 12 months and you need to extend your visa, and you have 3 months remaining of your course, you will need to show £3,795.00 (£1,265 × 3) for your living costs if applying before 1 December 2020. If you are applying on or after 1 December 2020 you will need to show £4,002.

A worked example for total maintenance:

If you are studying on a 1-year Master's course, your tuition fees are £14,000 and you have paid your £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees.

If applying before 1st December 2020 you must show £8,000 (£14,000 - £4000 - £2000) for your tuition fees and £11,385.00 (£1,265 × 9 months) for your living costs. The total maintenance amount you are required to show is £19,385.00 (£8, 00 + £11,385).

If you are applying on or after 1 December 2020 you must show £8,000 (£14,000 - £4000 - £2000) for your tuition fees and £12,006 (£1,3354× 9 months) for your living costs. The total maintenance amount you are required to show is £20,006 (£8,000 + £12,006).

The 28-day rule

Any money you use for maintenance (course fees and living costs) must be in your account or your parent(s)' account for a consecutive period of 28 days (finishing on the date of the closing balance).

During the 28-day period this money cannot drop below the required amount for even 1 day or you will not meet the Home Office requirements and your application will be refused.

University halls of residence

If you have paid up to £1,265 to the University for a room in one of the University managed halls of residence (these include: Harrow, Marylebone Road and Alexander Fleming) and this is confirmed in your CAS, you can deduct a maximum of £1,265 (even if you have paid more) from the amount of money you need to show for your maintenance. Money paid to private landlords or to halls of residence which are not owned by the University of Westminster will not reduce the maintenance amount you need to show.

Financial evidence

The money you are required to show can be in:

  • your bank account
  • your parent(s)' bank account
  • your partner's account if they are applying at the same time or they already have permission
  •  a joint account with anyone as long as you are named on the account.
  • a joint account with both your parents' names.

If you are relying on funds in your parent(s)' account, you must include the following documents in support of your application:

  • a letter from your parent(s) confirming that you are their child and that they consent to you using their funds to study in the UK. See an example of a parent's letter:
  • your birth certificate with your name and your parent(s)' names (with a translation if not in English). Please visit our Translations page for information about translations.
  • your parent(s)' financial documents

If you are being funded by a family member other than your parents or your partner (who is applying at the same time  as you or already has permission), they will need to transfer the required funds into your bank account or use a joint account with your name on it, as their bank statements will not be accepted. If you are living with relatives while in London, you will still have to show the full amount of money for living costs.

The only exception is if you have received official financial sponsorship for your full fees and living costs from a recognised sponsor. If this is the case, please visit our official financial sponsorship page for further information.

Required documents

The key documents that are accepted by the Home Office include:

  • Personal bank statements
  • Building society pass books
  • Letter from the bank. See an example bank letter:
  • letter from an official financial sponsor 
  • Letter from a regulated financial institution confirming a loan. The loan must be provided by your national government, their state or regional government, a government-sponsored student loan company or part of an academic or educational loan scheme
  • Certificates of deposit

The Home Office will only accept evidence from certain financial organisations in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. See Appendix P on the Gov.uk website for a list of acceptable and unacceptable banks.

If your money is not in pounds sterling, you must convert the funds into pounds sterling to ensure that the closing balance meets the minimum level required using the OANDA currency converter

Do not forget to include translations if any of your documents are not in English. There are specific requirements for translations – if you need anything translated, please ensure you read the requirements carefully. See our translation guidelines for more information.

Bank and financial statements

Bank statements

Funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pension from which the funds can be withdrawn or investment account) provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately.

Funds held in other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, credit cards, pensions from which the funds cannot be withdrawn immediately, regardless of notice period, will not be accepted as evidence of funds.

Funds will not be considered if they are held in a financial institution where the Home Office is unable to make satisfactory verification checks; or the financial institution is not regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating; or the financial institution does not use electronic record keeping.

Bank or building society statements must cover a 28-day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application.

The Home Office would normally expect a banking or building society record to:

  • be on official stationary or an electronic record
  • be printed or electronic (not hand written)
  • include the account holder(s) names
  • include the account number
  • include the date of the statement
  • include information about the bank, such as contact details or a branch code

A statement will show transactions and amount held over time (although this is not the norm in all countries) and would not apply to a letter.

A letter would in addition to the above criteria confirm the balance and length of time funds were held rather than providing a record of transactions and

  • Be on headed paper
  • Be signed by an official from the financial institution

Certificate of deposit

This is a certificate issued by a bank to confirm that you or your parent have deposited a specific amount of money. Certificates of deposit will normally be accepted if the certificate shows:

  • that the certificate of deposit was issued no more than 31 days before your date of application (the date you pay the online visa application fee) and 
  • that at least 28 days have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate

Certificates of deposit should also include the following details:

  • your name or your parent's name
  • The account number
  • The financial institution’s name and logo
  • The amount of money available

Please note

You will need to provide scans of the financial evidence you plan to use to the visa compliance office at the University before your CAS can be issued. This is so that the University can check that, to the best of their knowledge, your financial evidence shows the correct funds for the 28-day period and is in the correct format. Once you have emailed scanned copies of correct financial evidence and this has been checked, your CAS will be issued. You will be given further information about what you need to do when you have accepted your place at the University. You are not required to send scans of your documents to the University if you are a national of a country that is part of the differentiation arrangements