There are two situations when you must consider official financial sponsorship for a student visa application:

  • Gaining consent from a government or international scholarship agency for a course completed in the last 12 months
  • Official financial sponsorship to meet the financial requirements of a student visa application 

Consent from a government or international scholarship agency for a course completed in the last 12 months

  • Have you in the last 12 months before the date of your student visa application completed a course of studies in the UK?
  • If yes, was this scholarship or sponsorship covering both fees and living costs?
  • If yes, was it from either a government or international sponsorship agency?

If all of the above apply then you must provide letter of consent confirming that your official financial sponsor (the government or international scholarship agency) consent to your student visa application. The letter must be explicit in confirming consent for the visa application. 

A student visa application is invalid without a letter meeting the requirements. If you are applying in the UK and your application is considered invalid then this can lead to a backdated period of overstay. 

You must provide this letter even if you are exempt from the normal financial requirements or you are applying under the differentiation arrangements and do not normally need to show your financial documents. 

You must provide this letter even if you will not be relying on financial support from your official financial sponsor for your next student visa application.

Official financial sponsorship to meet the financial requirements of a student visa application 

If you are making a student visa application and you will be receiving official financial sponsorship for some or all of your tuition fees and your living costs you must provide evidence with your student visa application. 

Only certain organisations can provide official financial sponsorship for a student visa application. These are:

  • an international company
  • a university
  • a United Kingdom independent school
  • the United Kingdom government
  • your home government
  • The British Council
  • an international organisation

If you do not have official financial sponsorship from one of the above organisations for the full fees and living costs you, you should read about the financial requirements so you can show that you meet them in another way.

What official financial sponsorship evidence is needed for a student visa?

When making your student visa application you will need to provide evidence of your official financial sponsorship. 

If you will be receiving a University of Westminster scholarship, then this should be explained in your CAS. When you get your CAS please check that there is a reference to your scholarship, or your official financial sponsorship can be confirmed in a letter. 

The letter should be on official letter-headed paper or the stationery of the organisation and must:

  • include your name
  • include the name and contact details of your financial sponsor
  • include the date of the letter
  • include the length of your sponsorship
  • include a statement that your official sponsor will cover all your fees and living costs

If your official sponsorship only covers part of your fees and living costs, your sponsorship letter must mention the actual amount of money your sponsor is giving you include the official stamp of the organisation.

Wording confirming consent to a student visa application can be included (if that is required, as is described earlier).

My sponsor is only paying for some of my fees/living costs

If your official financial sponsorship letter does not include a statement confirming that your fees and living costs will be paid in full and instead refers to specific amounts, you should check the financial requirements to ensure the amounts are sufficient and are the same amounts of money that are required by the financial regulations. 

You need to show proof that you have the rest of the money needed in your bank account for the required 28 days.

I am a scholarship student at the University – do I need to submit a letter?

If you will be receiving a University of Westminster scholarship then you will not need to provide the letter as long as your scholarship is described in your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.

I have lived legally in the UK for the past 12 months and will be applying for my student visa in the UK – Do I need a scholarship letter?

If you are applying for your student visa in the UK and has been living in the UK with permission for 12 months or more on the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show your funds. You will not need to show your official financial sponsorship letter confirming ongoing financial support. However, you will need written consent if a government or international scholarship agency sponsored you for a course completed in the last 12 months.