Maintenance and fees and the 28-day rule

When submitting a Tier 4 (General) student visa application you will need to submit evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees, for the first academic year, as well as your living costs.

You must provide the correct financial evidence in the correct format or your visa application will be refused. The Tier 4 Policy Guidance gives detailed information on the requirements for supporting documents.

How much money do I need?

Course fees

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 from the total amount you need to show for your fees.

Any payments you have made towards your tuition fees must be stated on your CAS. For example if you are applying for a visa to study a one year Masters course and:

  • Your fees are £14,500
  • You have paid the £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees
  • Your CAS states: Course Fees for the Year: £14,500, Course Fees Paid so far: £6,000

Therefore you must have £8,500 in your account for your tuition fees and the funds for your living costs.

Living costs

You must have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in the UK. You will need to show £1,265.00 for each month of your course for a maximum of nine months. Therefore, you must have a total of £11,385.00 for your living costs.

For example:

If you are studying on a three year Undergraduate course, you will need to show £11,385.00 (£1,265 × 9 months) for your living costs.

If you are current student 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.

A worked example:

If you are studying on a one year Masters course, your tuition fees are £14,500 and you have paid your £4,000 deposit plus an extra £2,000 towards your fees.

You must show £8,500 (£14,500 - £4000 - £2000) for your tuition fees and £11,385.00 (£1,265 × 9 months) for your living costs = £19,885.00 in total for your maintenance.

The 28-Day Rule

Any money you use for maintenance (tuition fees and living costs) must be in your account for a consecutive period of 28 days. During the 28 day period this money cannot drop below the required amount for even one day or you will not meet the Home Office requirements and your application will be refused.

Your bank statement must be no more than 31 days old on the date of your application.

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 Flemming), and this is confirmed in your CAS statement, you can reduce the maintenance you need to show by the amount you've paid up to a maximum £1,265. 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 for your maintenance can be in your bank account, your parent’s account or in a joint account with anyone as long as you are named on the account. 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 you parent/s confirming that you are their child and that they will be paying all of your course fees and living costs. See an example of a parent's letter
  • your original birth certificate (with an original translation if not in English)
  • your parent/s' financial documents

If you are being funded by a family member other than your parents 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 living costs. Financial evidence from anyone other than you or your parents will not be accepted by the Home Office.

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 Home Office is very specific about the documentary evidence they will accept.  There are strict requirements that these documents must meet.

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

  • Bank statements
  • Building society pass books
  • Letter from the bank. See an example bank letter
  • Overseas account statements/letters (regulated by the official regulatory body for the country the institution is in and where the money is held)
  • Letter from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • Letter 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

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 details for a list of acceptable and/or unacceptable banks.

If you are providing a bank statement or letter from the bank, please see the sections below. If you are using any of the other acceptable documents listed above, please see the Home Office’s Tier 4 Policy Guidance.

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

Bank or building society statements must cover a 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application and should contain:

  • your name
  • your account number
  • the date of the statement
  • the financial institution’s name and logo
  • the amount of money available

If you are using a joint account you must have your name on the statement.

If you are not using bank statements sent to you in the post (which will normally meet all of the above requirements) and you request a bank statement or letter from your bank, the statement must also meet certain requirement. It

  • must be printed on the bank’s letterhead
  • must include all the information above
  • must not be a mini-statement

If you are given an electronic bank statement from an online account

  • it must include the information above
  • there should be a supporting letter from the bank on company-headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statements provided. Alternatively an electronic bank statement bearing the official stamp of the bank in question will be accepted. The stamp must appear on every page of the statement

Letter from the bank

A letter from the bank must confirm funds covering a 28-day period ending no more than one month before the date of your application. It should state that there is enough money in the account to cover your course fees and living costs and include the following details:

  • your name
  • your account number
  • the date of the letter
  • the financial institution’s name and logo
  • the amount of money available
  • that the required money has been held in the account for at least 28 days up to the date of the letter

Please note

You will need to email scans of the financial evidence you plan to use to the Tier 4 Visa office at the University before your CAS can be issued. This is so that the Tier4 team 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.

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