If you are applying for a Tier 4 (general) student visa you must have enough money to pay for your course fees and your living costs, known as the maintenance requirement. You are required to submit financial documents to show that you meet the maintenance requirement. 

Your financial documents must meet the specific Tier 4 requirements to prevent a visa refusal. You must have the correct amount of funds for the required period before you submit your online visa application form. The Tier 4 policy 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 £14,500
  • 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
  • Your remaining course fee is £8,500

You must have £8,500 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. 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.

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 you are applying for the Doctorate Extension Scheme or as a student union sabbatical officer, 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 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 for total maintenance:

If you are studying on a 1-year Master's 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. The total maintenance amount you are required to show is £19,885.00 (£8,500 + £11,385). 

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.

Your bank statement must be no more than 31 days old on the date you submit your visa application, this is the date that you pay the online visa fee.

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)' account or in a joint account with anyone as long as you are named on the account. You can also show 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 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. 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:

  • 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

If you are providing a bank statement, a letter from the bank, or a certificate of deposit 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 31 days before the date of your application and should contain:

  • your name or your parent's name
  • the 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, or your parents' joint account should have both their names 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 requirements:

  • it must be printed on the bank’s letterhead
  • it must include all the information above
  • it 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 31 days 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 or your parent's name
  • the 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

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 Tier 4 Visa office at the University before your CAS can be issued. This is so that the Tier 4 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. 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