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Student Route financial requirements

Last updated: 19 December 2023

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Proof of sufficient funds
Required Funds
Acceptable forms of evidence
Common mistakes
Failure to provide correct evidence
Further advice

Proof of sufficient funds

If you are applying from overseas, or if you are applying in the UK but have not been here with permission for 12 months or more, you must show that you have sufficient funds to cover:

  • Any course fees that are outstanding on the date you submit your visa application
  • Living costs

If you are from an exempt country, you do not need to submit any evidence of funds with your visa application, but you should prepare the evidence nonetheless, since UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may ask to see it.

Required funds

Course fees

Your course fees will be listed on your CAS statement. Any fees already paid to the university will be reduced from the total amount you are required to show for fees. However, the university must report this amount to UKVI before you use your CAS. For this reason, it is important that, where possible, you pay the total amount you intend to pay in one payment, and that you inform the university if the amount listed on your CAS statement is incorrect before you submit your visa application. The university is unable to update UKVI with any extra fees paid after your application has been submitted.

Living costs

You will also be required to show evidence of your living costs at a rate of £1023 per month of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months. If your course lasts nine months or more, you therefore need to show a total of £9207 for living costs. If the length of your course includes part of a month, the number of months’ living costs must be rounded up. If you have pre-paid for halls of residence accommodation (not private accommodation), you are permitted to deduct a maximum of £1265 from your living costs.

Acceptable forms of evidence

Evidence of required funds must be provided in one of the following formats:

  • Cash funds in a bank; or
  • A loan in your name; or
  • Official financial sponsorship

Whichever format you choose, please note all documentation must be in English. If any documents are not available in English, you must provide fully certified translations.

If your funds are not held in British Pound Sterling (GBP), you should use the currency exchange rates on the OANDA website to check that you have the required amount.

Cash funds in a bank

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) 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.

You will need to provide a statement showing funds have been held for a consecutive 28 day period ending no more than 31 days before the date of your visa application. The statement must show:

  • Your name or your parent(s) / legal guardian(s) name(s)
  • The account number
  • The date of the statement
  • The bank’s name and logo
  • The amount of money available through the 28 day period (note: the balance must not have dropped below required amount at any time during the 28 day period)

It is best to submit an official statement that the bank has sent to your home address, though an ad hoc statement, printed in the branch on letter-headed paper is usually acceptable.

Alternatively, you can provide a download of an electronic bank statement, so long as it shows all the information detailed above (this does not need to be stamped by the bank, though please note that UKVI may wish to run a verification check direct with the bank).

Due to the time it takes to receive an official statement, you may prefer to submit an official letter written by your bank, confirming you have held the required funds for the required period of time. Unfortunately, not all banks are willing to write this sort of letter, but some are – please check with your local branch to confirm. Some suggested phraseology for an official bank letter is as follows:

This is to confirm that account number____, sort-code____, in the name of____, has held funds in excess of____ for a consecutive 28 day period ending today.

Please note that a Certificate of Deposit can be accepted by UKVI provided it meets both the following requirements:

  • The Certificate of Deposit has been issued within 31 days of the date of application
  • At least 28 days have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the Certificate

Certificate of Deposit sample document

Be advised that where an account is in a parent or legal guardian’s name, there is a requirement to submit two additional documents:

  • A legal document confirming your relationship to your parent – this would be your birth certificate, certificate of adoption, or court document naming the legal guardian (please note: a Chinese “Household Register” is also accepted by UKVI); AND
  • A letter written by your parent or legal guardian confirming their relationship with you and giving their consent to you using the money in their account to study in the UK.

Letter of consent sample document

A loan in your name

If you are relying on a loan to fund your studies, you must provide a student loan letter which:

  • Is dated no more than 6 months before the date of application
  • Confirms the loan is a student loan provided by either the relevant government or a government sponsored student loan company or an academic or educational loans scheme
  • Confirms there are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study
  • Confirms the amount of the loan
  • Confirms the loan is for you
  • Is on official stationery
  • Confirms the funds will be available to you, or paid directly to the sponsor, before you begin your course

Please note: loans held in a parent or legal guardian’s name are not acceptable. The loan must be in your name.

Official financial sponsorship

UKVI define official financial sponsorship as money given to a student to cover some or all of their course fees and/or living costs, by one of the following organisations:

  • The UK government
  • Your home government
  • The British Council
  • Any international organisation
  • An international company (UKVI has not defined ‘international company’ but it seems to mean a company with a trading presence (an office) in more than one country)
  • Any university
  • An Independent School

If you are in receipt of sponsorship from one of these organisations, you need to provide a letter from your sponsor in support of your visa application. The letter must be on official letter-headed paper and must have the official stamp of the sponsoring organisation on it. The letter must show:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of the official financial sponsor; and
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of the sponsorship (including start and end date)
  • The amount of money the sponsor will be giving you or a statement that they will be covering all of your fees and living costs

Please note that:

  • If your sponsor letter only confirms that some of your fees and/or living costs are covered, you will need to provide additional evidence to confirm you hold the rest of the money required e.g. personal bank statements;
  • If your sponsorship covers all your tuition fees and living costs, and your sponsor limits the time that you may study in the UK, UKVI will take the date on the sponsorship letter as the course end-date for visa purposes, irrespective of the actual course end-date stated on your CAS


If you are eligible and intend to bring dependants with you to the UK, additional funds are required to cover their living costs.

The funds can be held by the dependant(s) or by you. If the dependant is your child, the funds can be held by the child’s other parent, but only if the other parent will come to the UK too.

If funds are being held in a bank, they must have been retained for a consecutive 28 day period, as for the main applicant.

Dependants are required to show living costs at a rate of £680 for each month of immigration permission the main applicant will be granted (if they are applying at the same time as you) or has been granted (if they are applying after you have received your visa). This is up to a maximum of 9 months, ie £6120.

Common mistakes

Insufficient financial evidence is the most common reason for refusal. The most common mistakes made when evidencing finances include:

  • Not having the amount held in the account for 28 consecutive days (applications are sometimes made too early, before the funds have matured for the required period of time).
  • Balance falls below the required amount (if your balance falls below what is required, even for a small time, the clock will be reset and you will need to begin the 28 day again).
  • Lack of translation (documents must be provided in English or be accompanied by a certified translation).
  • Insufficient evidence of parental relationship (if you will be providing bank statements from your parents, you must ensure you also provide evidence of their relationship to you, as well as a letter detailing their permission for you to use the funds to support your studies).
  • Use of evidence of money held in another person’s name, even with their permission (if someone who is not your parent or guardian is going to be supporting you financially, they will be required to transfer the money to your bank account, allowing enough time for you to hold the funds for at least 28 days and obtain evidence of this from your bank before you submit your visa application).

Failure to provide correct evidence

If you fail to provide financial evidence that meets UKVI criteria, your visa application will be refused and you will need to pay again if you wish to re-apply.

In the event your application is refused, you will be required to provide the university with your refusal notice and evidence that you have the funds in place before you can be issued with a new CAS statement.

Visa refusals count against the university and can seriously jeopardise our Student Route sponsor licence. For this reason, we must keep our refusal rate as low as possible. If we have any reason to suspect that you will be refused a visa, we will not issue you with a further CAS statement.

Further advice

More advice and guidance can be found within our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If your question isn’t covered by the FAQs, or if you require clarification on any of the matters outlined in this document, please email

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