To claim 10 points for maintenance, you will need to show that you have the required funds for the required period of time.
The required amount of funds and the evidence showing access to the required funds, will depend on your individual circumstances. Normally, you are required to show that you have held the required amount of funds at all times for a consecutive 28 days period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than 31 days before the date of your application. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
From 12 November 2015 there is no reduced maintenance allowance for those who have studied in the UK previously. All applicants will need to show they have enough funds for the full course, up to a maximum of 9 months, regardless of how long they have been in the UK.
You must show that you have the following finances available to you:
- Full year's tuition fees (minus any fees that you have already paid) AND
- £11,385 living expenses (or £1,265 for every month of the course if your course is less than 9 months).
If you have already paid some of your tuition fees, this will be reflected on your CAS and deducted from the amount of funds you are required to show available to you.
If you have paid fees for university accommodation, this will be reflected on your CAS. Up to £1,265 of the accommodation fees paid will be deducted from the amount of funds you are required to show available to you.
If you are applying for a Tier 4 visa as a Student Union Sabbatical Officer, you will be required to show the living costs for every month remaining on your course, up to a maximum of two months (£2530).
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may check that you still have the funds available at the time of considering your application and may also check that you still have the funds available to you at the time that you arrive in the UK.
If you are on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) list of 'low-risk' nationals, you are not required to submit evidence of your funds with your application, but will be required to provide it requested at a later date. Please see low risk nationals for more information
Note: Part months are counted as full months by UK Visas & Immigration. Therefore if your course is 4 months and 2 weeks in length, UK Visas and Immigration will require you to show 5 months of living costs. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 guidance notes.
You must have the relevant amount of funds available to you through one of the following:
- Money held in your own bank account (an account in your name).
- Money held in your parents' bank account (along with your original birth certificate and a letter from your parents consenting to your application as well as confirmation of your relationship).
- Official Government financial sponsorship (UK or other government).
- Official International Scholarship Agency financial sponsorship.
- Official International Company sponsorship.
- Official University financial sponsorship.
- Government education loans (for example: US Federal Aid)
Note: Most students do not receive official financial sponsorship. If this is your case, you will have to show the full amount of the required funds available to you in your bank account or parents’ bank account. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 guidance notes.
If you are on the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) list of 'low-risk' nationals, you are not required to submit evidence of your funds with your application, but will be required to provide it if the UKVI request it at a later date. Please see low risk nationals for more information.
UKVI may check that you still have the funds available at the time of considering your application and may also check that you still have the funds available to you at the time that you arrive in the UK.
Evidence of funds
UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) have a list of financial institutions that they do not consider to be reliable and therefore cannot be used for financial evidence for Tier 4 applications.
This list will be updated regularly so please visit the UK Visas & Immigration website for the most up to date information. At the time of writing the list covers institutions in Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Acceptable Financial Institutions
If you are showing evidence of your maintenance in a bank account, you must show that you have held the required amount of money in your bank account for the last 28 days, without dipping below at any point.
- Bank statements must be dated less than 31 days before you apply for your visa.
All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 guidance notes.
- You can use more than one bank account in your name.
- You can use UK or home country bank accounts in your name.
- You can use joint bank account where you are one of the account holders named.
- You can use your parent’s bank accounts if they have the full funds. In this case you must produce evidence of your relationship (birth certificate) and a letter from your parents consenting to you using their bank account for your studies in the UK and confirming your relationship.
- You cannot use bank accounts of other family members or friends.
- If you have official sponsorship which does not cover the full tuition fees for the (first) year and your living costs for the relevant time, you will need to show evidence in your bank account covering the remainder of the funds available to you.
- Any documents which are not in English must be accompanied by an official translation
Note: If your bank account is not in £ (Pounds Sterling) you must convert the closing balance, on the day that you apply, and write it on the statement/letter using the OANDA website. All evidence should be original and meet all the criteria as stipulated in the Tier 4 guidance notes.
When preparing your financial evidence, you must check that it meets the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
If you are planning to use a loan as evidence of finances for a Tier 4 application, remember to check the Tier 4 Policy Guidance carefully.
Your loan letter must state that the loan is provided by a national government, a state or regional government, or a government sponsored student loan company or that it is part of an academic or educational loans scheme. You will not be able to use a loan that does not meet one of these requirements. See Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
If you are a US citizen or eligible non-citizen, you may be eligible to receive an educational loan through the Direct Loan Programme administered by the US Federal Government. For more information on Direct Loan Programme see UEL Student Money Advice webpages.
Students receiving a loan through the US Direct Loan Programme will be required to submit an extra document with their Tier 4 application
- Letter from UEL International Admissions confirming procurement of Direct Loan.
Please note that if your loan does not cover the full finances required for your circumstances, you will need to show the remaining money available to you in your bank account for 28 days as above.
USA Students - Direct Loan Programme
Official Financial Sponsorship is defined by UK Visas & Immigration as financial sponsorship from the UK Government, another government, an international company or institution, or UEL. If you are being sponsored by an official financial sponsor, you must provide evidence of this (in line with the Tier 4 policy guidance).
- Original letter from the organisation providing your official financial sponsorship: stating the amount that they will provide you with, or a statement they will provide the full tuition fees and living costs.