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Advice and Counselling Service

Funds for your Student visa application

One of the most common reasons for immigration applications being refused is because an applicant’s financial evidence does not meet the requirements of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) policy guidance. Please read this section very carefully to ensure you meet the financial requirements.

You will automatically meet the financial requirement if you are applying for permission to stay in the UK and you have been in the UK for at least 12 months with valid immigration permission on the date of application. You only meet this requirement if you are making your application inside the UK. If you meet this requirement, you do not need to show proof of funds with your visa application. Although you may not be required to provide evidence of your finances with your visa application, the University expects you to have made adequate provision to pay for your tuition fees and living costs during your studies.

Funds may be held in any form of personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pension that allows the funds to be withdrawn, or investment account) provided the account allows the funds to be accessed immediately. 

You need to show the evidence of your funds in the correct format. This may be: 

  • a bank statement 
  • a bank letter 
  • a certificate of deposit 
  • an official financial sponsorship letter 
  • a loan letter in the correct format

You will need to provide additional evidence if the money is held in your parents' or partner’s name (see below)

We are aware that UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) are routinely contacting financial institutions to confirm that the financial documents a student submits with their Student visa supporting documents are genuine. We recommend you do the following:

  • Contact your bank/financial institution and let them know they may be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration to confirm your documents. Ask your bank to confirm your documents in a timely manner.
  • Include a cover letter from your bank on headed paper, which shows their contact details with your visa supporting documents.

How much money do I need to show? 

You must show:  

  1. Outstanding tuition fees PLUS 
  2. Living expenses  

Unless you meet one of the exceptions to showing living expenses listed below.

Tuition fees

You must show the FULL outstanding tuition fees for the first year of your course. You can check your outstanding fees in the 'course fees paid to date' field of your confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS).  

If you have paid more since your CAS was issued, it can be updated to show the further payment.

Living expenses (maintenance)

If your course is nine months or longer, you will need to show £12,006 for your living expenses.  

A minimum balance of your outstanding tuition fees + living expenses must be shown for at least 28 consecutive days before you submit your application for Student immigration permission. 

If you have an Official Financial Sponsor who confirms that they are paying all your tuition fees and living expenses, you do not need any further evidence of your own money. See ourinformation about Official Financial Sponsors.

Exceptions to showing £12,006 for your living expenses

There are some circumstances under which you do not have to show £12,006 for your living expenses: 

1. Housing payments for Queen Mary accommodation

If you will be living in Queen Mary halls of residences you can deduct a maximum of £1,334 from the required living expenses if you have paid this money for Queen Mary housing. 

Warning: If you have paid more than £1,334 you can still only deduct £1,334 from the amount you need to show for maintenance. 

The amount you have paid to Queen Mary should be shown in your CAS statement. 

You can only deduct money that you have paid to Queen Mary or to the University of London. You cannot deduct money paid to other accommodation providers. 

If you have lower than average accommodation costs, or you will be staying rent-free with a relative or friend, you still need to show £12,006. There is no deduction for free or low-cost accommodation. 

2. Studying for fewer than nine months

You must show £1,334 for every month of your course remaining. 

You need to check your CAS statement for the start and end dates of your programme, to calculate the remaining length. You need to round up to full months. 

For example, if your course starts on 30th May 2030 and finishes on 1st October 2030, the course length would be four months and two days. In that case, you would need to show funds for five months. £1334 x 5 = £6,670. In this example you must show outstanding tuition fees + £6,670 for at least 28 days before you apply for your Student immigration permission.  

Money held for 28 days before you apply

On the day you apply online, you must have held the money continuously for 28 days. This means that the account balance must not have dropped below the required amount of money at any time during the 28 day period up to the closing balance. The closing balance (day 28) does not need to be the actual day you apply, but it must be no more than 31 days before you submit your application. 

If you submit evidence that covers more than 28 days, the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer will only consider money held for the most recent 28 days up to your closing balance. The Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer will also not consider balances after the date you apply. 

If you submit evidence from more than one account, the combined total of all your accounts during the 28-day period before your closing balance will be considered. If the closing balances for your accounts fall on different dates, they will choose the date of one of your closing balances and consider the combined total of all your accounts during the 28 day period up to that date. They will try to choose whichever closing balance date allows you to show that you have maintained the required amount of money for 28 days. They can only choose a closing balance that is within 31 days of the date you submit your immigration application. 

For more information about using multiple bank accounts, see  the worked example. We recommend you create a spreadsheet and include a printout when you submit your documents to UKVI.

Evidence of your funds

Electronic bank statements are only acceptable if they contain all the required details  

Your money must be held in a bank or financial institution, which is recognised by the UK government and must be in the form of cash funds, which are genuinely available to you. 

Instead of bank statements, you can use: 

  • A letter from your bank or building society confirming that your money has been held for 28 days (see Sample bank letter) 
  • A building societypassbook 
  • Certificates of deposit 
  • A loan letter from a regulated financial institution confirming that you have a loan that is provided by the national government, the state or regional government or a government sponsored student loan company, or that is part of an academic or educational loans scheme. Any non-government loan to pay your living costs must be either available to you before you travel to the UK or paid direct to your Student sponsor for disbursement to you after arrival. 

These are all detailed in theFinancial evidence for Student and Child Student route applicants. 

If you have obtained any other type of loan (such as a private bank loan, which is not part of an educational loans scheme) to fund your studies, then you must transfer the funds into an account in your name or a partner's or parent’s name and wait 28 days before using one of the other forms of evidence listed above. 

Banks outside the UK 

You can use evidence of money held in any country in any currency. UKVI uses the currency converter on the OANDA website to check the exchange rate on the date you submit your immigration application. If your account is not in pounds sterling then you will need to check that, according to that conversion rate, your account(s) show that you have held enough money for the 28 day period. 

Funds will not be considered if they are held in a financial institution where any of the following apply: 

  • the decision maker is unable to make satisfactory verification checks; or 
  • the financial institution is not regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country in which that institution is operating; or 
  • the financial institution does not use electronic record keeping 

If the caseworker is in doubt that a particular financial institution is reliable they may make further checks to see if it meets the requirements. 

Money held in your parent’s name or partner's name

You can show the funds for your outstanding tuition fees and living expenses in your own personal bank account, your partner's account or your parent(s) personal bank account. 

You can show the money in your partner's bank account if they are applying for permission at the same time as you, or have already been granted permission.  

If you are showing some or all the funds in your parent's bank account, you will need to provide additional evidence, as outlined below.  

Birth Certificate 

You will need evidence of the relationship between you and your parent(s). This is usually your birth certificate, or your adoption certificate if you are adopted. If your country does not issue birth certificates, UKVI will accept another type of official document such as a government-issued household register, or whatever document is formally issued in your country as confirmation of birth. 

If your documents are not in English they should be accompanied by an official translation. 

Court document 

The only acceptable evidence of someone being your legal guardian is a court document that confirms their appointment as your legal guardian. An affidavit, even one sworn before a court, is not sufficient evidence. 

Letter of consent 

You will also need a signed letter from your parent or legal guardian confirming that they will allow you to use this money to pay your tuition fees and living costs in the UK. 

Please see a Sample of consent letter [DOC 35KB], if you are using funds in your parents' name. 

Bank statements

Any bank statement you use must include all these features: 

Your bank statement should show: 

  • the date it was issued 
  • your name (or the account holder's name if this is your parent or partner) 
  • the name of the bank or building society 
  • balance on the account 

You can provide a download of electronic bank statements as long as they contain this information. You do not need to have these stamped by the bank. 

It is a good idea to highlight each of the above features on your bank statement, so the Caseworker or Entry Clearance Officer can easily see that your statement meets the requirements.  

Warning: one of the most common reasons why Student immigration permission applications are refused is because an applicant’s financial evidence does not meet the requirements of the Financial evidence for Student and Child Student route applicants guidance. Carefully check your documents against the Financial evidence for Student and Child Student route applicants guidance and Appendix Finance to make sure this does not happen to you. 

Please see our Sample of bank statement [DOC 37KB] for an example of the requirements of your bank statement. 

Bank letter

The Student and Child Student Guidance allows you to provide a letter from your bank as evidence of your funds. The letter should normally be on the bank's official headed paper and include the name(s) of the account holder, the account number and contact details of the bank. It should also be signed by an official from the financial organisation. 

A letter with the following text and features would satisfy the requirements:   

  • The minimum balance amount must be at least as much as you need to show for your tuition fees (if you have not paid them) plus your maintenance. See the section How much money do I need to show?” for details on how to calculate this. 
  • When you submit your online immigration application, the letter must not be more than 31 days old. 
  • The letter cannot refer to period after the date that you have submitted your online application. 

See our Sample of bank letter [DOC 37KB].

Certificate of Deposit

The Student and Child Student guidance confirms that certificates of deposits can be used to evidence funds if the document is issued by a bank which confirms that you have deposited or invested a sum of money, held it for the required 28 day period, and that you can access the funds at any time.  

The certificate of deposit should: 

  • have been issued no more than 31 days before your date of application; and 
  • show that the money has been held for at least 28 days 

This means that the certificate of deposit must have been issued within 31 days of the date of application and at least 28 days must have elapsed between the date of the deposit and the date of issue of the certificate. 

The certificate must show that the funds have been held for at least 28 days before the issue date of the certificate. UKVI will not consider funds held after the date of application.

See our Sample of certificate of deposit [PDF 302KB].

Joint bank accounts

The Appendix Finance says that you can use a joint bank account to show evidence of your funds only if you are named on the account as an account holder. The only exception is where you are using a joint account in the name of your parents or legal guardians. 

The evidence of funds held in the joint account must meet the requirements outlined in the Student and Child Student casework guidance (whether a bank statement, bank letter or other evidence).

If you use a joint account which does not name you as an account holder or is not a joint account in both of your parents' names, then there is a risk that your Student visa application will be refused. 

Loan letters

If your loan is provided by a government or provided by a government sponsored student loan company, or it is part of an academic or educational loan scheme, then you can show a loan letter from this provider as evidence of your funds. 

If the loan is provided by an academic or educational loans scheme, then the financial institution must be regulated for the purpose of issuing student loans by either the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or, in the case of overseas accounts, the official regulatory body for the country the institution is in and where the money is held.  

The letter should be dated no more than six months before the date you submit your visa application. It must: 

  • confirm 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 
  • confirm there are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study 
  • confirm the amount of the loan 
  • confirm the loan is for you 
  • be on official stationery 
  • confirm the funds will be: 
  • available to you before you travel to the UK; or 
  • paid directly to Queen Mary before you travel to the UK, with the living cost portion of the loan being made available to you by the time you arrive in the UK; or 
  • available before you begin your course if the loan is provided by your national government 

You cannot use a loan in the name of your parents. 

You cannot use a loan letter to show funds for your dependant.  

If you are getting a US Federal Loan, please see the information on the How to fund your studies page and contact the Queen Mary Bursaries Office with any queries - The confirmation is your loan certificate which you can provide as part of your Student visa application, if required.  

For further details about the requirements of a loan letter, please see Appendix Finance of the Immigration Rules.

Official Financial Sponsor

An official financial sponsor means:

  • The British Government
  • The government in your home country
  • The British Council
  • An international organisation
  • An international company with a trading presence in more than one country, which UKVI can verify, for example by checking company stationery or websites
  • A university (including funds provided or administered by Queen Mary)
  • An independent school

If an official financial sponsor is paying for some or all of your tuition fees and/or living costs, you can deduct what they are paying from the amount you need to show. Depending on how your sponsorship is arranged, your sponsorship may be detailed in your CAS statement or in a letter from the official financial sponsor. 

Warning:  If you have, in the 12 months before the date of application, completed a course of studies in the UK for which you have been awarded a scholarship or sponsorship by a government or international sponsorship agency covering both fees and living costs, you must provide written consent in relation to the application from that Government or agency. If you do not provide this letter, your application will be invalid. 

See our Sample of sponsorship letter [DOC 41KB].

As Queen Mary is not a government or international scholarship agency, you will not require a letter of consent if you have been sponsored by Queen Mary. We are aware that the Student in-country visa application form currently asks you to provide this letter if you have previously been sponsored by any official financial sponsor, however this is not in accordance with the Immigration Rules which only requires the letter of consent if you were sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency. If you previously received a scholarship from Queen Mary and are extending your Student permission, you can write a cover letter to submit with your Student supporting documents to explain that a letter of consent is not required because you were not sponsored by a government or international scholarship agency. 

Worked examples

Partial scholarship

Student B’s bursary of £1,100 per month is below the required £1,334 per month for Student immigration permission. The shortfall is £234 per month. 

As student B’s programme is nine months or longer, she will need to show that she has the funds to make up this shortfall for nine months. 

£234 month x 9 months = £2,106 

In addition to evidence of her scholarship and bursary (included in her CAS), student B will need to show that she has held a minimum of £2,106 for a 28 day period ending not more than 31 days before she submits her Student immigration application. Student B will need to use this guide to make sure that the evidence of her funds meet the requirements. 


Student B  
Do they meet the reduced maintenance requirement No - They are not applying under the Doctorate Extension Scheme, applying as a sabbatical officer or applying to undertake a medical or dental foundation programme. They have not lived in the UK for 12 months or more with valid immigration permission.
Length of programme 12 months
Tuition fees

Her fees will be paid by their Government

Living in QMUL or University of London halls of residence  No
Receiving official sponsorship She will be receiving a bursary of £1,100 for 12 months.

Worked example – showing funds in multiple bank accounts

Student A needs to show that he and/or his parents and/or his partner have held £12,006 for a 28 period ending not more than 31 days before the date he submits his immigration application. 

Student A  
Length of programme 12 months
Tuition fees All fees have been paid for this academic year
Living in QMUL  halls of residence No
Receiving official sponsorship No

He has three different bank accounts, which are either in his name or his parents’ names. He has obtained a bank statement for each account: 

  • The statement for account 1 shows balances from 10/10/2020 to 24/10/2020. The opening balance starts at £12,400, but on the 19/10/2020 the balance falls to £10,400, where it remains until the closing balance on 24/10/2020. 
  • The statement for account 2 shows balances from 18/10/2020 to 12/11/2020. The opening balance starts at £5,000. On the 25/10/2020 the balance rises to £8,000. On the 30/10/2020 the balance falls back down to £5,000, where it remains until the closing balance on 12/11/2020. 
  • The statement for account 3 shows balances from 24/10/2020 to 09/11/2020. The balance of this account is £7,200 for the whole period. 

If you are using multiple bank accounts to show you have the required funds, you may find it helpful to use spreadsheet software, so you can see what’s going on. See example spreadsheet in new tab.

Column 1 shows the date. Columns 2, 3 and 4 show the daily balances covered by each account statement. Column 5 shows the total available balance on any day. 

The box indicates the balances that the caseworker or entry clearance officer will actually consider when making a decision on the application. Notice that the caseworker will choose to count the 28 days back from the closing balance from account 3. The case worker will try to choose whichever closing balance will allow student A to meet the requirements of the rules. 

The end of the 28 day period must be within 31 days of the date student A makes his application. As the end of the 28 period is 09/11/2020, student A must submit his online immigration application between 09/11/2020 and 10/12/2020 (inclusive). 

If student A is not a low risk national and has not already been in the UK for 12 months, he will have to submit the bank statements for each of his accounts with his immigration application. Because the situation is complicated, it would be helpful for student A to submit a copy of his spreadsheet so that the caseworker or entry clearance officer can easily see what is happening and make the correct decision. 

If student A is submitting a statement from one of his parent’s accounts, student A will also have to submit his birth certificate and a letter from his parents. 

Remember that it is a good idea to highlight the relevant parts of your bank statements, so that the caseworker or entry clearance officer can easily see that your documents meet the requirements.

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