Most visa refusals are because of maintenance. UKVI are very strict in checking that you have the required funds and that the documents you provide as proof are in the correct format. If you do not have the money required, your visa will be refused regardless of your circumstances. If you have enough money but your documents do not meet all the requirements below, your visa application will be refused.
It is very important to read the Student route caseworker guidance for further information on maintenance requirements and evidence required.
We have summarised the most important information below.
If you are using a bank account or sponsor letter that shows funds in a currency other than British pounds sterling (GBP), you must do an online currency conversion to show what your funds are worth in GBP.
Please use the OANDA website to convert your currency into GBP. If the funds in your bank statement vary over the 28 day period, we recommend you do a conversion of the closing balance and also the lowest balance over the 28 day period.
If you do not hold your funds in GBP you should ensure that you hold a little more money than you need to meet Student visa requirements. This is because exchange rates vary and the value of your currency may fall in between the date you get your bank statements or sponsor letter and the date you submit your visa application.
If you know your currency value is likely to change quickly, you should keep a higher amount of money.
Financial evidence you cannot use
The following are not accepted as evidence to show you have the required amount of money:
- bitcoin savings
- stocks and shares
- bank accounts that are not regulated by the financial regulatory body in the country you’re applying from
- bank accounts that don’t use electronic record keeping
Financial evidence you can provide
Bank statements - if you are self-funded
If you are funding yourself, your funds must be held in cash. Funds can be in the following types of accounts:
- current account
- deposit account
- savings account
- pension savings
- investment account
The cash must be in account where it is immediately accessible and must have been acquired legally. The required money must have been held in your account for at least 28 days and must be from the 31 days before the date you submit your Student visa application.
The 28 days start by counting back from the date of the closing balance on your most recent financial evidence. Your financial evidence must cover the whole 28-day period.
The following documents can be used to evidence funds held in a personal or parent(s) or legal guardian(s) account:
- bank statements
- building society passbooks
- certificates of deposit
- a letter from your bank or building society
If you are using a bank statement it should have the following information:
- the date it was issued
- your name (or the account holders name if it is your parent or partner)
- the name of the bank or building society (preferably with contact details and/or branch code)
- the account number
- balance on the account clearly showing amount held for 28 days
Can I use printed out online bank statements?
Yes, but it should have the information listed above. UKVI have also advised they may do verification checks with your bank. If they cannot verify the funds, they will refuse your Student visa application.
Can I use bank statements from outside the UK?
You can use bank statements from outside the UK, however you will need to ensure that the bank is regulated by the appropriate regulatory body in the country where it operates and that the bank uses electronic record keeping.
If your bank statements are not in English, you must get them officially translated.
My funds are not in GBP. How can I find out how much I have in GBP?
Do an online currency conversion to show what your funds are worth in GBP. Please use the OANDA website to convert your currency into GBP. If your level of funds have varied, we recommend you do a conversion of the closing balance and also the lowest balance over the 28 day period.
Please select your closing balance date (or the date your statement was printed) as the date you use when you do the conversion.
Using parents' or legal guardians' bank statements
If your parents are paying for your course fees and living costs, you must submit:
- your parents’ bank statements (in the same format as above) and
- your birth certificate, as proof of relationship
- a letter of consent from your parents confirming availability of the funds, purpose of you using the funds and confirmation of the relationship
Letter of consent from parent(s)
Your parents must also provide a letter confirming you are their daughter/son and that they are allowing you to use their bank statements to make your Student visa application. It would be helpful if they include a statement confirming that the funds are solely controlled by the parents.
You cannot use bank statements from any other relative.
Letter from your bank
You can also use a letter from your bank confirming you have money for your course fees and living costs for a 28 day period. The letter should have a date of 31 days before your apply for your visa.
This type of letter must have:
- Your name or your parent's/legal guardian's name (whoever is the named account holder)
- The account number
- The date of the letter
- The bank's name and logo
- The bank's contact information
- The amount of money in the account
- The amount of money available confirming there is enough money to cover your course fees and living costs
You cannot use a bank letter that shows the closing balance on a date. This is because it will not show the money has been held for a 28-day period.
Official financial sponsor
Some students may receive financial sponsorship to cover their course fees or living costs. Students can receive official financial sponsorship from their home government, the British Council, an international scholarship agency or a university as some examples.
If you have an Official Financial Sponsor they must provide you an original letter on official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation of the official financial sponsor which must have:
- Date of the letter - if older than 6 months, you should ask your sponsor for a new letter
- Your financial sponsor’s name
- Your financial sponsor's contact details
- How much they are giving for tuition fees and/or living costs or confirmation that your sponsor will cover all your course fees and living costs
- How long they will sponsor you for (ideally with an end date)
- If any dependants who are covered by your financial sponsor, their names should also be included in addition to the information above
What if my sponsor will not fully cover my tuition fees and living costs?
You will need to provide at least one additional form of financial evidence described above, to show you have access to the remaining financial requirements.
I have been receiving financial sponsorship in the last 12 months. I heard I need written permission from my sponsor to continue studying in the UK.
If you have received official financial sponsorship in the UK in the last 12 months before applying for your visa, your sponsor letter should confirm that they will continue to sponsor you and they give you permission to remain in the UK until either you complete your studies or until the end date stated on your CAS.
This must be confirmed on your financial sponsor letter or your visa will be refused.
I will be receiving financial sponsorship from the University of Strathclyde. What can I provide as evidence of this?
If you are a student starting a new course of study at the University of Strathclyde, please check your CAS for information about the financial sponsorship you received, such as a scholarship. This should be on your CAS.
Alternatively some applicants may have a letter which indicates the details of their financial sponsorship.
What if my sponsor will not sponsor me to the end date on my CAS? What if they will only sponsor me for a few months?
UKVI will issue you with a visa based on your sponsor end date, rather than your CAS end date. In other words, if your sponsor gives you a letter with an end date that is earlier than your CAS end date, you will be granted a shorter visa.
I no longer receive financial sponsorship, but I did in the last 12 months.
If you are not currently receiving financial sponsorship, but you have in the past 12 months received full funding (i.e. funding for your full fees plus living costs) from an official financial sponsor, then you will need a letter of permission from your previous sponsor. The letter should confirm that your sponsor has no objection to you staying in the UK until you have completed your studies.
Certificates of deposit
If you intend to use a Certificate of Deposit please note that these certificates must still meet the Student visa financial requirements. These certificates often show that money will be held until a certain date in the future. This is not enough to meet the Student visa requirements as you must show you have held your financial requirements for the past 28 days.
A certificate of deposit should show:
- A date within 31 days you submit your visa application
- Information similar to what should be on a bank statement
- At least 28 days have passed since the date of deposit
- You can access the funds at any time
Student loans must be provided to the Student visa applicant and must be from certain loan providers, such as a government, a government sponsored student loan company or an academic or educational loans scheme. For details please see Immigration Rules Appendix Finance paragraphs FIN 8.3(c) and FIN 9.2.
For student loans you need to show 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
If your student loan only covers some of your course fees or living costs, you must be able to provide additional evidence that you can show the rest of the funds required.