Student visa financial document checklist

To apply for a Student visa, you must be able to show you have enough money to pay for your course and to pay your living costs in the UK. 

The money can come from one or more of the following sources:  

  • Cash funds in the bank. This includes savings accounts, current accounts, deposit accounts, investment accounts and pensions savings, if the funds are immediately accessible (able to be withdrawn as cash immediately). Company accounts are not acceptable.
  • Official financial or government sponsorship or grant.
  • A student loan from a government, government-sponsored loan company, or a regulated student loans scheme.

Other accounts or financial instruments such as stocks and shares, bonds, overdrafts, credit cards, bitcoin savings and pension funds are not acceptable, regardless of notice period.

Your documents must show that you met the requirements and had enough funds as of the date you submitted your online visa application form.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have confirmed they will accept funds that are in a certificate of deposit. The certificate must be dated with 31 days of the date you submit the visa application form and must confirm that the funds have been held for a 28-day period and that the funds can be accessed at any time.

How to calculate your costs

You need to have enough money to pay your outstanding (first year) tuition fee and your living expenses.

Living expenses (also known as maintenance funds) are £1,023 per month for a maximum of nine months (£9,207 in total).

If you are studying for less than nine months, you only need to show the amount for the number of months you are studying. For example, if you are studying a six-month course you only need to show £1,023 six times (£6,138 in total).

Please note that these figures are set by UKVI and do not necessarily reflect the true cost of living in the UK, and so you must not rely on these figures as an estimate of how much you will need to spend per month. Before travelling to the UK you should research the cost of your accommodation, travel, and other expenses, and plan your budget accordingly.

Find more information about living costs and budgeting.

If you have paid some or all of your tuition fees, you can deduct this from the overall amount. For example for a nine-month course:

  • If your tuition fees are £22,500 and you have paid £3,000 you will need to show £28,707 in total (£19,500 for tuition fees, plus £9,207 for living costs).
  • If you have paid all your tuition fees then you only need to show your living expenses of £9,207.

You can also deduct from the amount you need to show for your living expenses up to £1,334 that you have already paid to the University of Leeds for your accommodation fees, if you will be living in university accommodation. You cannot deduct more than this, and you cannot deduct any advance payments for any other type of accommodation.

If your CAS does not confirm the tuition or accommodation fees that you have already paid then you must submit a copy of the payment receipt from the University with your visa application.

If your money is in a foreign currency, UKVI will convert it to British pounds using the exchange rate on OANDA as of the date you submitted your visa application form online. However, if your money is in Iranian Rials (IRR) or Syrian Pounds (SYP), UKVI will not use the OANDA rate and will instead use the latest FCDO consular exchange rate.

Evidence you can provide

Cash funds in the bank

If you are paying your costs through cash funds in the bank, you can provide either a bank statement or letter from the bank as evidence. It must show the following information:

  • Your name or your parent’s/legal guardian’s name
  • Your partner’s name if your partner is present in the UK or applying for their visa at the same time as you
  • Bank name and logo
  • Full account number
  • The money you have in your account. This amount must be enough to cover your tuition fees and living expenses. The document must show that the full amount of money that you need has been in the account for 28 consecutive days up to the date of the closing balance. The money in the account must not have dropped below the amount you need at any time during the 28 day period.
  • The date of the bank letter or statement must be no older than 31 days before the date you pay online for your visa
  • If you are using a bank letter, the letter must confirm that these funds have been held for a consecutive 28 day period
  • If you are using your parent’s/legal guardian’s account, you must also submit:
    • Proof of your relationship (eg birth certificate, certificate of adoption, government-issued household register, court document naming your legal guardian)
    • A letter from your parent/legal guardian confirming that they are funding your studies in the UK and that you have their permission to use their funds
  • Official translations will be required if your documents are not in English

You can provide downloads of electronic bank statements as long as they contain the information listed previously. You do not need to have these stamped by the bank.

If the origin of the funds in your bank statement is not clear (for example if there are recent single and/or large deposits), or if UKVI have concerns that the money isn’t genuinely held by you to be used in the UK, you may be asked to provide additional information or evidence explaining where the money in the account came from. This may delay the processing of your visa application; hence, although not mandatory, it may be beneficial to include a cover letter with your application that explains the source of your funds.

Only personal bank statements in your name or in the name of your parent/legal guardian can be submitted. You can not use company statements, even if the company is owned by you or your parent, nor can you use a bank statement from another relative such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. 

Official financial sponsorship

The following providers are recognised by UKVI as official financial sponsors:

  • UK Government sponsored programmes (eg Marshall Scholarship, Chevening Scholars, Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme)
  • your national government
  • the British Council
  • an international organisation
  • an international company
  • the University

If you are paying your costs through official financial sponsorship, you must provide a letter from the sponsor including:

  • Your name
  • The name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
  • The date of the letter
  • The length of your sponsorship
  • The amount of money the sponsor is giving to you or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs.

If you have received a scholarship from the University of Leeds and the details are not stated on your CAS, then you must submit evidence containing the scholarship details with your application.

A student loan

If you are paying your costs through a loan, you must provide a letter from a regulated financial institution confirming:

  • Your name
  • Date of the letter (which must be no more than six months old before the date of application)
  • The amount of money available as a loan
  • That the loan is provided by either the relevant government, a government-sponsored student loan company or an academic or educational loans scheme
  • There are no conditions on release of the loan funds other than a successful application to study
  • The funds will be available to you, or paid directly to the sponsor, before you begin your course

The loan must be for you. Loans provided to your parent/legal guardian cannot be used.

Costs for dependants

If you have any family members that are applying to come with you to the UK, you will also need to show that you have enough money for their living costs as well (even if you are applying separately).

For each dependant that will live with you in the UK you must show a minimum of £680 per month for the duration of your course, up to a maximum of 9 months. This is in addition to the amount you need for your own living expenses.

Find more information about visas for dependants.

Verification checks

UKVI may contact your bank, financial institution or official financial sponsor to do verification checks on your evidence. If UKVI cannot verify that your evidence and funds are genuine (for example, because your bank does not respond to UKVI’s verification request), your application may be refused.

You could inform your bank that you are applying for a UK Student visa and that UKVI may contact them to verify the bank documents you are going to submit.

You can also provide a letter confirming the contact details for your bank to assist UKVI with their verifications, but please be aware that UKVI may not be able to use personal or local branch contact details as they will typically verify documents with the bank’s main office.

Exempt nationalities

Students of certain nationalities are not required to submit their financial documents with their application. Check if your nationality is exempt to see if this applies to you.

However, even if you are an exempt nationality you still need to have enough money to meet the requirements explained previously, and you should still prepare your proof of funds evidence as UKVI reserve the right to ask you to provide proof of funds when processing your application.

Find more information about the financial requirements for your Student visa application, and the evidence you need to provide, on the UKVI website.

You can also find useful advice and information about the financial requirement on the UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) website.