In order to successfully apply for a Tier 4 student visa you must be able to show that you have enough money to cover your tuition fees and living expenses in the UK for up to one year.
There are strict requirements for the amount of money needed and the evidence that will be accepted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The primary reason for visa refusals is incorrect financial evidence.
Please read our information on visa refusals to understand how best to avoid common mistakes.
UKVI require evidence that international students will be able to afford to support themselves while studying in the UK. Students studying outside of London are required to show that they have a minimum of £1,015 per month, up to a maximum of 9 months (£9,135) to cover most expenses including:
- local travel
You might see the term ‘maintenance funds’ to describe these costs. Please see our financial advice pages for further information on the cost of living in the UK.
Please note: Information on accommodation fees owed or paid will not be included in the CAS
, which is needed for your Tier 4 visa application. These fields automatically show as £0.00.
We recommend that you keep the money for your living expenses in your bank account until after your visa application has been processed and only pay for your accommodation once your visa has been granted. Any deposits required to secure the accommodation must still be paid, but will not be included in the CAS.
Evidence of tuition fee payments
For Tier 4 visa purposes, you are required to show that you hold enough funds to cover one year of tuition fees (or the total course fee, if your course is 1 year or less). The CAS checking document sent to you by email will include information on tuition fees charged and tuition fees paid, including compulsory deposits. Please review the CAS checking document carefully and let us know immediately if there are any errors or omissions.
If you make a payment after your CAS has been verified, you will receive an email which confirms the change in your CAS. You should wait until you receive confirmation that your CAS has been updated with your new payments before making your visa application.
Any tuition fee payments which are showing on your CAS at the time you make your visa application will reduce the amount of money you need to show in your financial evidence by the same amount. For example, if you have paid a £2,000 tuition fee deposit, you can take away £2,000 from the total amount you need to show.
University of Nottingham Scholarships
If you have been awarded a University of Nottingham scholarship it should be included on your CAS, and this reduces the amount of funding you need to show yourself. If your scholarship covers 100% of tuition fees and living costs at or above £1,015 per month, you will not need to show further financial evidence with your visa application. Please check your CAS information carefully for confirmation of any tuition fee scholarships and/or stipends.
It is very difficult to find extra financial support after you've arrived in the UK. The University does not have scholarships available for students once they have started their courses. You must:
- have written confirmation of a scholarship before you arrive, and/or
- make sure you have enough money from other sources
Methods of showing funding
The information below is provided to give you a quick overview of the requirements, but you should also read our guidance leaflet Applying for your student visa from overseas for detailed information on the amount of funds required and how to prepare your financial evidence. Our guide also includes information on funding for Dependant family members.
In addition, we strongly recommend that applicants refer to the Tier 4 Policy Guidance (paragraphs 215 - 234) for a full description of acceptable evidence of funds, to ensure your document meets the criteria.
If you will be studying a Masters course of 13 months or less then you will benefit from Nottingham taking part in a Tier 4 Pilot Scheme which means you do not need to submit financial evidence. It is important to read our Pilot Scheme FAQs
It is not possible to rely on potential earnings from part-time work in the UK
when applying for a student visa/entry clearance. You will not be able to fund your studies from your earnings, but you can earn extra spending money within the Tier 4 restrictions outlined in our working during your studies
Funding method 1 – for self-funding students
You can show original bank statements in your name or in your parent or legal guardian’s name. The bank statement must:
- be in cash funds – not shares, bonds, investments or credit cards
- show that the funds have been in the bank account for 28 consecutive days prior to your application
- show a last transaction date within 31 days of your visa application
- show the account holder's name and account number
- show the financial institution's name and logo
If you are using printed electronic statements from the bank or internet, they must also show the bank’s stamp on each page.
If your statements do not confirm the required details, you should supply a bank letter on signed, letter-headed paper which confirms the amount of money available to you and the dates it has been held in the account.
If you are using the personal bank account of a parent or legal guardian, you must include:
- an original letter, signed and dated by the account holder confirming your relationship and that the funds are for you to use for tuition fees and/or living expenses while studying in the UK
- your original birth certificate or certificate of adoption
Business or company account statements will not be accepted.
If you are using an overseas bank account, you should printed and submit a foreign currency conversion from www.oanda.com. Statements must be in English or accompanied by an official translation.
UKVI have produced a list of acceptable and unacceptable financial institutions for some countries, located in Appendix P of the Immigration Rules.
Funding method 2 – for students with official financial sponsorship
Students sponsored by the UK government, the student’s home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company or university can rely on an original sponsorship letter issued within the last six months to demonstrate your funding.
The letter must include the duration of your funding and the amount of money the sponsor is giving to you (which must be equal to or more than the required amount for your tuition fees and living costs), or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all of your fees and living costs.
If the duration of your funding is shorter than your course, your visa will be granted to the shorter date.
You do not need a letter to evidence any University of Nottingham scholarship, as this information will be confirmed on your CAS (see above).
Funding method 3 – for students with a loan
You must show formal evidence of a loan you have taken out in your own name, dated within the last 6 months. The financial institution must be regulated by either the Financial Conduct Authority, the Prudential Regulatory Authority or by the official regulatory body for the country the financial institution is in, for the purpose of student loans.
Funding method 4 – for students from ‘low-risk’ countries
If you are considered by UK Visas and Immigration to be a national of a low-risk country
you can tick a box on the application form indicating that you hold the required evidence but don’t need to include it with your application. You should still meet the requirements however, as you may be asked to submit proof at a later stage.