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Financial requirements

To make a successful visa application, you must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fee balance for the first year of study, and maintenance requirement (living costs). 

How much do you need?

  • You will need to show that you have enough money for both:
    • the full tuition fee for the first year of your course - the amount will be on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) statement. If you pay your tuition fee in advance, we can update this information on your CAS statement before you make a Student visa application if requested. This will reduce the total amount you need to show to the Home Office. (Please note: if you decide to pay your fees in advance, you should notify the International Student Administration team, to ensure the information on your CAS statement is correct.)
    • an amount of maintenance money set by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), consisting of accommodation and living costs. (Note: Birkbeck is located in inner London for the purpose of the Student visa application and the set minimum for maintenance is £1,334 per month. You need to show the minimum for each month of your course, up to a maximum of nine months. The maximum amount is set at £12,006, which will apply to most of our students.) 
    • Example amount:
    • Total first year tuition fee amount: £19,200
    • + Total maintenance requirement: £12,006
    • - Deposit paid: £5,000
    • - Tuition fee paid in advance: £1,500
    • Total amount required to show: £24,706
    • Payment towards your accommodation provider will not be included in your CAS because it is not a payment made to Birkbeck.
  • If you meet the following conditions, you will automatically meet the financial requirement: 
    • you are applying from the UK, and 
    • you have been living in the UK for at least 12 months with a valid visa, excluding a visitor visa, on the date of your application. 

When do you need to have this money?

  • You need to provide your bank statement(s) that indicate you have held the required amount of money in your account for a minimum of 28 consecutive days (finishing on the date of the closing balance day) ending no more than 31 days before your visa application date. 

Acceptable types of funds

  • Unless funds are available as a student loan, they must be held in one of the following:
    • a financial institution that uses electronic record keeping, which is regulated by the appropriate regulatory body for the country it is operating in and where UKVI can make verification checks 
    • an account belonging to the applicant, their partner (who is applying for permission at the same time or has been granted permission), a parent or legal guardian (except for dependant partners)  
    • a personal bank or building society account (including current, deposit, savings, pensions from which the funds can be withdrawn, or an investment account) provided the funds can be accessed immediately.

Unacceptable types of funds

  • Other accounts (including pensions) where the funds cannot be accessed immediately, or financial instruments such as bitcoin savings, stocks and shares, overdrafts, and credit cards are not acceptable. 
  •  A business account is not acceptable as your financial evidence, even if the business is owned by you or your parents/legal guardians. 

What to do if you are using your own funds

  • You will need to show the Home Office that the money is in your account - you are not allowed to use money held in any other person's name.
  • Your personal bank or building society statement must show:
    • your name or the name of your parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
    • the account number
    • the date of the statement
    • the financial institution's name and logo
    • the amount of money available in your account.
  • See an example of an acceptable bank statement.
  • What if funds are not in pound sterling (£)? If the funds are in your local currency, please check and include the exchange rate on the OANDA website
  • Electronic bank statements: You can provide a download of electronic bank statements if they contain the information above. You do not need to have these stamped by the bank. 
  • Bank letter: A bank letter should 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 be signed by an official from the bank.
  • The minimum balance must cover the amount required to show your outstanding tuition fees plus maintenance for a period of at least 28 days up to and including the date of the letter. 

What to do if your parent or legal guardian is sponsoring you

  • If your parent or legal guardian is sponsoring your studies and you are using their financial information, in addition to providing evidence of the required finances (see above), they must provide a written declaration (in English or officially translated into English) confirming:
  • You must also include an official and original document confirming the relationship between you and your parent or legal guardian (eg birth certificate or court order).

What to do if you are being officially sponsored

  • Official sponsors can be one of the following:
    • the UK government
    • your home government
    • the British Council or any international organisation
    • international company
    • university
    • independent school.
  • The list of acceptable official financial sponsors includes an ‘international company’. The Home Office has not defined this but it normally means a company with a trading presence (an office) in more than one country.
  • Your official financial sponsor must have the funds to support you financially while you are studying in the UK and have the capacity to move, or experience of moving, funds across international borders.  
  • You must include the sponsorship letter. The letter must show:  
    • your name
    • the name and contact details of your official financial sponsor
    • the date of the letter
    • the length of your sponsorship, and
    • the amount of money the sponsor is giving to you, or a statement that your official financial sponsor will cover all your fees and living costs.
  • If you received financial sponsorship from a government or international scholarship agency, which ended within the last 12 months, you will need a letter from your sponsor permitting you to stay in or re-enter the UK for an unlimited time.  
  • See an example of an acceptable Financial Sponsor letter