Adult students - Tier 4 (General)
This section explains how to show that you can cover your course fees and your living costs when you apply for an adult student visa under Tier 4 (General) of our points-based system.
If you have enough money available (or already paid to your education provider), you will score 10 points in our points assessment. Unless you score these points, you cannot apply under Tier 4 (General).
You will not have access to most state benefits (also known as 'public funds') during your stay in the UK, and the amount of work you can do is limited. (The Conditions of your stay page contains more information.) So you will need to have enough money to support yourself while you are here.
This page lists the types of money that you can use to show that you meet this requirement. To calculate the amount of money that you will need to show, see the How much money do you need? page.
What money can you use?
When you show that you have enough money to pay your course fees and living costs, this money must take the form of:
cash funds in the bank (including savings accounts and current accounts, even when notice must be given); and/or
a loan letter; and/or
official financial or government sponsorship available to you.
Other accounts or financial instruments (such as shares, bonds, overdrafts, credit cards and pension funds) are not acceptable, regardless of the notice period.
If your money is in overseas currency, we will expect you to write the closing balance in pounds sterling on your application form. We use the official exchange rate on the OANDA website . When we assess your documents, we will use the exchange rate on the date of your application to check the value of the money in pounds sterling.
You can use money held in an account owned by your parent(s) or legal guardian. You will need to show us evidence that your are related to them, and that you have their permission to use this money.
We will not consider money that was earned during a time when you (or, where relevant, your parent(s) or legal guardian) were in breach of the UK's immigration laws . For example, earnings from UK employment will only be considered if you had permission to enter or remain in the UK at the time they were earned, and in a category that permitted you to take that employment.
The money that you show us must be for your use to study and live in the UK. The full amount of this money (which should be held in the manner set out here) must continue to be available to you after you have made your application, except for any money that you have had to pay for course fees and living costs.
We will not award you points for maintenance if your money is held in a financial institution that does not verify financial statements to our satisfaction. For more information, see our list of financial institutions that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements.
Money that you have already paid to your education provider
If you can show that you have already paid all or some of your course fees to your Tier 4 sponsor before making your application, this amount can be deducted from the total amount of money you will need to show.
If you will be staying in university or college arranged accommodation, and you can show that you have already paid all or some of your accommodation fees to your Tier 4 sponsor before making your application, a maximum of £1,000 can be deducted from the total amount that you will need to show for living costs.
If you have an official financial sponsor or government sponsor
Financial sponsorship is money given to a student to cover some or all of their course fees or living costs. You can receive financial sponsorship from the UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or independent school.
If you have financial sponsorship, you can use this in your application as evidence that you have enough money to pay your course fees and living costs .
If your financial sponsor is only covering some of your fees or costs, you must show that you have the rest of the money needed.
Policy guidance for Tier 4 students
- Tier 4 policy guidance PDF 674KB opens in a new window