Submitting incorrect financial documents is one of the most common reasons a Tier 4 (General) visa is refused, so always check the documents very carefully against all requirements before you submit your application. We recommend that you read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance on the GOV.UK website, in particular the section 'Documents Needed to Claim Points for Maintenance (funds)'.

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Required documents

The key documents acceptable are:

  • bank statements (e.g. savings and current accounts are both acceptable)
  • building society pass books
  • letter from the bank
  • overseas account statement/letter (regulated by the official regulatory body for the country the institution is in and where the money is held)
  • letter from a financial institution regulated by the Financial Services Authority
  • letter of confirmation from your Official Financial Sponsor


As well as ensuring that you've held the correct level of funds for the right amount of time, you must also ensure that your evidence is in the correct format and contains all of the required information.

If you're submitting a bank statement/letter it must be clear that the required amount of money has been in the account for at least 28 days, ending no more than one month before the date of your application. 

Read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance at GOV.UK for further information

Using funds held in your parents’ name(s)

You're allowed to use funds held in one or both of your parents’ names (or in your legal guardian’s name if applicable), but if you do so you must submit two additional documents with your application:

  • your birth certificate/certificate or adoption/court document naming your legal guardian; and
  • a permission letter from your parent(s)/legal guardian confirming your relationship to them and giving their consent for you to use their funds to study in the UK

Verification checks

The UK government has published a list of financial institutions that do not satisfactorily verify financial statements.

Official financial sponsorship

Some students receive funding from an ‘official sponsor’ to cover all or some of their tuition fees and/or living costs. You can receive official financial sponsorship from your home government, the UK government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or UK independent school.

To demonstrate this you must provide a letter of confirmation from your Official Financial Sponsor on official letter-headed paper which must have the official stamp of that organisation on it. 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 of your fees and living costs

If your financial sponsorship only covers part of your tuition fees and/or living costs then you'll have to show that you (or your parents) have the rest of the money available.

Overseas currency

You're allowed to use money held in an overseas bank account in support of your Tier 4 application, but if you're submitting evidence of funds in a foreign currency (not in British pounds sterling) then you'll need to convert the closing balance of your financial documents to British pounds sterling using the OANDA currency converter and write this amount on your application form.

Documents that are not in English or Welsh

If you submit any documents with your Tier 4 application that are not in English (or Welsh), then they must be accompanied by an official translation that meets the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

Read the Tier 4 Policy Guidance at GOV.UK for more detailed information

Please note that the above information is subject to change; please check the GOV.UK website for updates. This information is provided is given in good faith for information purposes only. This information is not intended constitute legal advice. St George’s, University of London does not warrant the accuracy of the information provided and accepts no liability whatsoever on any claims arising from it.

Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:36