Financial evidence for visa applications

Most countries require that you show evidence that you can support yourself financially for the duration of your study abroad year. Without this evidence, they will not issue your student visa.

The majority of countries expect you to show evidence of your financial support at the point of applying for the student visa, which can be anywhere between May and September. In these cases, the cost of living will be defined by the government of the country in question. The amount of money to which you will be required to prove access can be confirmed by viewing the information regarding visa applications on the relevant Consulate/Embassy website.

However, students selected for the USA, Japan and Hong Kong should be prepared to provide this evidence at the point of formal application to the host university between January and March. In these cases, amounts are set by each individual university.

The following countries (correct on 25/07/2017) require UK nationals to show evidence that they have enough money to cover the cost of living for one year in the host country:

  • Argentina (evidence of enough funds to cover air tickets and expenses - contact the consulate for details)
  • Brazil (US$1000 per month)
  • Canada (Quebec: C$917 per month; other provinces: C$833 per month)
  • Chile (contact the consulate for details)
  • Hong Kong (evidence of enough funds to cover air tickets and expenses - contact host university for guidance)
  • Israel (contact the consulate for details)
  • Japan (around 120,000 Yen per month)
  • Mexico (£511)
  • New Zealand (NZ$15,000)
  • South Africa (ZAR8500 per month)
  • South Korea (approximately £9500 – to be confirmed with your certificate of acceptance)
  • Thailand (20,000 Baht)
  • Turkey (at least £3000 for 6 months stay)
  • USA (see "Estimated living expenses: USA" below)

 SHOWING EVIDENCE OF FUNDS

  • The figure you are asked to evidence will be a minimum amount - you should try and show access to as much money as you are able, as exchange rates can change on a daily basis and you may later find you have not shown access to enough funds.
  • The easiest way to show evidence of funds is usually to provide bank statements, or a letter from the bank confirming the total amount of funds in the account on a given date. You can usually show statements from as many different bank accounts as necessary in order to meet the total required (eg current account, savings, ISA, etc.). However, the bank accounts must usually be ‘instant access’ and statements must usually be originals. Letters must be on headed paper, with a logo and stamp if possible.
  • If you are providing a bank letter, it is acceptable for the bank to include an indemnifying clause to indicate that they can't guarantee the funds beyond the date the letter is written. 
  • Online statements are sometimes accepted, but they must be full statements with the account number, account holder's name, bank logo, and the date. A simple screenshot of transactions is not normally acceptable.
  • Evidence of funds must normally be less than three months old at the time of your application. If your bank only issues annual or quarterly statements, you may need to request additional statements or letters from them. Make sure to leave enough time for your request to be processed (this can sometimes be a week or two) before any deadlines you are given.
  • Funds do not usually need to be in your own bank account. They could be from a parent, other relative or acquaintance. However, any funds not from your own account must be accompanied by an original signed letter from the account-holder stipulating that they will support you financially during your study abroad year. This letter is for evidencing purposes; how you fund your study abroad year in practice will be your decision.
  • Any student loan statements used as evidence of funding for visa applications must be for the academic year of the exchange, and not for previous years.
  • For the USA, Hong Kong and Japan, you cannot usually use your student loan as evidence of funds as you cannot usually apply to Student Finance early enough to receive your loan statement in time for the host university’s application. This does not mean that you can't use your student loan to pay for your study abroad year; it just means that you can't use it as financial evidence.
  • If you are planning to use funds that are not from your own account (ie your parents, other relatives or friends will be supplying financial evidence documents), speak to the account holders early and ideally before you decide to apply to study abroad.

ESTIMATED LIVING EXPENSES: USA

If you are placed at a US institution, you must demonstrate to your host university that you are able to afford the cost of living for the year you will spend there. Your host university is responsible for issuing your visa documents and financial evidence must be provided with your formal application to your host university (usually between January and March). Your host university is bound by US immigration law and exceptions cannot be made to financial evidence requirements. Please read the information above carefully to ensure that you will be able to show appropriate financial evidence documentation at the required time.

The amounts listed below are based on the information provided by our partner universities for immigration purposes only. While the amounts listed here are not necessarily an exact reflection of how much you will spend during a year abroad, you should expect to spend at least the amount shown and should budget accordingly. A breakdown of expected costs is normally available on the host university's website. Amounts listed were given for the 2017/18 application period (full academic year) and may be subject to change for later applicants.  

  • Arizona State University: $15,967
  • California State University at Monterey Bay: $17,750
  • California State University at San Marcos: $20,000
  • Colorado School of Mines: $16,200
  • Drexel University: $21,000
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: $14,400
  • George Washington University:$25,113
  • Georgia Institute of Technology: $18,600
  • Juniata College: $15,900
  • North Carolina State University: $18,410
  • Northern Arizona University: $16,400
  • Purdue University: $14,370
  • Penn State University, Pennsylvania: $21,000
  • Rensselear Polytechnic Institute: $19,000
  • State University of New York – Stony Brook: $28,882
  • State University of New York – Brockport: $18,000
  • Towson University: $18,300
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: $17,800
  • University of Kansas: $11,746
  • University of Louisville: $13,000
  • University of Massachusetts: $20,000
  • University of Minnesota: $18,058
  • University of Mississippi: $13,420
  • University of Nebraska: $19,947
  • University of New Mexico: $13,250
  • University of North Texas: $15,176
  • University of Rochester: $20,894
  • University of Vermont: $16,000
  • University of South Carolina: $18,565
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison: $15,800
  • Western New England University: $17,300