Who can sponsor my student application? Can this be a family member?
As outlined in our Tier 4 Student visa pages, you will need to show that you have enough money to pay for your course fees and for your accommodation and other living expenses. You must show evidence that you have the required money in one of the following ways:
- funds held in your own name;
- funds held in a parent or legal guardian’s name;
- funds provided as a loan from a financial institution;
- funds provided by an “official financial sponsor” – an official financial sponsor is an organisation that wholly supports you to study in the UK by giving you money to cover your course fees and your living costs. The UK government, your home government, the British Council or any international organisation, international company, university or UK independent school can be an official financial sponsor. It cannot be an individual person. Relatives, other than your parent(s) or legal guardian(s), cannot therefore sponsor your Tier 4 student application.
For the purposes of your student application, you cannot claim points for money held in any other person’s name, even if you have their permission to do so. If someone who is not your parent or guardian is financially sponsoring you, they will need to transfer the funds to your account (or to your parent or legal guardian’s account), allowing time for you (or your parent or legal guardian) to hold the funds for at least 28 days.
Please also note that if you want to deduct money for housing costs, you can only deduct any money that you have already paid to your Tier 4 sponsor for accommodation (i.e. you will stay in university/college arranged accommodation and you have already paid the university/college for this accommodation). 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. You cannot deduct any other types of housing costs, even if they are already paid or if you have no costs. If someone other than a parent or legal guardian is offering you free housing, or paying your housing costs, you must still show you have the required maximum amount required under the Tier 4 student rules.
For further details on the student requirements, please see our other Tier 4 pages. Please note that before submitting any visa application, you should always visit the UKBA website for full and up to date advice.