The process for any non-UK (and non-EU) national to enter the United Kingdom is defined in the immigration laws of the country. These laws define requirements that need to be fulfilled for all visa categories. As such, the criteria and requirements vary for different visa category.
One of the requirements that exist for almost all visa types and their sub-categories is the finances requirement that the applicant needs to be eligible for the visa. The finances required also vary depending on the category the applicant wishes to apply on. For example, a person applying on the Tier 1 investor visa will require more funds than a person applying on the Tier 4 student visa. The application and the all the financial records that go with it are reviewed by the Home Office, the official government department that makes decisions on all immigration cases.
In this article, we explain general points an applicant should keep in mind regarding his/her financial records which will be submitted in the visa application, and how the Home Office will review them given their current immigration policies.
General Financial Requirements for all UK Visa Categories
The Points Based System and the Financial Requirements of the UK Visa Process
The Points Based System helps determine whether an applicant has fulfilled the necessary requirements of any visa category. For example, under the Points Based System a UK investor visa require 70 points to be eligible for the visa while the Tier 4 student visa require 40 points (where this does not mean visa will be granted). These points can be secured by fulfilling separate requirements with requirement fulfillment carrying out its own number of points.
Similarly, fulfilling the financial requirement portion of any via category also carries with a certain amount of points which vary from category to category. But generally, a total of 10 points are awarded when the applicant fulfills the financial requirements necessary for the visa application.
Tier 1 Visa
A total of 10 points are awarded for fulfilling the financial requirements of the Tier 1 visa (excluding the Tier 1 exceptional talent visa and the tier 1 UK investor visa).
The minimum funds required for the Tier entrepreneur visa amount to £3,310. Similarly, the minimum funds required for the Tier entrepreneur visa (graduate) amount to £1,890.
In the scenario where the applicant is applying for an extension on his/her visa, a further amount of £945 will be required, and 10 points will be awarded as such.
Tier 2 Visa
A total of 10 points are awarded for fulfilling the financial requirements of the Tier 2 visa. For all of the categories in this visa, a minimum of £945 must be present with the applicant. Furthermore, points will only be given if the applicant produces a valid letter of sponsorship in this regard.
Tier 4 (General) Student Visa
Similar to other visa categories, a total of 10 points are also awarded on the Tier 4 student visa although the conditions vary depending on the case of the student.
The applicant must provide relevant evidence that he/she is in control of the funds and can be produced at any time by him/her. The sponsor of the applicant in this regard must also produce a letter of sponsorship in this regard stating that the applicant is in total possession of the necessary funds required for this visa type.
The funds should be in the name of the applicant in the scenario where it is a joint account, in the name of the applicant’s parent(s) who has specified that the funds are being allocated to his/her child, or a sponsor who has allocated these funds to the applicant for the purpose of study in the UK.
A maximum of £1,020 can be allocated to the sponsor by the student looking to study in the UK for the purpose of accommodation. The sponsor must be recognized by the UK government as being a valid sponsor.
Conditions do vary for students such as if the student is studying in an institution located in inner London, he/she must possess an amount equivalent the tuition fee of the entire first academic year. In case the course period is shorter than a year, then the full amount of the course must be present with the applicant. An additional £1,020 must also be present per course month for no more than 9 months.
For a student studying in any other part of the UK such as outer London and who does not have an established presence, he/she must possess an amount equivalent the tuition fee of the entire first academic year. In case the course period is shorter than a year, than the full amount of the course must be present with the applicant. An additional £820 must also be present per course month for no more than 9 months.
In case of the applicant having an established presence under these circumstances, he/she must possess the necessary finances required to carry out the rest of the academic period, or the amount required for the entire course if it is shorter than a year. An additional £820 must also be present per course month for no more than 2 months.
It should be noted that the area considered inner London under these circumstances includes Wandsworth, Islington, Hammersmith, Haringey, Camden, Westminister, Lambeth, City of London, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea or Newham Southwark. Furthermore, the applicant will be considered to be studying within this area if it is stated as such in the acceptance letter that is issued by the educational institute to the applicant.
Also, in the case a course month is not equivalent to an entire month and only part of it, it will still be considered a full month.
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa
A person applying in this category will need to secure a total of £945, whereas he/she will be awarded 10 points for fulfilling this financial requirement.
A condition for being awarded these 10 points is that the applicant’s sponsor must possess an A rating and be a valid authority to issue out the sponsorship. The sponsor must also state that the applicant being given the sponsorship will not request money from public funds.