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Tier 4 General Student Visa Application for UK Study

BrownEyesBrownEyes Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
edited November 2009 in Study Abroad
Is anyone on this board familiar with the guidelines for submitting a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa Application to the British Consulate?

My daughter will begin a 3 year degree program in the UK this Fall, and I thought we had all the supporting paperwork together for the student-visa application, only to come across a seemingly new rule which requires the student-applicant to present proof of access to 100% of the full tuition payment for the entire year, PLUS an additional $9K USD of estimated living expenses, in an account which includes the student's name and which has been in existence for at least 28 days preceding the visa application.

If I am reading the guidelines correctly, then proof of the immediate availability of these funds must be presented when the student-visa application is submitted to the British Consulate for processing.

I have funds available in an account which does not include my daughter's name, but if I transfer those funds to a new account which includes my daughter's name, it looks like we're going to have to wait another 28 days before we can submit the visa application, and that will be too late.

Has anyone else had experience with this? It seems to be a new requirement for student-visas (UK schools) - maybe only since June 1st 2009?

Thanks for reading and hopefully responding to this message ...
Post edited by BrownEyes on
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Replies to: Tier 4 General Student Visa Application for UK Study

  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    I am about to apply for my visa, so I have some experience.

    Yes, you do need to show that you have the full fund, and your daughter's name does need to be on the account, or the visa application will be automatically refused. When does your daughter's course start? 28 days from now may not be too late, as it appears that most student visas are processed within 15 business days. You may be cutting it a bit close, but you should get the visa in time if she starts mid-September.
  • BrownEyesBrownEyes Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    Spriteling, thanks so much for the reply.

    To let you and others know, the guidelines for applying for Tier 4 (General) Student-Visas to the UK recently changed, and while the 28 day account rule was originally believed to become effective as of June 1st, I've confirmed that the the effective date has now been pushed-back to October 1, 2009. So I've been assured that once funds are transferred to an account with my daughter's name, and we receive an original statement or verified letter from the bank on original bank letterhead, we can proceed with the student-visa application.

    I hope this helps you and others out there like you and my own child who will be studying in the UK, beginning this Fall.

    It's a complicated process, but a very exciting time.
  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    It is very exciting! I am currently just waiting on my visa letter to apply, so I can't wait.

    I am in Norway at the moment, so I am trying to make sure my mother gathers all the appropriate documents while I am gone. If I apply in late July, would a bank statement form the month of June be acceptable proof of having the required amount of money? I have been kind of confused by reading around on the site....

    By the way, what university will your daughter be attending, and what will she be studying?
  • glowormgloworm Posts: 2,265Registered User Senior Member
    Just wondering if it might be possible/easier to just add your daughter's name to the account that already has your name.
  • BrownEyesBrownEyes Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    Spriteling: I think a June bank statement is fine, even if you don't submit the completed student-visa application until July. But remember, the bank statement must be accompanied by a "proof of financial security" letter from the bank, and the date on that letter should be current.

    Just so you know: our bank was able to print a summary report of the account in question that included all of the information required by the UK guidelines (account owners' names, account number, date, balance, etc.), on the very day that the bank signed the required letter.

    It's also my understanding that the British Consulate will actually verify the student's account balance as part of processing the student-visa application. So it's probably a good idea to include a business card w/email address or other contact information for a live person at your bank who could actually verify the account information if asked.

    gloworm: thanks for the thought. Actually, in our case the $$ was spread over a few accounts, so in the end, it was just easier to consolidate the necessary funds in my daughter's name. The 28 day rule doesn't begin to apply until October 1st, so were OK with that.
  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    I hadn't heard about the letter, BrownEyes. As far as I can tell, if you can provide a bank statement, then you should be fine? Where is this letter mentioned?
  • BrownEyesBrownEyes Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    Spriteling: the 'proof of financial security' letter requirement is defined in the UK Border Agency guidelines for Tier 4 Student-Applicants that were published on June 1st, 2009. I'm heading out of town for a long weekend but when I return, I'll try to post the link for you.

    In summary, it appears that on or after June 1st, 2009 the Student-Applicant must provide:

    (1) a bank statement which shows the Student's name, account number, date, and amount of $$ available + financial institution's name and logo, printed on official bank letterhead or, if you print an on-line statement, it must be "stamped with the official stamp of the bank on every page of the statement; AND

    (2) a "letter from your bank confirming funds covering the 28 day period ending no more than 1 month from the date of your application" which includes: the student's name as account-holder, parents' name(s) where applicable; account number; date of the letter; financial institution's name and logo; and account balance on date of letter; AND that there is enough money in the account to cover your course fees and living costs (with living costs computed according to UK guidelines depending on whether you will be studying in London or outside of London).

    I believe the letter requirement was added when the rules changed to include the 28 day account balance requirement. From my post above, you already know that we have since confirmed that the effective date of the 28 day requirement was adjourned from June 1st until October 1st, 2009.

    But no one was able to confirm whether the bank letter requirement was similarly adjourned until October 1st, so we went ahead and included a bank letter which met the above requirements, together with the bank statement.

    I hope this is helpful, rather than confusing and I'll try to post a link to the UK Border Agency guidelines when I return next week. In the meantime, the booklet is called: "Tier 4 Policy Guidance, effective June 1, 2009" if you want to try a Google search ...

    All the best,
    BrownEyes :)
  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    Ha, good point! I hadn't read the stuff closely enough, it seems. In any case, I just found out that all of my college money is held in stocks, not cash (thanks, Mom, for not realising until yesterday!), so I'm going to have to do a lot of transfers and get a letter from the bank anyway.

    Thanks for your help, BrownEyes! It's always really useful to have another pair of eyes looking at regulations and stuff.
  • TheVeganActressTheVeganActress Posts: 6,666Registered User Senior Member
    This is an old thread, but I just got my uk visa approved, so thought I'd offer some advice!

    DEFINITELY attend one of the walk in appointments if at ALL possible. It varies from location to location, in chicago it's walk in from 10-11am monday-thursday. the advantage of this is that they look over your documents and give a decision right away. If it's accepted you can usually pick the visa up the same day, but it won't be flatout rejected... they'll explain to you what needs to be different and let you come back. If you were to mail it in, you would simply get a rejection letter and have to start completely over again (fees and all).

    The three main things you need:
    The visa letter
    supporting documents (whatever's listed on the visa letter), which would most likely be your transcript and financial proof.
    The bank statement needs to have an official stamp or proof from the bank (an online prinout won't work), and they really mean the amount of money they say so look the requirements up carefully!
    Warning: even a day over a month level counts as an extra month of funds required!
    Also, the account definitely has to be in the students own name.

    If you have the correct documents the process isn't too bad. Take your application to the appointment time (or mail it), and don't try to convince or argue with the officer. if they have to turn you away listen to the advice and fix it, then come back!

    It took me two visits, but now that I have my visa it was all worth it!
    Good luck to anyone still working through this!
  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    ^ I agree with TheVeganPrincess. I got my visa last week and the walk in appointment is so worth it. It is, however, much easier in Chicago than in NYC or LA.

    Just make sure you read the guidance multiple times, and that you have originals of everything asked for by the UKBA. That was the main thing I saw that got refused when I was in the consulate; visa letters and transcripts were not orginals. There were also some problems with having the funds in your own name, but that requirement will be waived as of the 21st of August.

    I am so glad the process is over for me.
  • filmalifefilmalife Posts: 74Registered User Junior Member
    I am trying to find out where in NYC my son can go get his biometrics done in NYC..does anyone know? ALso, about the financial piece...

    the 28 days is confusing. does one have to have an account for 28 days or set up an account within 28 days of departure?
  • SpritelingSpriteling Posts: 338Registered User Member
    I am sure there are multiple places in NYC. When you do the online bit of the application, at the end there will be a place for you to make a biometrics appointment, and it will let you search for centres that are near you.

    Re the money: The 28 days thing is waived until the end of this month. You currently only have to show the money on the day you are applying. However, the bank statement/letter you show cannot be more than a month old.
  • pinkpineapplepinkpineapple Posts: 332Registered User Member
    Actually - there's one biometrics place in NYC and one in Westchester County (New Rochelle, NY), as well as one in West Hartford, Connecticut. So the tri-state area has a couple options. You enter your location on the website when you fill out the visa application and it will give you a list of centers closest to you (there are 129 total in the entire United States).
  • DDrhlDDrhl Posts: 6Registered User New Member
    As of 8/21, you only need to show the money is in the parent's account AND that the parent is planning to pay the bills. Unfortunately, we applied for the visa for our sweet daughter before the date. We were told (by a call from the British Consulate in NYC) that the statement saying we had the money, our daughter's name had been added to the account and we were awaiting the bank's formal acknowledgment was insufficient, and we had 4 days to get a note from the bank. The bank FedExed it overnight and in the meantime, the Consulate denied her visa! The Consulate would not let me speak to the person who had called, Chris Kirby. The appeal was only online, and there's been no acknowledgment whatsoever. The college is using the new rules and demanding the 72-hour acceptance, but still we haven't heard. We canceled the flights and the hotel (sucked up thousands of dollars in losses) and my daughter still hasn't heard. This is obscene...and no one seems to care but us.
  • filmalifefilmalife Posts: 74Registered User Junior Member
    geez, that is really frustrating. why not try to go to the consulate and speak with someone...you have a name!

    which colle, if don't mind saying is asking for 72 hour acceptance..what does that mean exactly? Ihaven't read that anywhere.

    I feel bad for you. I hope you haven't paid the college anything. It sounds like they who have potentially done this more than enough times to know how it works, shoul be assisting you, no?
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