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Most people who apply for grad studies outside their country of residence are relying on scholarships for their tuition and funding for their cost of living through being research or teaching assistants at the universities to which they are applying.

  1. Do scholarships count toward the financial requirements of UK student visa applications?

  2. Do expected salaries from research or teaching assistantships count?

If expected salaries from assistantships don't count in the UK, how else might potential students be funded?

The only things that come to mind are:

  1. Staying with relatives in the country
  2. Being that rich (through parents' money?)
  3. Loans for the first year

Which of those could count toward the financial requirements?

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    You can only count things that are guaranteed, and can prove you have been awarded. If you have been given a scholarship, you can count that. You can't count expected salaries. Universities are experienced at sponsoring student visas. You should address questions about this to the university's international office or equivalent, rather than your PI, who may know very little. – MJeffryes Aug 17 '16 at 9:17
  • @MJeffryes Thank you. How do international students then fund their stay in the UK aside from scholarships? – Jack Bauer Aug 17 '16 at 10:35
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    I'm not an expert, but I believe you will essentially need a scholarship which fulfils the financial requirements. I do not really recognise the situation you describe "scholarships for their tuition and funding for their cost of living through being research or teaching assistants" as being something that happens in UK universities. Funded PhD positions which are open to international applicants will always fulfil the legal requirements to obtain a visa. Bear in mind that such positions are somewhat rare (depending on your field) and are very competitive. – MJeffryes Aug 17 '16 at 11:01
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    I'm talking here about PhD positions incidentally. For a taught masters programme you will need the cash on hand before you start your course as far as I am aware. – MJeffryes Aug 17 '16 at 11:03
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This can be found on the current guidance document issued by UKVI for student visas. The guidance explains the money can be yours or your parents and should be:

  • cash funds in the bank (this includes savings accounts and current accounts even when notice must be given); or
  • a loan letter (the loan must be provided by your national government, state or regional government, or by a government sponsored student loan company or be part of an academic or educational loans scheme); or
  • official financial or government sponsorship available to you.

It continues stating:

Other accounts or financial instruments such as shares, bonds, overdrafts, credit cards and pension funds are not acceptable, regardless of notice period.

Of course, you should really make sure to look at the latest guidance document in full.

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