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Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations – ICEF Monitor – Market intelligence for international student recruitment

In recent months, some major study abroad destinations have increased the amount of available, guaranteed funds that international students must have to be eligible for a study visa. Part of the motivation here is to ensure students do not have to take on too much work while studying just to make ends meet. Another is to encourage only students with a genuine interest in pursuing a high-value qualification to apply for a study visa.

The effect of higher proof of funds can serve as a deterrent for a segment of prospective international students. Destinations requiring lower amounts of guaranteed funds are often less expensive for students in general, and as per , more affordable destinations are:

  • increasingly being considered by many international students;
  • seeing their international student population expand in tandem with leading destinations’ higher costs.

In this article, we take a look at proof of funds requirements in 2024 across 20 destinations.

Please note: These sums are exclusive of what may be required for tuition, health insurance, airfare/travel, additional family members, or other fees. They are the funds the governments expect individual students to have available to them while studying for a certain time period. Also note: These values can change every year, and sometimes proof of funds depends on the student’s country and type of study. The best source of current information for students and agents are individual institutions and government officials. Our research is current as of April 2024.

Australia: AUS$24,505 (US$15,690)

Canada: CDN$20,635 (US$14,930)

China: USD$2,500 per year of study

Czech Republic: 3,130 CZK (US$133) per month, so assuming a stay of one year, US$1,600

Finland: £590 per month (US$630), so assuming a stay of one year, US$7,560

France: £615 (US$655) per month of study (so assuming a study duration of nine months, US$5,895)

Germany: £11.208 (US$11,952) for one year

Ireland: €10,000 (US$10,680) immediately available and the same amount for each subsequent year of study

Italy: £350 (US$375) per month of study (so assuming a study duration of nine months, US$3,375)

Japan: 2 million Japanese yen (US$12,970) for one year

Netherlands: €14.700 (US$15,685) for one year

New Zealand: NZD$20,000 per year (USD$11,840)

Portugal: €820 per month (US$875), so assuming a study duration of 12 months, US$10,500

Singapore: 8,400S$ ($6,175)

South Korea: US$20,000

Spain: €600 (US$640) per month (so assuming a study duration of nine months, US$5,400)

Switzerland: HF 21,000 (US$23,070) per year and the same amount for each subsequent year

UAE: Depends on the university – for Abu Dhabi University, the proof of funds is US$15,000

UK: Just over £1,100 (US$1,660) per month of study (so assuming a study duration of nine months, US$14,940)

US: New F-1 students must prove that they have funds for the first year of study (some US embassies will ask for proof of funds for the duration of a programme). For those accepted to highly ranked institutions (e.g., University of California, Santa Barbara) – proof of funds can run over US$70,000 for the first year of a programme.

Considerable variation in terms of requirements

Looking at the research above, it’s clear that students must demonstrate a higher level of access to funds in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, South Korea, Switzerland, the UK, and US (as well as some universities in the UAE) – all requiring over US$14,000. The next tier includes Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Portugal (US$10,000-$14,000), while countries requiring the least amount of available funds are China, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, Singapore, and Spain (under US$10,000).

On its own, a destination’s proof of funds requirement is not among the top factors influencing where students choose to study. But the requirement does provide a signal to students of whether they can comfortably afford to live in a destination – and in this sense, the funds requirement is an interesting variable in the overall way in which students measure the attractiveness of different destinations.

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