This relates to UK visa supporting documents for all types of visitor visa applications. Certainly, in terms of Appendix V for visitors, an applicant needs to establish the purpose of visiting the UK, the ability to maintain and accommodate during the visit and intentions to leave the UK. And also need to furnish proof of intent to return home such as evidence of family ties for proving intent to return home after the journey. Accordingly, the post also provides a UK visa supporting documents checklists and covers the following topics:
- What is the purpose of the UK visa supporting documents?
- UK visitor visa supporting documents checklist
- The mandatory UK visa supporting documents
- Travel documents
- Translation of UK visa documents
- UK visa documents specifying the purpose of an application
- Trip Itinerary for a tourist visa
- Invitation Letter for family and business visitor visa
- Additional supporting documents for other types of visitor visa applications
- UK visa supporting documents for accommodation and maintenance
- Evidence of sufficient funds (and also the source of funds)
- Sufficient ties to the home country for proving intent to return
- UK visa supporting documents for proving intent to return home!
1) The purpose of the UK visa supporting documents
Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, clearly states that UK visitor visa applications are decided on the information provided by the applicant and any other relevant circumstances at the date of the decision. Accordingly, for making a successful application, it is imperative to meet the visitor visa requirements. However, apart from UK visa supporting documents an applicant does not have any other means to meet the requirements, which are imperative for a grant of visa. Therefore, the role of UK visa supporting documents is absolutely critical in establishing the circumstances of an application.
UK standard visitor visa supporting documents checklist
Perhaps, depending on the purpose of UK standard visitor visa and personal circumstances of an applicant, an applicant may substantiate the application with an appropriate combination of the following types of supporting documents for UK visa application:
- Travel documents
- Translation of Documents
- Information about your visit
- Current employment
- Money (either income or savings)
- Home address
- Evidence of assets
- Additional Information
- Other documents
Additional supporting documents
Moreover, for other types of applications under Appendix V for visitors, applicants also need to provide additional documents!
2) The mandatory UK visa supporting documents
For all types of UK visitor visa applications, it is mandatory to provide a valid travel document and translation of documents, which are not in English/Welsh.
Travel documents for UK visa
All visitors are required to provide a valid travel document such as a national passport or any other such document that lawfully enables the holder to travel internationally.
The passport must be in good condition and have at least a one-page blank on both sides.
Previous travel documents for the UK visa
If the applicant has had a UK visa previously, but this is in an old passport, then it is advisable to enclose the current as well as the previous passport with the application.
Translation of UK visa supporting documents
It is important to note that for documents that are not in English/Welsh, an applicant is required to submit a translation of such documents, along with the copies of the originals. The translated documents are required to be verified independently and must enumerate:
- translator’s confirmation that the translated document(s) are an accurate translation/account of the original non-English/Welsh documents;
- the date on which the translation has been done;
- full name and signatures of the translator.
3) Supporting documents specifying the purpose of a UK visa
Certainly, for visiting the UK an applicant needs to specify the purpose. Perhaps, there could be a multitude of visiting the UK such as meeting family, tourism, attending a conference, performing arts, taking a PLAB Test etc. Therefore, in accordance with the purpose of visiting the UK, an applicant needs to furnish appropriate UK visa supporting documents.
Furthermore, in accordance with Appendices 3-4, a visitor can only undertake permitted activities in the UK. And cannot visit the UK for doing any prohibited activity (V 4.5-10). Therefore, if the purpose of visiting the UK is not clear then an applicant might get a refusal under paragraph V 4.2(c) of Immigration Rules.
An Invitation Letter for a Family visit
One of the major reasons for travelling to the UK is meeting family members. Therefore, if an applicant intends to visit the UK for spending time with family then an invitation letter provides the purpose of UK standard visitor visa application.
Contents of the Letter
If a family member invites the applicant then Sponsor Letter must enumerate the details of the invitation. And also the details of accommodation and maintenance in the UK without recourse to public funds. Accordingly, the contents of the invitation letter are supported by:
- A copy of the British Passport or residence permit in the UK
- Accommodation details such as Land Registry, Rental Agreement, Mortgage Deed
- Bank statements of the sponsor for meeting the maintenance cost and trip expenses
Reason for a business visit
The usual purpose of a business visitor visa UK is to attend a meeting or a conference, negotiate a business deal, an export or import contract etc. However, depending on the nature of the business, there are a host of business purposes permissible under the rules. However, a formal invitation letter from a business or commercial organization suffix the purpose of the trip.
Sponsor Invitation Letter for Business Visitor Visa
If the sponsor is a business entity then a formal invitation on the letterhead of the organization. Moreover, the invitation letter may state the terms of invitation. If the inviting organization undertakes to sponsor or fund the trip then also state in the invitation letter.
Letter from Employer in the Country of Residence
For any business activities, a letter from an employer outlining the reason(s) for the proposed visit, which the applicant will be meeting and details of payments and expenses in this regard.
Purpose of applying for a tourist visa
For establishing the purpose of a UK tourist visa, an applicant doesn’t require an invitation letter. For tourism purpose, an applicant may submit a tentative trip plan. The trip itinerary may include a list of places and sights that an applicant intends to visit.
UK visa documents for a marriage visitor visa
If an applicant is applying for a Marriage Visitor Visa then needs to prove that he/she is legally free to marry. And also needs to provide supporting documents for marriage arrangements in the UK.
Legally-Free to Marry
In case an applicant in the past has remained married, or in a civil partnership then the applicant needs to give documents to demonstrate that the applicant is legally free to marry or form a bond of civil partnership again.
Marriage Arrangements in the UK
The UK visa supporting documents may also include as a letter from a UK Registry Office. Perhaps, the letter may demonstrate that necessary arrangements have been undertaken for the proposed marriage or civil partnership.
If an applicant is applying for a visitor visa then needs to furnish a Letter in support of the application from registered venture capital firms, entrepreneurial seed funds, or government departments. An inability to provide the letter will limit subsequent switching to Tier-1 (Entrepreneur).
UK visa documents for academic visitors
An academics visiting the UK for undertaking research (12-Months Visa), requires to provide a letter from the host organisation in the UK confirming the arrangements for the proposed research or exchange program.
Moreover, the applicant also requires to provide a letter from the present employer in the home country (or the country of residence) on the official letterhead of the employer. Certainly, the letter should enumerate the period of exchange or sabbatical. And also provide an outlining of the research that the applicant will undertake in the UK.
Applicants, and their accompanied Dependant Family Member(s), from countries listed in Appendix T Part 1, are required to furnish a valid medical certificate issued by an authorised medical practitioner as listed in Part 2 of Appendix T of the Immigration Rules.
UK visa documents for medical visitors
For applying 6 to 11 months UK medical visa for private medical treatment and check-up, it is mandatory to provide a letter from Doctor in the UK. And also a medical certificate.
A letter from a medical doctor
A Letter from Doctor or a Certified/Authorised Consultant in the United Kingdom detailing the conditions that necessitate/require treatment and consultations in the UK, costs estimates and indicative time duration of the treatment, details of the treatment centre where the prescribed treatment is expected to take place.
For applicants applying for an eleven (11) months visa, who are residents of countries listed in Appendix T Part 1 of Immigration Rules, the applicants must provide the required valid medical certificate duly issued by medical practitioners listed in Part 2 of Appendix T of the Immigration Rules.
UK visa documents for medical visa extension
For an extension of stay for private care/medical treatment, an applicant needs to provide a Letter from a Registered Medical Practitioner in the UK.
Who can issue Letter for Medical Visa Extension?
A Registered Medical Practitioner working in a private practice or NHS hospital either holding an NHS consultant post or enlisted in the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council.
What must the Letter Confirm?
The Letter must confirm the conditions requiring further treatment in the UK and payment of Costs of any treatment so far received in the UK.
UK visa documents for organ donors
In addition to the documents required for Private Medical Treatment, it is mandatory for organ donors to provide a letter confirming:
- Genuine Intentions of the Organ Donor – that the organ donor genuinely intends to donate an organ to a particular individual with whom the organ donor has a personal or genetic relationship
- Endorsement of a Confirmed Match – an endorsement that the organ donor is a confirmed match to the identified individual, i.e. the recipient, OR is in the process of undergoing further tests for establishing that he/she is a confirmed match
- the date of the proposed transplant
- name of the medical institute/hospital where the proposed operation/tests are to be conducted
It is mandatory that the letter is from either one of the followings:
- a lead nurse or a coordinator of NHS Trust’s living donor kidney transplant team
- a registered medical practitioner who either holds NHS consultant post or appears on the specialist register of the General Medical Council
Beneficial Recipient a legal resident in the UK
Organ donors also need to submit a document clearly stating that the beneficial recipient is a legal resident of the UK. This can be proved by enclosing a copy of the British passport or residence permit of the recipient. If the recipient is applying with the Organ Donor, then the recipient needs to provide personal details. These details may include the name, nationality and date of birth of the recipient.
Supporting documents for a work-related training
For work relating training visa, a letter from the General Medical Council & Nursing and Midwifery Council is required to confirm the arrangements for the following tests:
- Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) Test
- Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
UK visa documents for clinical attachment
For an unpaid clinical attachment or dental observer post following confirmations are mandatory:
- a written confirmation to take up the offer;
- confirmation that an applicant has not previously undertaken the activity in the United Kingdom.
UK visa documents for performers at permit-free festivals
A performer/artist requires to provide an invitation letter from the event organisers of the permit-free festival(s) confirming dates of the performances and details of payments that an applicant will be receiving for taking part in the event.
Letter from employer
For performances and entertainment visitors, a letter mentioning that whether an applicant is working as a professional or as an amateur, and what, when and where the applicant will be performing.
UK transit visa supporting documents
The Transit Visitors needs to demonstrate the confirmation of an onward journey from the United Kingdom. The onwards journey may be within 24 hours of arrival in the UK for Direct Airside Transit or 48 hours of the applicant’s arrival in the UK for Visitor in Transit such as:
- travel booking confirmation (can be in the form of an email or a hard copy of the tickets);
- confirmation from a travel agent.
The Uk visa supporting documents may demonstrate that the applicant is assured entry into an onward country. For instance, a valid visa, a residence permit, or a green card.
In case the applicant is not a resident or national of the onward destination, then the applicant needs to provide evidence to demonstrate the reason for travel, such as a holiday booking confirmation.
4) UK visa supporting documents for accommodation and maintenance
An applicant needs to establish that he/she will be able to accommodate and maintain him/herself in the UK without recourse to public funds. Therefore, an applicant needs to provide UK visa supporting documents to establish his/her ability to fund the trip. However, depending on the purpose of the visit, an applicant can use sponsor documents to supplement his/her claim.
Accommodation in the UK
Accommodation in the UK is important as an applicant needs to provide a UK address in the online application form. Certainly, an applicant needs to provide a verifiable address, where he/she will stay during the trip. Accordingly, may furnish any of the following supporting documents with the UK visa application:
- Sponsor documents: such as land registry, mortgage deed, rental agreement etc.
- Hotel booking confirmation, travel booking confirmation, travel agent’s confirmation etc.
Evidence of Sufficient Funds (and also the source of funds)
Financial documents demonstrate that an applicant has ample and sufficient funds available for undertaking a journey to the UK. The financial documents must unequivocally show that a claimant has access to the funds. However, the evidence of funds needs to be supplemented by the source of income.
Perhaps, savings in the personal bank statements is the most convenient and popular method for demonstrating the availability of funds for the trip to the UK. Usually, the bank statement should cover a period of the preceding six months. However, applicants can attach bank statements for a longer duration. Moreover, any documents relating to funds such as bank statements, bank books, bank letter, balance certificate may not be more than one month old from the application date i.e. the date on which an applicant submits the application and does the biometrics at the UK visa application centre.
Earnings proof for salaried individuals
Letter from the applicant’s employer confirming the details of employment. The details may include: starting date of employment, role, salary, contact particulars of the company/business entity. And also payslips, tax registration certificate, tax returns.
UK visa documents for self-employed businesspersons
Self-employed businessperson needs to furnish documents relating to business registration, confirming the business owner’s name and the date on which the company has started operations. And also business bank statements.
In the case of an Agriculturalist or landlord details of the income-generating property is critical. And also income tax registration certificate, property tax receipts etc.
Earnings proof for self-employed individuals
For self-employed businesspersons, an income tax return to demonstrate gross and net income.
5) UK visa documents for proving intent to return home
The Paragraph V4.2(a) of Appendix V for Visitors requires that visitors must prove their genuine intentions to return to the country of residence at the end of their visit. Therefore, it is prerequisite to furnish documentary evidence as proof of sufficient ties to the home country for proving intent to return at the end of the visit before the grant of a visitor visa. Therefore, an applicant can establish sufficient ties to the Home Country for proving intent to return, by providing relating to:
- UK visa home address proof
- Evidence of Family Members Remaining in Your Home Country
- Evidence of Assets as Proof of Intent to Return Home
- Professional and Business Ties to the Home Country
- Income from Employment as Proof of Intent to Return Home
- Business Ties with the country of residence
- How a Student can establish ties to the Home Country?
- Child visitors
UK visa home address proof
In the online application form, the applicant needs to provide the details of his/her present residential address. Therefore, in order to certify the present residential address in the home country, an applicant may furnish a copy of:
- property deed
- mortgage statements
- tenancy agreements
- land registration documents
Moreover, in the case of joint-family or living with family, then also an affidavit from the family member, who is the owner of the property.
UK visa documents for confirming the legal residence
Most of the applicants don’t need to furnish such documents. However, if an applicant is not a national of a country in he/she is applying from then needs to furnish a copy of the document confirming the legal residence. For instance, a Pakistani national working in Dubai needs to furnish the UAE’s residence permit as evidence of legal residence.
Evidence of family members remaining in your home country
A family is a basic unit of society, therefore, it is important to furnish reasonable proof of family ties for UK visa. Documents to show family ties usually relates to partner and children.
Marriage certificate as evidence of family ties
If a spouse is travelling alone then marriage or civil partnership certificate as evidence of family ties in the home country may help increase the balance of probabilities for the grant of a UK visa.
Divorce or death of a partner
In case of divorce or death of a spouse, in terms of Paragraph 3.6(b) of Appendix V, an applicant is liable to disclose the material facts. Therefore, an applicant should furnish requisite information about divorce and death of a partner in the application. And if available then also enclose a copy of the divorce or death certificate.
Parents travelling without children and evidence of family ties
If parents are applying without children then the proof of intent to return home may also include:
- children birth certificates
- family registration form
- certificate of enrolment and studies from the educational institution i.e. school certificate
If parents are leaving children under 6-12 years then needs to furnish an affidavit of guardianship. Usually, an affidavit from a close relative such as a sister or brother fulfils the requirement.
Unmarried or single applicants and proof of intent to return home
A number of applicants, who apply for a UK Visitor Visa, are single with no children. Therefore, it is not possible for them to prove sufficient family ties to the home country. However, proof of family ties is only supplementary evidence for proving intent to return to the home country. Nevertheless, ceteris paribus, the balance of probabilities will work in favour of a married applicant vis-à-vis an unmarried applicant.
Evidence of assets as proof of intent to return home
This mainly relates to immovable assets such as residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural property, especially for landlords and agriculturalists, who are generating income from property rents and agricultural produce.
Accordingly, the UK visa supporting documents may include property deed, mutation, mortgage statements, accountant’s letters and land registration to indicate ownership of immovable assets.
Perhaps, provision of clear and adequate information relating to the ownership of the property increases the balance of probabilities. However, if the evidence is meaningless then it may reduce the chances of granting a visitor visa. Usually, property deed, mutation, mortgage statements, accountant’s letters and land registration indicate ownership of immovable assets.
Professional and business ties to the home country
Evidence of income provides information about the affordability of trip expenses and the availability of funds for the visa application. And also help in establishing professional and business ties with the home country. Certainly, if an applicant is adequately employed or running a successful business in the home country then he/she has sufficient reasons to return to the home country after the end of the trip.
Income from employment as proof of intent to return home
An applicant can furnish the evidence of income from employment. Perhaps, the easiest way is to enclose the monthly payslips for the last six months. And also bank statements in which the applicant receives the monthly salary. Moreover, can further supplement his/her work credentials by providing the appointment or employment letter, tax returns, bank account maintenance certificate, evidence of annual bonus or increment, promotion letter etc. An effective prove of employment in the home country is plausible evidence that an applicant is likely to return to home country after visiting the UK.
Business ties and proof of intent to return home
For self-employed businesspersons, it is critical to proving business ties in the home country. Perhaps, ongoing business in the home country is a good proof of intent to return home.
Accordingly, a businessperson can furnish business registration documents. Usually, the business registration supporting documents for a UK visit visa are:
- sole proprietorship certificate- usually bank certificate includes such endorsement for business accounts
- partnership deed
- Memorandum of Association in case of a private limited company
Bank and tax details of the business such as bank certificates, tax registration certificate and annual income tax returns. These support documents are good proof for establishing business ties in the home country. Depending on the nature of the business, an applicant can supplement the evidence with:
- Import and Export License
- Registration with the Local and National Business Chamber
- Registration with Trade Bodies and Associations
- License from Government such as Trade or Custom’s Licence etc.
Proof of intent to return home for students
A student may provide a Letter of Study from the educational institution. Usually, the letter is on the letterhead of the educational provider. And also confirms the enrollment of the applicant and sanction of leave of absence.
Proof of intent to return home for child visitors
It is important to determine a child’s relationship with his/her parent or guardian. Therefore, applicants under the age of 18 years need to submit Birth Certificate or a legal document – such as adoption papers.
If the child is travelling unaccompanied or with someone other than the parent(s) the applicant needs to give:
- a signed letter from a parent establishing the details of anyone else accompanying the applicant. And also details of care and accommodation arranged for in the UK
- a copy of parent(s) or legal guardian’s biographical page of the passport, which includes parent’s or legal guardian’s signatures and passport numbers if a parent(s) do not have a passport then the applicant must provide any other official document that bears the signatures of the parents.
6) UK visa supporting documents not really required!
There are certain supporting documents, which are not necessary for a UK visa application. Perhaps, these documents are not good and direct evidence of the income and personal bonafide of an applicant. Therefore, it is quite unlikely that these unnecessary documents for UK visa may have any positive impact on the decision. Accordingly, an applicant should usually do not enclose these document, unless an applicant explains the relevance of such unnecessary documents for UK visa application.
- multiple copies of the same document- if applicants are applying as a family/group
- bank statements or letters issued more than one (1) year before the date of application
- notarial certificates
- business cards
- driving licence
- photocopies of bank cards such as Debit and Credit Cards
- credit card statements- as it shows the expenses and not income
- documents relating to leisure activities
- evidence of car ownership
- travel insurance
- sponsor’s utility bills
- sponsor’s council tax bills
- educational certificates (unless specifically listed/required)
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