UK Visit Visa 2023: Bank Balance and Sponsor Support Requirements

To secure a UK visitor visa, applicants need a sufficient bank balance to cover trip expenses. In some cases, family members or third-party sponsors provide evidence of support to meet the UK visit visa’s financial and accommodation requirements. This article discusses the maintenance funds (bank balance), accommodation, and sponsor documents for UK family, tourist, and business visitor visas in light of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules.

Sponsor Support for Visitor Visa UK

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UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Bank Balance and Documents Requirements

Financial Requirements and Bank Balance for a UK Visitor Visa

Maintenance funds are crucial for a UK visitor visa, as applicants must provide details of accommodation and bank balance in the application form. At the port of entry, immigration officers may inquire about an applicant’s accommodation and maintenance funds (bank balance) to cover the trip cost.

Minimum Bank Balance and Proof of Funds

A critical factor for a UK Visitor Visa application is demonstrating sufficient funds to cover the entire duration of the stay. While there is no fixed minimum bank balance, it is essential to show enough funds to convince the visa officer that the applicant can cover their expenses without requiring public funds.

Tourists and family members visiting the UK should demonstrate the availability of sufficient maintenance funds (GBP 3,000-5,000 in their bank account) to cover the cost of travel, living, and accommodation in the UK. For a single person, the minimum cost of a one-week trip is approximately GBP 1,200-1,800, which includes the cost of an airline ticket. Applicants should have more funds in their bank account than the estimated trip cost.
For example, if the trip cost is GBP 1,500, the bank balance should be higher than GBP 2,500 during the preceding six months. If the applicant is traveling with a spouse, the minimum balance should be GBP 4,000-5,000 to cover the cost of tickets, travel, living, and accommodation expenses in the UK.

Role of Sponsor Bank Balance

If the applicant does not have a sufficient bank balance for a UK visitor visa, a family member or friend may undertake to sponsor the trip. In some cases, the evidence of sponsor documents such as bank statements becomes crucial for a successful visit visa application. For instance, if parents have limited income or no bank account, sponsor documents and bank balance may prove critical for obtaining a family visitor visa for the UK.
However, if the relationship with the sponsor is not remarkably close, it is better to have a sufficient bank balance in one’s own account rather than solely relying on sponsor documents and bank statements for a UK tourist or family visitor visa application.
Sponsor funds for visitor visas must comply with immigration rules on maintenance and accommodation. Non-conformity of sponsor funds to immigration rules may lead to application refusal. Additionally, sponsor funds may not be considered in the assessment process if the applicant:

  • Fails to declare third-party support in the application form
  • Is unable to show that the funds genuinely belong to the sponsor

Documentation of Funds for UK Visitor Visa

Proof of funds can include:

  1. Personal bank statements for the last six months
  2. Payslips or proof of regular income
  3. Certificates of deposit or other investment statements

It is essential to submit original bank statements or certified copies. Electronic statements should be stamped and signed by the bank.

Requirements for Maintenance Funds

Applicants are not required to show a prescribed level of funds (bank balance) for maintenance and accommodation in the UK. However, they should enclose supporting documents, such as bank statements, pay slips, tax documents, and dividend vouchers, to demonstrate the availability of maintenance funds for a UK visit visa. These documents indicate that the visitor has sufficient funds to cover the expenses related to living costs during the trip, accommodation in the UK, traveling, and incidentals.

Assessing the Availability of Maintenance Funds

The availability of funds for the trip should reflect in:

  • Applicant’s income
  • Financial obligations
  • Savings
  • Account turnover and origin of funds
  • Sponsor documents

Factors Influencing the Availability of Maintenance Funds for UK Visitor Visa

The availability of funds for the trip should reflect in:

  1. Applicant’s income: Various sources of revenue and income can include salary, profits, dividends, capital gains, annual bonuses, rents, or income from agricultural produce. Applicants may compute their Net Income (Gross Income minus Personal Income Tax). For instance, if the Gross Income is £1000 per month and the tax rate is 20%, the Net Income is £800. Applicants can use the net income figure for the UK visa application form.
  2. Financial obligations: These are ongoing financial commitments or liabilities that an applicant must fulfill in their home country. Financial obligations can include business expenses, rent, mortgage payments, or maintenance of dependants (spouse, children, parents, relatives). Details of financial obligations are crucial for computing net disposable income and savings.
  3. Savings: Exclusive of financial commitments, savings should be sufficient to meet trip costs. The trip expenditure should be reasonable in relation to the financial circumstances of an applicant. Savings should reflect the availability of sufficient funds for a UK visa.
  4. Account turnover and origin of funds: If funds are not held for a long duration, applicants must provide details of the origin of funds. This is especially important for businesspeople whose bank account balances fluctuate widely.
  5. Sponsor documents: Bank statements for the last 6 months, for example.

Maintenance Funds Requirements for Child Visitor Visa UK

A child under 18 years of age applying for a UK visitor visa or seeking to extend their stay is not expected to have funds in their name. They can fulfill maintenance requirements with their parents’ bank statements (or any bona fide third party).

Immigration Rules for Sufficient Maintenance Funds

According to Paragraph V 4.2(e) Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, a visitor must have sufficient funds for genuine intentions to visit. Visitors should have enough funds and bank balance to maintain and accommodate themselves and dependents during the visit. They must also have sufficient funds for the duration of an extension of stay.
As per Paragraph V 4.23(a) of Appendix V, the visitor visa has a condition of “No Recourse to Public Funds.” Applicants will only get a UK visitor visa if they can meet the sufficient funds requirements.

UK Visitor Visa Funds Requirements and Sponsor Documents
UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents

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    Sponsorship and Support for UK Visitor Visa

    When applying for a UK visitor visa, having a sponsor in the UK, such as a friend or family member, can strengthen the application. The sponsor must provide documents proving their relationship with the applicant and their ability to support the applicant during the visit.

    Providing a Sponsor Letter for UK Visitor Visa

    A sponsor letter should include the following information:

    1. The sponsor’s full name, date of birth, and contact details
    2. Their relationship with the applicant
    3. The length and purpose of the visit
    4. Confirmation of the sponsor’s willingness to accommodate and/or financially support the applicant
    5. Any relevant details about the sponsor’s immigration status in the UK

    Submitting a UK Visa Sponsor Bank Statement

    The sponsor must also provide a bank statement covering the last six months, demonstrating their ability to support the applicant. This statement should show a stable financial position and include details of regular income and savings.

    Other Sponsor Documents for UK Visitor Visa

    Additional sponsor documents may include:

    1. Proof of the sponsor’s legal status in the UK, such as a copy of their passport or residence permit
    2. Evidence of the sponsor’s accommodation, such as a mortgage statement, rental agreement, or council tax bill

    Evaluating the Relationship between the Applicant and the Sponsor

    The Immigration Officer evaluates the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor based on:

    • The sponsor’s previous history of sponsoring visitors. Past failures to support visitors might raise questions about the sponsor’s intentions and ability to support the current application.
    • The nature of the relationship between the applicant and the sponsor, including where and how they first met and the frequency and means of their communication.

    Considering Non-Financial Support from Third Parties

    While UK Visit Visa Application rules only mention third-party support for maintenance and accommodation, non-financial support from third parties, such as Members of Parliament, may be considered relevant for establishing the applicant’s credibility and intentions. However, such support is not considered evidence of support for a UK visa, nor a guarantee that the visitor will conform to immigration rules.

    Understanding UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents: Immigration Rules

    The specific rules governing third-party support for UK Visitor Visas can be found in Paragraphs V 4.3 and V 4.4 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. These paragraphs outline the conditions under which a third party can provide support for a visitor’s travel, maintenance, and accommodation, as well as the potential requirement for a written undertaking from the third party.

    Providing a Sponsorship Undertaking for UK Visa

    As per Paragraph 35 Part 1 of the Immigration Rules, a sponsor can provide a UK Visa Sponsorship Letter to a visitor for maintenance and accommodation in the UK. The invitation letter from a UK sponsor serves as an undertaking for maintenance, accommodation, and personal care of the visitor. If the sponsor fails to provide the necessary support and the visitor requires public funds in the UK, the government can recover these from the sponsor.

    Verifying the Sponsor’s Immigration Status

    When a family member or friend writes an invitation letter, evidence of the sponsor’s immigration status in the UK is necessary. The sponsor may include a copy of their British Passport or residence card with the Invitation Letter for the UK visa. For a business visitor visa, the sponsor may provide a formal invitation letter on their business letterhead, indicating the verifiable business credentials of the sponsor.

    Documents Required for UK Visitor Visa Application

    In addition to the financial and sponsor documents, other required documents for a UK Visitor Visa application include:

    1. A valid passport or travel document
    2. A recent color passport-sized photograph
    3. Evidence of planned travel arrangements, such as flight bookings or an itinerary
    4. Proof of accommodation in the UK, such as hotel reservations or a sponsor’s invitation letter
    5. Any additional documents required depending on the applicant’s circumstances, such as employment or student status

    Sample Invitation Letter for Sponsorship

    [Sponsor’s Full Name]
    [Sponsor’s Street Address]
    [City, Postal Code]

    Entry Clearance Officer
    [UK Visa Application Centre Address]
    [City, Postal Code]

    Subject: Invitation Letter for [Visitor’s Full Name] – UK Visitor Visa

    Dear Entry Clearance Officer,

    I, [Sponsor’s Full Name], am writing to formally invite my [relationship to the visitor, e.g., friend or family member], [Visitor’s Full Name], to visit me in the United Kingdom for [duration of the visit, e.g., two weeks] from [start date] to [end date]. I am excited for them to experience the beautiful sights and sounds of [city/region] and spend some quality time together.

    During their stay, [Visitor’s Full Name] will be accommodated at my residence, located at [Sponsor’s full address]. I will be responsible for their living expenses, including accommodation, food, and any other costs associated with their stay.

    Please find attached a copy of my passport, proof of address, and bank statements as evidence of my financial ability to support [Visitor’s Full Name]’s visit. I understand that this letter and the attached documents will be used for their UK visitor visa application.

    I assure you that [Visitor’s Full Name] will abide by the UK’s immigration rules and return to [Visitor’s Country] upon the completion of their visit.

    If you require any further information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me at [Sponsor’s phone number] or [Sponsor’s email address].

    Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Warm regards,

    [Sponsor’s Full Name]

    Frequently Asked Questions

    UK Visitor Visa: Key points

    Q1: How long does it take to process a UK Visitor Visa application?

    A: The processing time for a UK Visitor Visa application may vary depending on the applicant’s nationality and the country where the application is submitted. Generally, it takes 3-4 weeks, but it can take longer during peak seasons or if additional documentation is required.

    Q2: Can I extend my UK Visitor Visa while in the UK?

    A: In most cases, you cannot extend your UK Visitor Visa unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as medical treatment or a family emergency. Visitors are usually granted a maximum stay of six months.

    Q3: Can I work or study on a UK Visitor Visa?

    A: UK Visitor Visas do not permit employment or long-term study. If you intend to work or study in the UK, you must apply for

    Q4: Do I need to have a confirmed return ticket before applying for a UK Visitor Visa?

    A: While it’s not mandatory to have a confirmed return ticket before applying, having one can strengthen your application. It demonstrates your intention to leave the UK at the end of your visit.

    Q5: Is it possible to apply for a UK Visitor Visa with a sponsor who is not a family member?

    A: Yes, you can apply for a UK Visitor Visa with a sponsor who is not a family member. However, you must provide documents to show your genuine relationship with the sponsor and their ability to support you financially during your visit.

    Q6: How much bank balance is required for a UK Visitor Visa?

    A: There is no specific amount of bank balance required for a UK Visitor Visa. However, applicants should have enough funds to cover their expenses during their stay in the UK, including accommodation, travel, and incidentals. The bank balance should reflect a genuine intention to visit and the ability to support oneself without recourse to public funds.

    Q7: What are the requirements for a sponsor’s bank statement in a UK Visitor Visa application?

    A: A sponsor’s bank statement should cover the last 6 months, showing consistent and sufficient income to support the visitor’s stay in the UK. It should also demonstrate a stable financial situation and the sponsor’s ability to fulfill their undertaking to provide maintenance and accommodation.

    Q8: How do I prove a genuine relationship with my sponsor?

    A: To prove a genuine relationship with your sponsor, you can provide documents such as correspondence, evidence of previous visits or meetings, and any other documents that show the nature of your relationship. If the sponsor is a family member or a friend, you can include photographs, social media interactions, or letters from both parties, detailing the relationship and reasons for the visit.

    Q9: Can my sponsor cover all my expenses for the UK Visitor Visa?

    A: Yes, a sponsor can cover all your expenses for your UK visit, including maintenance and accommodation. However, it’s crucial to provide evidence of the sponsor’s financial capacity, such as bank statements, payslips, or tax documents, and the sponsor’s undertaking to support you during your stay in the UK.


    Understanding the UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents and Bank Balance requirements is crucial for a successful application. By preparing and submitting all the necessary financial and sponsorship documents, applicants can improve their chances of obtaining a UK Visitor or Tourist Visa. Moreover, by fulfilling the maintenance funds, accommodation, and sponsor document requirements under Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, applicants can increase their chances of obtaining a UK Visitor Visa for family, tourist, or business purposes.

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