Sponsor Support and Bank Balance for Visit Visa UK

For successful UK visitor visa applications, applicants require to have sufficient bank balance to cover the trip expenses. However, at times, family members or other third party sponsor can provide the evidence of support for meeting the UK visit visa financial and accommodation requirements. Therefore, in the light of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, the post explains the details of maintenance funds (bank balance), accommodation and sponsor documents for the UK family, tourist, and business visitor visa.

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Sponsor Support for Visitor Visa UK
UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Bank Balance and Documents Requirements

In terms of Paragraph V 4.3 of Appendix V, a third party such as a family member, friend, or a business associate can sponsor visitor visa UK. Accordingly, the sponsor can provide the evidence of maintenance (bank statement) and accommodation in support of UK visit visa application.

Any other person with whom an applicant has a genuine personal or professional relationship can also act as a third-party sponsor for UK visitor visa. If the third party is in the UK, then should not be in violation of the immigration laws at the time of application. However, if the third party is in breach of the immigration rules/law, then the support will not hold sway.

Evidence of Support from Sponsor for UK Visit Visa

The evidence of support from sponsor for tourist or family visit visa relate to proof of accommodation and maintenance funds (such as bank balance) in the UK. However, a sponsor also needs to write a letter of invitation in support of the visitor visa application. The sponsorship letter for UK visit visa is an undertaking in accordance with Paragraph 35 Part 1 of the Immigration Rules.

Evidence of Support from Sponsor for Accommodation Visit Visa UK

To proof accommodation, a sponsor may furnish evidence of the residential property, where a visitor will live during the trip to the UK. The evidence could be a copy of property deed, mortgage statements, tenancy agreement, accountant’s letters, land registration document or any related document proving the details of a sponsor’s ownership or possession of the immovable property. However, the sponsor’s utility bills, and council tax bills are not necessary.

Evidence of Support from Sponsor for Maintenance Visitor Visa UK

In case the sponsor is a friend or a family member then the sponsor must demonstrate that they have ample financial and economic resources that in addition to supporting the applicant’s visit to the UK, the sponsor can support himself/herself and their dependents. In case the sponsor either fails to provide adequate evidence or there are some doubts about the sponsor’s intentions to support the applicant then the application is likely to be refused. A sponsor may also provide the latest bank or building society statements as proof of funds to show that they can maintain the visitor.

Please note, at times elderly parents living in India, Pakistan, Nigeria etc. have No Bank Account in their name to prove ready availability of funds for the proposed trip. Therefore, the evidence of funds by a sponsor is critical to demonstrate support funds required for visiting the UK.

Relationship with the Sponsor

The Immigration Officer usually gauge the relationship of the applicant with the sponsor by:

  1. the previous history of the third party of sponsoring visitors. For instance, past failures of the sponsor to support visitors may raise questions about the intentions and ability of the third party to do so for this application as well
  2. the nature of the relationship between an applicant and the third party sponsor. For instance, where the applicant and the third party first met and how frequent and by what means and ways, they communicate with each other

Non-Financial Support by a Third Party

For a UK Visit Visa Application, immigration rules only maintain the third party support for the provision of maintenance and accommodation. However, at times, third parties such as Members of Parliament provide undertakings in support of a visit visa application. Such commitment could be considered relevant for establishing an applicant’s credibility and intentions. However, these are neither considered as evidence of support for UK visa nor a guarantee that a visitor will conform to the immigration rules. Therefore, the immigration officer neither actively seek out such undertakings nor accept an offer by an applicant to provide such a commitment.

UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents – Immigration Rules

Funds, Maintenance and Accommodation provided by the Third Party (Sponsor)

V 4.3 A visitor’s travel, maintenance and accommodation may be provided by a third party where the decision maker is satisfied that they:
(a) have a genuine professional or personal relationship with the visitor and
(b) are not, or will not be, in breach of UK immigration laws at the time of decision or the visitor’s entry to the UK; and
(c) can and will provide support to the visitor for the intended duration of their stay.

V 4.4 The third party may be asked to give an undertaking in writing to be responsible for the applicant’s maintenance and accommodation. In this case paragraph 35 of Part 1 of these Rules applies also to Visitors. An applicant will normally be refused where, having been requested to do so, the applicant fails to provide a valid written undertaking from a third party to be responsible for their maintenance and accommodation for the period of any visit.

Immigration Rules Appendix V


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

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    Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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    How Much Bank Balance to Show for UK Visitor Visa?

    Tourists and family members visiting the UK need to support the expenses associated with the trip, without recourse to public funds. Therefore, applicants need to show availability of sufficient maintenance funds (such as GBP3,000-5,000 in their bank account) to cover the cost of travel, living and accommodation in the UK.

    Normally, for a single person, the minimum cost of one week’s trip is GBP 1,200-1,800/-. This includes the cost of an airline ticket. Therefore, an applicant needs to have more funds in the balance account than the estimated trip cost. For instance, if the trip cost is GBP 1,500/- then the bank balance may be higher than GBP 2,500/- during the preceding six months. However, if an applicant is travelling with a spouse, then the min balance should be GBP 4,000-5,000/- to cover the cost of tickets, travelling, living and accommodation expenses in the UK.

    Sponsor Bank Balance

    If the applicant does not have sufficient bank balance for UK visitor visa, then a family member or friend may undertake to sponsor a trip. Therefore, at times, the evidence of sponsor documents such as bank statements becomes crucial for successful visit visa application. For instance, if elderly parents have limited income or no bank account, sponsor documents and bank balance may prove critical for getting family visitor visa UK.

    If the relationship with sponsor is not remarkably close, then it is better to have sufficient bank balance in own account rather than solely relying on sponsor documents and bank statements for UK tourist or family visitor visa application.

    However, the sponsor funds for visitor visa need to agree with the immigration rules on maintenance and accommodation. Non-conformity of sponsor funds to the immigration rules may lead to application refusal. Moreover, the sponsor funds may not count in the assessment process if an applicant:

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

    Maintenance Funds

    Maintenance funds are required for UK visitor visa because an applicant needs to provide the details of accommodation and bank balance in the application form. Moreover, at the port of entry (i.e. airport), the immigration officer can ask questions relating to the whereabouts of an applicant’s accommodation and details of maintenance funds (bank balance) to cover the trip cost.

    What are the Maintenance Funds Requirements for UK Visit Visa?

    For visitor visa, applicants are not required to show any prescribed level of funds (bank balance) for maintenance and accommodation in the UK. However, an applicant needs to enclose the supporting documents such as bank statements, pay slips, tax documents, dividend vouchers etc for availability of maintenance funds for UK visit visa.

    Accordingly, these documents indicate that the visitor has sufficient funds to cover the expenses relating to the cost of living during the trip, accommodation in the UK, travelling and incidentals.

    Availability of Maintenance Funds for UK Visitor Visa

    The availability of funds for the trip should reflect in:

    1. applicant’s income
    2. financial obligations
    3. savings
    4. account turnover and origin of funds
    5. sponsor documents


    Income enables an applicant to meet the cost of the stay in the UK. The sources of revenue and income can be many such as:

    • salary
    • profits
    • dividends
    • capital gains
    • annual bonus
    • rents
    • income from agricultural produce

    An applicant may compute Net Income i.e. Gross Income minus Personal Income Tax. For instance, if the Gross Income is £1000/- per month and the tax rate is 20% then the Net Income is £800/-. Accordingly, an applicant may use the net income figure for the UK visa application form.

    Financial Obligations

    These are ongoing financial commitments/liabilities that an applicant must fulfil in the home country. Moreover, there are several types of financial obligations that an applicant is liable to fulfil such as:

    • business expenses
    • rent
    • mortgage payments
    • maintenance of dependants (spouse, children, elderly parents, relatives)

    Accordingly, the details of financial obligation are important to compute the net disposable income and savings.


    The savings, exclusive of the financial commitments, should be sufficient to meet the trip costs. Moreover, the trip expenditure should be reasonable vis-à-vis the financial circumstances of an applicant. Accordingly, savings should reflect the availability of sufficient funds for UK visa

    Account Turnover and Origin of Funds

    If funds are not held for a long duration, then one needs to provide details of the origin of funds. This is especially important for the businessperson, whose bank account balances oscillate in a wide band.

    Maintenance Funds Requirements for Child Visitor Visa UK

    A child under 18 years of age applying to come to the UK as a visitor or seeking to extend stay, is not expected to have funds in their name. They may fulfil the maintenance requirements by bank statements of their parents (or any bona fide third party).

    Immigration Rules for Sufficient Maintenance Funds

    In terms of Paragraph V 4.2(e) Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, a visitor needs to have sufficient funds for genuine intentions to visit. Therefore, a visitor should have sufficient funds and bank balance to maintain and accommodate themselves and dependants during the visit. Moreover, applicants must also have sufficient funds for the duration of an extension of stay.

    Genuine Intentions to Visit the UK
    V 4.2 The applicant must satisfy the decision maker that they are a genuine visitor. This means that the applicant:
    (e) must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.

    Immigration Rules Appendix V

    Please note, as per Paragraph V 4.23(a) of Appendix V, the visitor visa has a condition of: No Recourse to Public Funds. Therefore, an applicant only gets a UK visitor visa if they can meet the sufficient funds requirements.

    V 4.23 Visit visas, leave to enter or an extension of stay as a visitor will be subject to the following conditions:
    (a) no recourse to public funds

    Immigration Rules Appendix V

    Sponsorship Undertaking for UK Visa

    As per Paragraph 35 Part 1 of the Immigration Rules, a sponsor can provide UK Visa Sponsorship Letter to a visitor for maintenance and accommodation in the UK. However, an invitation letter by a UK sponsor to support a visit visa application is an undertaking for maintenance, accommodation, and personal care of the visitor. If the sponsor fails to provide the support, and the visitor requires public funds in the UK then the government can recover these from the sponsor.

    Please note, if a family member or a friend is writing the Invitation Letter then evidence of the sponsor’s immigration status in the UK is necessary. Therefore, the sponsor may include a copy of the British Passport or residence card with the Invitation Letter for UK visa. For a business visitor visa, the sponsor may include a formal invitation letter. The invitation on a sponsor’s business letterhead indicates the verifiable business credentials of the sponsor.

    Immigration Rules

    35. A sponsor of a person seeking leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom may be asked to give an undertaking in writing to be responsible for that person’s maintenance, accommodation and (as appropriate) personal care for the period of any leave granted, including any further variation or for a period of 5 years from date of grant where indefinite leave to enter or remain is granted. Under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and the Social Security Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, the Department of Social Security or, as the case may be, the Department of Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland, may seek to recover from the person giving such an undertaking any income support paid to meet the needs of the person in respect of whom the undertaking has been given.

    Immigration Rules Part 1: Leave to Enter or Stay in the UK