This guidance relates to UK visitor visa sponsor documents, sufficient financial requirements (bank balance) and proof of accommodation. Accordingly, in the light of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, explains the details of sufficient maintenance funds (bank balance), accommodation proof and sponsor documents for the UK family, tourist and business visitor visa.
UK Visitor Visa Maintenance Funds Requirements
Certainly, tourists and family visitors need to support the expenses associated with the trip, without recourse to public funds. However, at times, a family member or friend may also undertake to sponsor a trip. Accordingly, the UK visa sponsor documents should cover the cost of travel, living and accommodation. Moreover, the sponsor documents may prove critical for meeting the UK family visitor visa financial requirements, especially if family members like parents have a limited income or no bank account.
Why Sufficient Funds for UK Visa are important?
Indeed, for initial and any extension applications, an applicant needs to provide the details of accommodation and maintenance funds 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 also details of maitenance funds to cover the trip cost.
UK Visa Maintenance Funds Immigration Rules
In terms of Paragraph V 4.2(e) Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, a visitor needs to have sufficient funds for manifesting genuine intentions to visit. Therefore, an applicant must have ready access to sufficient funds and bank balance to maintain and accommodate himself/herself and dependants adequately 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.
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 he/she is able to 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
How to Meet the UK Visitor Visa Maintenance Funds Requirements?
Indeed, applicants are not required to show any prescribed level of funds (bank balance) for their maintenance and accommodation. However, an applicant needs to enclose the supporting documents such as:
- bank statements
- tax documents
- dividend vouchers
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
How to Calculate the UK visitor visa funds requirements?
The availability of funds for the trip should reflect in:
- applicant’s income
- financial obligations
- account turnover and origin of funds
- 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:
- capital gains
- annual bonus
- 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.
2. Financial Obligations
These are ongoing financial commitments/liabilities that an applicant has to fulfil in the home country. Moreover, there are various types of financial obligations that an applicant is liable to fulfil such as:
- business expenses
- 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
4. 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.
5. UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Bank Balance
Indeed, the sponsor funds for visitor visa need to be in agreement 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
How Much Bank Balance to Show for Visitor Visa?
Normally, for a single person, the minimum cost of one week’s trip is approximately 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/- so as to cover the cost of tickets, travelling, living and accommodation expenses in the UK.
Children under 18 Years of Age
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 his/her name. They may fulfil the maintenance requirements by showing access to funds from their parents or a bona fide third party. An unaccompanied child, at the border, may be asked for source/evidence of maintenance and accommodation during the trip to the UK.
UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents Requirements
In terms of Paragraph V 4.3 of Appendix V, a third party such as a family member, friend, a business associate can provide for maintenance and accommodation in support of a visit visa application. Moreover, any other person with whom an applicant has a genuine personal or professional relationship can also act as a third-party sponsor. If the third party is in the UK then should not be in violation of the immigration laws at the time of application submission and its assessment. However, if the third party is in breach of the immigration rules/law, then the support will not hold sway.
Accordingly, UK visitor visa sponsor documents mainly relate to proof of accommodation and sponsor bank balance. Moreover, a sponsor also needs to write a letter of invitation for the proposed trip. Indeed, the sponsorship letter is essentially an undertaking in accordance with Paragraph 35 Part 1 of the Immigration Rules.
What Documents Do I Need to Invite Someone to the UK?
If a family member or a friend is inviting then evidence of the sponsor’s immigration status in the UK is necessary. Accordingly, the sponsor may include a copy of the British Passport or residence card in the documents. Moreover, 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.
UK Visa Sponsor Documents for Proof of Accommodation
In order 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.
UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Bank Balance
In case the sponsor is a friend or a family member then the sponsor must demonstrate that he/she has ample financial and economic resources that in addition to supporting the applicant’s visit to the UK, the sponsor can adequately support himself/herself and his/her 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 he/she can maintain the visitor.
Please note, at times elderly parents living in India, Pakistan, Nigeria etc. have No Bank Account in their name so as 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.
Establishing Genuine Relationship with the Third Party Sponsor
Perhaps, this can be gauged by:
- the previous history of the third party of ‘sponsoring’ visitors. For instance, past failures to support visitors may raise questions about the intentions and ability of the third party to do so for this application as well
- the nature of the relationship between an applicant and the third party. 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 Member Parliaments provide undertakings in support of a visit visa application. Such commitment could be considered relevant for establishing an applicant’s credibility and intentions, but these are neither considered as evidence of funds nor a guarantee that a visitor will conform to the immigration rules. Moreover, the immigration officer neither actively seek out such undertakings nor accept an offer by an applicant to provide such a commitment.
Immigration Rules for UK Visitor Visa Sponsor Documents
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.
Sponsorship Undertaking (aka UK Visa Invitation Letter)
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.
Sponsor Undertaking for UK Visa
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.
Under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 the Home Office may seek to recover from the person giving such an undertaking amounts attributable to any support provided under section 95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (support for asylum seekers) to, or in respect of, the person in respect of whom the undertaking has been given. Failure by the sponsor to maintain that person in accordance with the undertaking, may also be an offence under section 105 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and/or under section 108 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 if, as a consequence, asylum support and/or income support is provided to, or in respect of, that person.