An individual who needs a visa to come to the UK as a visitor must have sufficient funds in order to cover reasonable costs for their visit. Nick Gore takes a look at this requirement.
When making an application for a visa to visit the UK, an applicant must meet several key requirements that are contained in Appendix V of the Immigration Rules (HC395, as amended). These include satisfying the Home Office that they are a ‘genuine visitor’ and that they intend to leave the UK at their end of their visit – we looked at those provisions here.
Under Appendix V, the applicant must also satisfy the Home Office that they have ‘sufficient funds’ in relation to:
‘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’.
Unfortunately, failure to demonstrate this requirement can lead to a refusal of a visit visa application. We cover some of the most common reasons for refusal here.
As set out in the Home Office visit visa guidance, there is no minimum level of funds that applicants need demonstrate, unlike the spouse and partner visa requirements. However, the Home Office increasingly expects a large number of documents detailing both how the applicant intends to finance their stay in the UK, as well as the source of these funds.
Every application is different, depending on the applicant’s lifestyle, background and the activities they intend to undertake in the UK. We have therefore explored the most common ways of meeting this requirement below.
Evidence of regular earnings from employment can be helpful, as demonstrated by payslips and also bank statements that show the salary entering the applicant’s bank account. It is also useful to have a letter from the employer confirming the salary, when the salary is paid, how the salary is paid as well as details regarding the applicant’s role.
Applicants should ensure if they submit evidence of employment, this shows that they earn enough to be able to afford their visit to the UK.
Non-employment sources of income
If the applicant has other sources of income, such as dividends, proceeds from rent or a pension, this must be clearly demonstrated.
Evidence of the money entering the bank account should be provided, as well as any documentary evidence of the source of the funds, such as share and rental agreements or a letter from the pension provider. Ideally this will show a history of regular payments, and indicate that payments should continue. If evidence of a business is being provided, documents which demonstrate the business’ profits and activity may also be considered.
If the applicant has amassed savings for the trip, through employment or otherwise, this should be demonstrated. Bank statements showing the amount of money available, and the source should be provided. If the money has been provided from another person, this may amount to third party support.
Third party support
It is possible for a third party to pay for the applicant’s visit to the UK. Appendix V confirms that a third party can provide support providing the Home Office 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.
The third party can be a family member or friend, or an organisation or colleague professionally connected to the applicant. They should provide evidence of their relationship with the applicant, such as birth certificates, or a letter from the organisation or colleague regarding how they know the applicant and details of their trip. It may also be helpful to provide evidence of how well the applicant and third party know each other, such as pictures or evidence of communication.
If a third party is providing support, they will also have to provide an undertaking, and they should be aware of the responsibility of this. The Home Office may consider the third party’s history of providing support as well as their immigration status.
The source of income of the third party should also be provided, and if the third party is an individual there should be sufficient evidence that they can support themselves as well as the applicant and any dependants.
Home Office assessment
The Home Office will also consider the financial commitments of any applicant and their dependants, and potentially the third party’s outgoings. Ideally, the main financial commitments of the applicant will be demonstrated and shown to be less than the applicant’s source of income or savings.
It may also be helpful to outline and demonstrate the main financial costs of the visit to the UK, and if these are particularly unusual strong evidence must be provided.
How we can help
We have significant experience in assisting individuals with complex circumstances or who have previously received a refusal to make successful visit visa applications.
If you require advice on an application for a UK visit visa one of our team would be happy to have an initial discussion and can be contacted here.