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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents/guide-to-supporting-documents-visiting-the-uk
To visit the UK, you need to show that you’re a genuine visitor.
You can do this by providing evidence that:
- you’re coming to do a permitted activity – see Appendix Visitor: Permitted Activities
- you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit
- you’re able to support yourself and any dependants for the duration of your trip
- you’re able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
All documents, apart from passports, can be originals, scans or photocopies.
If you submit a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. Each translation must contain:
- confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
- the date of translation
- the translator’s full name and signature
- the translator’s contact details
You do not need to provide multiple copies of the same documents if you’re applying as a family or group at the same time.
If you’re applying to visit the UK as part of a Chinese tour group, you should read the specific guidance for ADS visitors.
Submitting or presenting any of the documents listed below does not guarantee that your application for a visit visa or entry at the border will be successful. You should bear this in mind when making any bookings, particularly if you need to apply for a visitor visa.
1. Travel document (passport)
You must provide your current passport or other valid travel document with all applications and when travelling to the UK.
Some passport holders may need to provide alternative evidence of their identity and nationality.
Your passport must have at least 1 page blank if you use it to apply for a visa.
2. Demonstrating personal circumstances
If you are intending to visit the UK you will need to show that you are a genuine visitor who is coming to the UK to undertake a permitted activity, that you will leave at the end of your visit and that you have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit.
It is recommended that you provide information about your circumstances in your home country and details of the activity that you will be doing in the UK.
The following provides information about the types of documents that you might want to provide to help us consider your application against the Immigration Rules for Visitors (Appendix V: Visitor). This list is not exhaustive.
- if you are coming to the UK to do activities relating to your employment or study outside the UK (e.g. attending business meetings or performing as a musician, taking part in an educational exchange), you may want to provide documents detailing:
- what you will be doing in the UK, the reason for your visit and whether any costs are being met, including any letters from inviting or sending organisations
- circumstances in your home country, including documents that demonstrate your employment or student status, such as
- a letter from your employer on company headed paper, detailing your role, salary and length of employment
- a letter from your education provider, on headed paper, confirming your enrolment and leave of absence
- business registration documents or recent invoices that confirm on-going self-employment
- previous travel documents/passports, which show previous travel
- confirmation of legal residence, if you are not a national of the country in which you are applying or your right to reside there is not included in your passport
- financial documents showing that you have sufficient funds available. These must clearly show that you have access to the funds, such as:
- bank statements
- building society books
- proof of earnings, such as a letter from employer confirming employment details (start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details)
3. If you’re a child (under 18)
You should show a legal document showing the relationship between you and at least 1 of your parents or guardians, for example a birth certificate or adoption papers.
You should show a copy of the photo page of at least 1 parent’s or guardian’s passport, including their signature and passport number, if they’re not also applying for a visa.
If your parent or guardian does not have a passport, you should provide another official document that includes their signature.
3.1 If you’re not travelling with your parent or guardian
You should provide additional documents to show that your parent or guardian is aware of your travel plans and that they give you permission to enter the UK. Your application may be refused if you don’t.
You should provide a signed letter from your parent or guardian confirming your travel arrangements, including:
- your parent or guardian’s consent for you to travel to the UK
- who’s travelling with you – you’ll need to provide their passport number if they’re an adult
- who’ll look after you while you’re in the UK
- how you’ll travel to the UK
4. If you have a sponsor
If someone else (your sponsor) is providing your travel, maintenance or accommodation you should provide evidence showing:
- what support is being provided and whether it extends to any dependent family
- how this support is being provided
- the relationship between you and the sponsor, for example if they’re your family member or your employer)
- the person supporting you is legally in the UK (if applicable), for example if they have a British passport or residence document
5. Visiting for training, research or paid engagements
5.1 Academics coming to undertake research (12-month visa)
You should show that you’re highly qualified and working in your field at an academic or higher education institution. For example, you could provide:
- a letter from your employer including the period of your sabbatical, exchange or outlining the research to be undertaken
- a letter from the UK host organisation confirming the arrangements for your research or exchange
You should check if you need a TB test.
You should check if your family members need a TB test if you’re bringing them to the UK with you.
5.2 Performers at one or more permit-free festivals
You may want to provide a letter of invitation from the organisers of each event, including the dates of your performances and details of any payments you’ll receive.
5.3 Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test and Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) test
You’ll need to provide a letter from the General Medical Council or Nursing and Midwifery Council confirming your test.
5.4 Work-related training – unpaid clinical attachments and dental observer posts
You’ll need to provide confirmation of your offer to undertake a clinical attachment or dental observer post, that it involves no treatment of patients and that you’ve not previously undertaken this activity in the UK.
5.5 Permitted Paid Engagements
You’ll need to provide an invitation letter showing why you’re carrying out the engagement and how long it’s for from a relevant UK-based organisation, such as:
- a Higher Education institution
- an organisation in the creative arts or entertainment industries
- a sports organisation, agent or broadcaster
- a research organisation
- an aviation training organisation regulated by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority
- a client, if you are a lawyer
You should provide evidence of professional status in your home country or expertise, depending on the engagement.
5.6 Lecturers or examiners
You can provide:
- the names or details of your publications in your field of expertise
- dates and times of lectures you’ve given in that field
- a letter from your employer confirming where you work and your area of expertise
5.7 Entertainers/artists/sports people
You can provide:
- dates and times of performances, screenings, concerts, talks, readings and exhibitions
- details of any awards you’ve received
- proof of recent performances
5.8 Air pilot examiners
You should provide evidence showing you’ve been invited by an approved training organisation. They must be based in the UK and regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
You’ll need to provide evidence that you’re a qualified lawyer, for example a practising certificate or equivalent document.
You should also show you’ve been invited to represent a client in the UK court, for example confirmation of your right to audience, or ‘temporary call’ (where required).
6. Visiting for private medical treatment
6.1 Private Medical Treatment
You’ll need to provide a letter written by a doctor or consultant, that includes:
- details of the condition requiring consultation or treatment
- estimated cost and likely duration of any treatment
- details of where the consultation or treatment will take place.
You should check if you need a TB test if you’re applying for an 11 month visa.
If you’re applying to extend your stay in the UK to receive private medical treatment you must show:
- a letter explaining your medical condition from a registered medical practitioner
- you’ve met the costs of the treatment you’ve already received
6.2 Organ donors
You’ll need to provide a letter from either the lead nurse of the transplant team or a GMC-registered specialist, dated no more than 3 months before you intend to arrive in the UK, confirming:
- you’re a confirmed match to the recipient with whom you have a genetic or close personal relationship, or you’re being tested to determine whether you are a potential donor
- when and where the transplant or tests will take place
You should show the intended recipient is legally resident in the UK, such as a copy of their British passport or residence permit. You should provide the intended recipient’s name, nationality and date of birth if they are not legally resident in the UK and are applying for a visa at the same time.
7. Visiting for your marriage or civil partnership
You must apply for a marriage or civil partnership visitor visa to enter the UK to marry, form a civil partnership, or give notice of this, unless you‘re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to apply for a marriage or civil partnership visitor visa to enter the UK to marry, form a civil partnership after 1 July 2021.
You should provide evidence that you intend to give notice, marry or form a civil partnership, for example an appointment confirmation with a registrar or booking confirmation for your reception. If you’ve been married or in a civil partnership before, you should provide documents to show that you are free to marry or form a civil partnership.
You must be over 18.
8. Passing through the UK in transit
You should provide evidence that:
- your outward journey from the UK has been confirmed and is within 48 hours of arrival, for example travel booking confirmation
- you can enter the country you’re travelling to, for example a valid visa or residence permit
9. Documents you should not use as evidence
Some types of documents are less useful as evidence in visit applications. These include:
- bank statements or letters issued more than 1 year before the date of application
- credit card statements
- driving licence
- educational certificates that are not listed as required for your visa
- evidence of car ownership
- personal photographs
- notarial certificates
- business cards
- hotel bookings
- flight bookings (unless transiting)
- photocopies of bank cards
- certificates relating to leisure activities, for example sports trophies
- travel insurance
- sponsor’s utility bills
- sponsor’s council tax bills
You may be asked to provide additional information by a decision maker.