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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Columnist: Acheampong, Emmanuel Opoku

The UK visit visa: What Documents Must I Submit With My Application?

Introduction
The supporting documents for visitors are divided into four different sections. Section 1 is documents you must submit with your application. Section 2 is documents you may submit with your application. Section 3 is documents you must submit with your application if you are applying for a specific type of visa. Section 4 is documents you must not submit with your application unless you are specifically requested to do so.

You must provide original copies of all documents and not photocopies. However, submitting all required documents will not guarantee that a visa will be issued. It is for the officer to examine your documents and assess whether on the evidence you meet the requirements.

Documents You Must Submit With Your Application
Documents you must submit with your application are a valid passport or other travel document and one passport-sized photograph. In practice, your application will normally not be accepted without them.

Documents You May Submit with your application
These are documents you may submit with your application to show that you meet the requirements for the visa. They are not mandatory. However, you are unlikely to be granted a visa if you fail to provide them. For example, you may provide financial documents to show that you have sufficient funds to maintain yourself for the duration of your stay. Though not mandatory, your failure to provide them may cause the officer to refuse your application since they will be unable to assess your ability to maintain yourself in the UK.

For example, you may provide evidence of previous travel in the form of previous passport or other travel document, financial documents in the form of bank statements, proof of earnings such as a letter from your employer showing start date of employment, salary, role, and company contact details. If your friend or relative in the UK is providing you with financial support, they must provide documents to show they have sufficient resources to support you in addition to themselves and any dependant.

If you are employed, you must provide documents of your employment including a letter from your employer on company headed paper, detailing your role, salary and length of employment. If you are a student you must provide a letter from your school on headed paper confirming your enrolment and leave of absence. If you are self-employed, you must provide registration documents of your business showing your name as the business owner and the date the business started trading.

If your reason for visiting the UK is to to undertake activities relating to your occupation or employment, you must provide documents showing what you will be doing in the UK, including any letters from inviting organisations, a letter from your employer outlining the reason for your visit, who you will be meeting and details of any payment or expenses.

Additional Requirements for Specific Types of Visas
These are documents you must submit with your application if you are applying for a specific type of visa. For example, if you are applying for private medical treatment, you must provide a letter from your doctor or consultant in the UK showing details of the condition requiring treatment or consultation, estimated costs and likely duration of treatment, and details of where the treatment or consultation will take place.

Documents You Must Not submit with your Application
These are documents you must not submit unless you are specifically requested to do so. These includes bank statements or letters issued more than 1 year before the date of your application, driving license, photographs (other than passport-sized photographs), notarial certificates, business cards, hotel bookings, flight bookings, photocopies of bank cards and credit card statements. In addition you must not submit evidence of car ownership, travel insurance, sponsor’s utility bills and educational certificates. If you are applying as a family or group you do not need to provide multiple copies of the same documents.

Though hotel booking is listed among the documents you must not submit with your booking, we will encourage you to submit one if you propose to stay in a hotel or other lodging facility.

By Emmanuel Opoku Acheampong

Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on UK immigration law. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information. The writer is an Immigration law advisor and a practicing law attorney in Ghana. He advises on U.S., UK, and Schengen immigration law. He works part-time for Acheampong & Associates Ltd, an immigration law firm in Accra. He may be contacted on acheampongassociatesgh@gmail.com