Here is How You Can Prove that You are a Genuine UK Visitor
“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.”
– Mother Teresa
If you want to visit the UK and your country is on the Visa National List (CHECK HERE if it is), you’ll need to apply for entry clearance (visa) to travel to the UK.
3 Main Requirements
When you apply, you’ll need to meet 3 main requirements:
- The validity requirement.
In other words, you’ll need to follow the correct procedure when submitting your application.
- The suitability requirements.
Here you’ll need to persuade the decision-maker that you are of good character.
- The eligibility requirements.
These are unique features of the application.
The most common refusals are on eligibility grounds. The heart of the eligibility requirement is the genuine visitor requirement.
The Genuine Visitor Requirement
How can you prove that you meet the genuine visitor requirement?
The Home Office identified 4 main criteria for assessing this element.
The decision-maker will need to believe that you:
(a) will leave the UK at the end of their visit; and
(b) will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home; and
(c) are genuinely seeking entry or stay for a purpose that is permitted under the visitor route; and
(d) will not undertake any of the prohibited activities; and
(e) have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit without working or accessing public funds, including the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to your dependants, and the cost of planned activities in the UK.
3rd Party Support
If someone else will be paying for your stay in the UK, they’ll also be assessing if:
(a) you have a genuine professional or personal relationship with that 3rd party; and
(b) this 3rd party will have a right to remain in the UK when you travel; and
(c) they are financially credible and can and will support you in the UK.
These requirements are more or less straightforward, isn’t it? Then why the decision-makers may doubt that you are a genuine visitor?
3 Reasons for Doubting that You are a Genuine Visitor
There are 3 main reasons for doubting that you are a genuine visitor:
- Weak ties to your country of origin
- Unclear intentions
- Adverse immigration history
Let us have a closer look at these reasons and also identify possible solutions.
Reason No1: Weak Ties
If you have weak ties to your country of origin, the decision-maker may be concerned that you have no intention to go back to your country of origin.
This may happen when:
- several of your family members live in the UK
- you have no job, and you don’t study
- no family
- you are young/old
- you don’t study
- you do not have any properties or other assets
How to Avoid This?
How can you strengthen your application under these circumstances? If you are not married, but you are in a long-term relationship –do provide this information to the Home Office.
If you are in the process of finding a new job, your chances for succeeding in your UK visitors application will skyrocket if you apply after you have found a job.
If you look after close or non-close family members, who rely on you daily, get statements from them confirming this.
Reason No2: Unclear Intentions
The decision-maker may doubt your intentions if there are discrepancies in the information provided by you, the 3rd party, your employer, your relatives etc.
Also, the decision-makers may refuse your application if they could not verify the information you provided. For example, this may happen when you provided details about your employment, but the decision-maker could not contact your employer because the telephone number they left was incorrect.
There may be circumstances when searching your baggage at the border reveals items that demonstrate your intention to work (e.g. tools).
How to Avoid This?
The best way to prove your genuine intention is to write a letter in support of the application. In this letter, you’ll need to clearly explain what you intend to do in the UK.
If, when searching your baggage, immigration officers found some tools, but you took them only to assist your relative with renovating their bathroom – you should explain this to the Immigration officer.
Reason No3: Adverse Immigration History
Perhaps, one of the most surprising things here is that not only your adverse immigration history can negatively affect the outcome of your UK visitor application. Your relatives, friends and 3rd parties may fly into the Home Office’s radar too.
If any of the parties above (including you) attempted to or deceived the Home Office in a previous application for entry clearance, permission to enter or stay, the application may be refused.
Also, if you already applied for UK Visitors visa before and this attempt was unsuccessful, this may also negatively impact your application.
How to Avoid This?
Although you can avoid the first two reasons for refusal by taking preventive measures, with reason No3 – you cannot do much. With adverse immigration history and dishonesty/credibility issues, the application gets unpredictable.
If your previous UK Visitors application was refused – you’ll need to explain how your current application is different and why you meet the requirements this time.
In all other cases, the best way to avoid the refusal on adverse immigration history grounds is to gather as much evidence as possible to make your application bulletproof.
The Bigger Picture
Have you seen the rope? It is thick and impossible to tear. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll note that it consists of dozen little ropes, which, if separated, are very fragile and easy to break.
This is precisely how visa applications work. Tiny little steps that you take to strengthen the application will help you prepare a solid, structured visa application, which will be impossible to refuse.