Common pitfalls to avoid when applying for a UK Visitor Visa

  1. Applying for the correct type of visitor visa:

There are various types of visit visas that are most commonly used to enter the UK. The below are some of the most frequently used:

  • Standard Visitor visa – You can enter the UK as a standard visitor if you wish to visit family, for tourism, to attend business meetings etc. This visa is valid for up to 6 months.
  • Marriage Visitor visa – the marriage visitor visa has been designed for individuals who wish to visit the UK to marry or form a civil partnership, or give notice of a marriage or civil partnership, in the UK. This visa does not allow you to switch into a spouse visa in country.
  • Permitted paid engagement visa – You may be able to visit the UK for a paid engagement if you have been invited as an expert in your profession.
  • Transit visitor: Applicable for those who want to transit the UK on route to another country outside the Common Travel Area and who will enter the UK for up to 48 hours by crossing the UK border unless Appendix Visitor: Transit Without Visa Scheme applies.
  1. Failure to disclose previous immigration refusals or failure to disclose a material fact of your case. Submitting documents that are fake or false.

You need to ensure that your application has been accurately filled and you have disclosed all material facts. You must disclose previous immigration refusal if any. You must also disclose any civil or criminal convictions. If you fail to disclose a fact and the mistake is interpreted by officials as an attempt to mislead or deceive, the application will inevitably be refused. It will also lead to a ten-year ban on re-entry to the UK.

Some individuals use fake or fraudulent documents to support their visa application. The Home Office have been trained to spot such deception and will most likely pick up on it. The application will be refused if a false document was submitted, irrespective of whether the applicant knew that it was a false document.If the entry clearance officer finds that the applicant knew the document submitted was false and he has therefore used deception in the application, the application will be refused, and a 10-year ban will be issued.

  1. Submitting incorrect or incomplete set of documents:

It is important that you provide the Home Office with the correct evidence to prove that you are eligible for a visit visa. You must provide sufficient documents to evidence the below, however, please note that this is not case specific and further documents might be required based on your individual circumstances:

  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself or any dependants during your stay in the UK (without having recourse to public funds)
  • You have every intention of leaving the UK at the end of your visit and do not plan to stay for longer than six months
  • Proof of the activities that you intend to undertake during your stay
  • You can afford your travel to the UK, or your sponsor can afford to pay for your travel
  • Invitation or support letters from friends or family members who you will be visiting

It is important that you submit as many documents as you can strengthen your application and to prove that you have a genuine intention of visiting the UK and leaving at the end of the trip.

If you have had a previous refusal, it is always best to address the same in a cover letter and provide a detailed explanation of your situation and your intentions. It might be best to seek legal advice if you have a complex immigration history, have previous refusals, or have had a criminal conviction.

  1. Insufficient proof of your financial circumstances

It is important that you submit relevant documents to prove that you are able to support yourself during your stay in the UK. These must clearly show that you have access to the funds, such as:

  • bank statements
  • proof of earnings such as a letter from employer confirming employment details (start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details)
  • where a third party (who is either in the UK or who will be legally in the UK at the time of your visit) is providing financial support to you e.g.,a business, a friend or a relative, documents to show they have sufficient resources to support you in addition to themselves and any dependant family should be provided Confirmation of legal residence

Details of employment or studies where you have stated in your application that you are either employed or in full-time studies.

  • 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 enrollment and leave of absence

If self-employed: business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date the business started trading.

Business activities – where you are coming to the UK in order to undertake activities relating to your occupation/employment outside the UK you should submit documents showing what you will be doing in the UK, including any letters from inviting organisations.

For example,any business activities, e.g. Letter from your employer outlining the reason for your visit, who you will be meeting and details of any payment/expenses.

Many individuals make the mistake of transferring funds from other sources into their bank account just before the application submission without a legitimate explanation of where the funds have originated. This creates doubt in the mind of the entry clearance officer and they will doubt the source of the funds leading to a refusal.

  1. Unclear travel itinerary/ plans

Flight or a Travel Itinerary for Visa Application is not an actual air ticket that you spend money for, without being sure that your visa will not be denied. A Travel Itinerary for you visa is not much more than a document of a detailed plan of your flight or travel journey to the UK. In fact, it is only a flight timetable on the chosen flight airline, comprised of a flight name, your name, also a valid flight reservation number or booking ID, arrival and departure date and airport IATA codes, as well as the price of a real Flight Ticket.

Your travel itinerary must clearly mention the date of travel and return. You will need to evidence the fact that you can pay for your travel and your stay with corresponding bank statements or proof of savings.

  1. Insufficient evidence to prove that you are a genuine visitor and have a pull back to your own home country

Evidence of your work and living arrangements helps the Home Office decide if you are likely to return to your home country at the end of your visit.

Depending on your circumstances, evidence could include:

  • a letter from your employer approving your leave and confirming your return to work
  • showing you are enrolled for study by providing a letter or student identity card from your school or other education provider
  • a letter explaining your family ties in your home country and property ownership if applicable
  • a retirement certificate or evidence that you receive a pension.

For help with your application, contact Mulgrave Law. We are one of the best immigration lawyers in London and best immigration solicitors in London. 

UK Visit Visa applications: 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 expert lawyers would be happy to have an initial discussion. Contact us now.

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