Sponsoring a Visitor to the UK

How to sponsor a visitor to the UK

This section covers the criteria for those applying to visit the United Kingdom with a UK sponsor, as well as the requirements and obligations for the sponsor and the arrivals process.

If you are sponsoring a visitor to the UK it is advisable to read the general visitor requirements to check that they meet the relevant criteria.

It is also advisable to read the private medical treatment requirements if this is the purpose of visitor's travel to the UK, in order to ensure their eligibility.

What documentation should be provided by a sponsor in order to support a general visitor's application?

The required documents are dependent on the circumstances of each specific case. The government may require receipt of the following:

  • evidence of the sponsor’s own immigration status within the United Kingdom
  • an official letter of sponsorship detailing the relationship between the sponsor and visitor applicant, as well as the purpose of visit and accommodation information.

In the event that a sponsor will provide financial support and accommodation for the general visitor and/or pay for travel to the United Kingdom, the following information should be supplied as evidence of financial status and ability to do so:

  • bank or building society statements and payslips for the last six months; or
  • a copy of a savings account book.

In the instance of sponsoring a person for business purposes, the government may require a letter from the sponsor’s employer, outlining the corresponding links between companies, explaining what the visitor plans to do and whether the company is financing the trip.

The process post visitor arrival in the United Kingdom

To secure entry to the United Kingdom the visitor will have to satisfy immigration officials the all the requirements are met for entry.

General Visitor's Documents

In the event that a general visitor is a non-visa national and is not already in receipt of entry clearance it will assist the visitor’s application if they have a return ticket and letter of sponsorship.

Sponsor's Documents

It is advisable that the acting sponsor meets the visitor at the port or station and brings evidence to support the claim. For instance, if it is agreed that the sponsor will be covering the costs of the visit, evidence should be brought detailing financial security to do so.

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