When it comes to how much bank statement is required for UK visit visa, there is a lot of confusion out there. Mainly because UKVI does not provide proper guidelines on bank statements. Not just on how many months of statements, but how much cash should you have, what kind of transactions are allowed, etc.
In this article, you will learn everything about bank statements for UK visit visa.
How much bank statement is required for UK visit visa?
You must submit 6 months of bank statements that clearly show your monthly salary and financial commitments. There must not be any large deposits of cash other than your salary. Total savings must be at least twice your proposed UK trip expenses.
After examining hundreds of UK visa refusal letters from my readers, I have figured that there are a few things that you must definitely satisfy in your bank statements. Let’s look at these in more depth.
BANK STATEMENT FOR UK VISA
The Entry Clearance Officers (ECOs) must make sure that the UK visit visa applicant has sufficient funds to support and maintain themselves for the entire duration of their stay in the UK. Bank statements work as evidence to prove that the applicant has sufficient funds.
The ECOs pay close attention to the total cost of the trip, monthly income, monthly expenses and any other financial commitments such as mortgage, dependents, etc. They want to see that you are a genuine traveler, you will travel within your means and you will not exhaust all your savings.
The ECOs are primarily looking at the following criteria in your bank statements.
|UK trip expenses
|Is capable to spend about £100-150 per day per person
|Have a monthly income of at least half of total UK trip expenses
|Have funds that are more than twice of the total UK trip expenses
|Spending and saving patterns
|Have been saving consistently for the UK trip and not borrowed money from someone else
Let’s look at each of these criteria in detail.
How much money per day do you need for UK visitor visa?
The UK is an expensive country. A hotel room would cost at least £50 per night. Food is about £10-20 per meal. Add transportation, entry tickets to attractions, shopping, etc. So, total expenses can range from £100-150 per day per person.
DAILY BUDGET REQUIREMENT
£100-150 per day per person
This £100-150 per day per person is only for the visa. When you actually travel, you can minimize your daily expenses and spend a lot less than that.
How much do you need to earn to get a UK visitor visa?
UKVI does not provide guidance on acceptable monthly income. But, after going through hundreds of refusal letters, I figured that your monthly income must be at least half of your total UK trip expenses.
Your monthly income must be at least half of your proposed total UK trip expenses
EXAMPLE: Say your proposed UK trip expenses excluding the airfare is £2,000. Your monthly income must be at least £1,000. Anything less than that can lead to ECO assuming that it’s not realistic for you to take this trip.
Make sure your monthly salary is directly deposited into your bank account. This results in a salary deposit transaction in your statements. This proves that you have a consistent monthly income.
If you are paid in cash or check, deposit the cash or check in your bank account on a specific date every month. You can withdraw again from your bank account for your expenses, but that consistent salary deposit every month must definitely be there in your bank account.
How much do you need to save to get a UK visitor visa?
Apart from monthly net income, your monthly disposable income is also important. Monthly disposable income is basically your savings. If you save too little per month, that’s an indicator that a UK trip is not realistic for your financial situation.
SAVING/DISPOSABLE INCOME REQUIREMENT
Your monthly savings/disposable income must be a good percentage of your net monthly income
EXAMPLE: Say your proposed UK trip expenses is £2,000. Your monthly net income is £1,000. Your monthly living expenses are £950. That means you can only save about £50 a month. Even if you have enough savings for your trip, your savings per month (£50) are too small. ECOs will assume that a UK trip is too expensive and not realistic for your financial situation.
How much bank balance do you need to show for UK visitor visa?
You must show that you have sufficient funds in your bank account. As a rule of thumb, you must have more than twice your proposed total UK trip expenses in your bank account.
Your funds must be more than twice your proposed total UK trip expenses
EXAMPLE: Say your proposed UK trip expenses excluding the airfare is £2,000. You must have at least £4,000 in your savings. Anything less than that can raise questions and lead to visa refusal.
Again, UK Visas and Immigration does not specify what is acceptable in terms of funds. So this is something I understood from referring to many visa refusal letters.
What cash saving patterns ECOs are looking for?
You must show that your savings are continually growing and that too consistently. If they are not, then the ECO may assume that you might have borrowed the money to make it look like you saved it yourself.
EXAMPLE: Say your salary is £2,000 per month. After all expenses, you save around £500 a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less, about usually around £500. You are saving continually but also consistently.
One more thing to keep in mind is that your savings must be large enough or at least a good percentage of your income.
What is funds parking and how to avoid it?
Funds parking refers to borrowing money from someone to show as if it’s your own money. ECOs suspect any large deposits in your bank account other than your salary as parked funds.
EXAMPLE: Say your ending balance in your bank account has been £4,000 for the last 6 months. That means, your savings haven’t grown at all. This makes the ECO suspect that you might have borrowed money 6-7 months ago just to show that you have sufficient savings in your bank account.
If you had a large cash deposit from the sale of a property, investment, etc., you must provide documentary evidence to prove that it’s your money.
Also, if you had unexpected expenses such as hospitalization, purchase of property, investment in stocks or fixed deposits, etc. you must explain them properly in your cover letter for UK visa as well.
What to do if you DO NOT have sufficient funds?
If you do not have sufficient funds for your UK trip, I suggest the following.
- Delay your trip until you have saved up enough. If you plan to travel to the UK next year, start saving up from now and you will have enough saved up by then.
- Shorten your trip to manage within the funds you have. If you plan to travel for 10 days, shorten it to 7 days or even 5 days. Try to cram in more sightseeing every day so you can manage your 10-day itinerary in just 5 days.
- Lastly, use a sponsor to cover some of your expenses. Keep in mind that sponsorship from family members and immediate relatives can work well. Sponsorship from unrelated, distant relatives, friends, people who met on the internet, acquaintances, etc. will not work.
What to do if your salary is too low?
Should you put away your dream of traveling to the UK just because your salary is too low? Not really, but here are a few things you can do.
- Delay your trip until your salary goes up. Yearly salary hikes are common in most places. Or ask for a pay raise.
- Shorten your trip to manage within your salary limits. If your salary is £500, then plan to stay only 7 days, not more.
- Use a sponsor. As I mentioned above, sponsorships from family members or immediate relatives work well.
Why do you need 6 months of bank statements?
Bank statements are not just about how much cash you have in your bank. They tell a lot about your financial and personal circumstances. From your bank statements, ECOs can assess your sources of income, financial commitments and current lifestyle.
This information is extremely important for ECOs to decide whether they can support themselves during their UK trip. At least 6 months of bank statements are necessary to assess this formation.
If you lay down 6 months of bank statements in front of you, you can clearly see patterns such as your spending habits and saving goals.
Keep in mind that these 6 months of bank statements must start from the latest and go backward 6 months. Let’s look at an example.
Say you are applying for your UK visa on 14 Nov 2021 and your latest statement was for October. You must submit statements from May to October.
Does UK embassy verify bank statement?
If UKVI suspects fraudulent bank statements, they can contact the bank to verify the authenticity of the statements. They have built relationships with banks over time and can take the help of third-party agencies to verify such information.
Manipulating or providing fraudulent bank statements will lead to visa refusal and a permanent ban from entering the UK.
Illegal migration and human trafficking are on the rise. Therefore, ECOs do their due diligence with visa applications. Document verification costs them money and time. There is a reason why the UK tourist visa is the most expensive and time-consuming visa process.
Is online bank statement acceptable for UK visa?
Yes, online bank statements downloaded from the bank website are perfectly acceptable. Online bank statements are a norm in most countries these days. I assume UKVI has connections with major banks in the world either directly or through third-party agencies. If need be, they can make inquiries and verify the authenticity of your bank statements.
A mere download of a list of transactions from your account will not work. Your online bank statements must include all the necessary information such as the bank name, bank address, bank phone numbers, full name, address, statement dates, transactions, balances, etc.
If any of the information is not included, you must request bank statements from the bank that include all necessary details.
Keep in mind that providing fraudulent bank statements will lead to a permanent ban from entering the UK.
Do bank statements need to be stamped for UK visa?
If you are applying from a country with high UK visa refusal rates, I advise providing certified bank statements. These are bank statements printed on the bank letterhead, stamped and signed by the bank authorities. Sometimes instead of signing and stamping, a cover letter signed by the head of the bank branch is provided.
Certified bank statements help to convince the ECO that your bank statements are authentic.
What if you have multiple bank accounts, one for salary and one for savings?
If you have multiple bank accounts, you will have to submit 6 months of statements from each bank or account. If done incorrectly, this could lead to document bloat, which means the ECOs may overlook the most important bank statements.
Try to use only one bank account for salary, expenses and savings. If you have to use two banks or accounts, mention this clearly in your cover letter so ECOs do not overlook important bank statements.
Do bank statements in foreign language need to be translated for UK visa?
Yes. If your bank statements are in a foreign language, you must provide a certified translation of them in English. If you have several pages of bank statements that need translating, it can get quite expensive. This is usually the case when downloading monthly statements from the bank’s website.
One way to handle this is to ask the bank to print the last 6 months of transactions as one statement. This will remove any repeated information such as bank address, etc. that usually appears on each monthly statement. This will reduce the bank statements to only a few pages. Translating and certifying these pages shouldn’t be that expensive.
Can you show joint account for UK visa?
A joint account is acceptable when both account holders are applying for UK visas together. The income and saving limits must also be doubled in that case. This is usually the case with couples, either both or one of them is earning. Either way, you must explain that your account is a joint account in your cover letter to avoid ECO making any decisions with partial information.
If only one account holder is applying for the visa, the ECO may assume that the applicant does not have sole access to the funds and may refuse the visa. Again, this is a tricky situation and must be clearly explained in the cover letter.
How to show bank statement if you are self-employed?
All the above rules apply to self-employed as well. Make sure to get paid from your clients directly in your bank account. If you earn cash, deposit your cash into your bank account first before using it for personal expenses. You can withdraw later for your expenses.
If you receive small cash several times a month, consolidate all the cash and deposit once a week or month. If you have multiple bank accounts, consolidate them too.
How to show bank statements if you are a business owner?
ECOs assume that business funds are for business purposes and not available for personal use. This is especially true if you are traveling to the UK on a personal holiday trip. Therefore, you must have a clear distinction between your business funds and personal cash.
Make sure to separate your business and personal accounts. Pay yourself a monthly salary into your personal account. Maintain a consistent financial pattern in your personal account. As a business owner, you must submit your business bank statements and personal bank statements for your UK visa.
Alternatively, you can provide a letter from you or any other business partners that the business funds are available for your personal use. In this case, just your business bank statements are sufficient.
UKVI does not provide proper guidelines on how much bank statement is required for UK visit visa. After referring to hundreds of UK visa refusal letters, I figured that ECOs are looking for certain patterns in your bank statements. ECOs are primarily looking for your sources of income, spending habits, financial commitments and saving goals. These factors are essential for ECOs to decide whether you are a genuine visitor and have sufficient funds for your trip.
There you have it. Everything you need to know about bank statements for UK visit visa. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. I will answer them as soon as I can.