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Does my sponsor for a UK tourist visa have to reside in the UK or can it be a parent staying in my home country who will provide me funds to go on the trip?

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For visitors, there is no special "Sponsor" role.

People supporting your visit as a tourist can be located outside the UK. However it seems tourist visa applications are primarily judged on the visitors own circumstances including their own financial circumstances.

So far as I know, the UK system for visitor visas does not define the term "sponsor" or allocate any special weight or requirements regarding submissions from people the applicant might regard as a "sponsor".

The Guidance does say

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

Note they don't use the term sponsor. There is no similar paragraph for where a third party providing financial support is not in the UK.


For permanent immigrants there was

For people seeking to relocate to the UK permanently, there was a specific "sponsor" role, who had to be a UK resident.

Sponsor a visa applicant: form SU07 says:

Use ‘Form SU07’ to support the application of a person who is applying to come to the UK to visit or settle.

(my emphasis)

Sponsorship undertaking (SU07) says:

The sponsor giving this undertaking must be resident in the United Kingdom

You can have other non-UK-resident people contributing money to you for a tourist visit to the UK but they are not what is meant by a sponsor in the context of SU07.

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  • Note well the last paragraph of this answer. Those "people contributing money" will often -- even in a visa context -- be said to sponsor your trip (rather than sponsor the visa application), and it is expected that you will explain int he application who they are, why they will contribute, and how they can afford that. Commented Nov 21, 2017 at 13:00
  • The answer in this question says form SU07 is no longer needed for visitor visa applications. As I mention in the question it contradicts the guidance and isn't in the required docs list.
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 22:05
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    @Chris. travel.stackexchange doesn't let me delete an answer that has been accepted. I have therefore edited it instead to try to make it less inaccurate :-) Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 21:29
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An answer to this question has been posted by Gayot Fow on his blog:

Following the rule change in 2015, third party support can be offered by anyone anywhere in the world. The rules covering this are published in Appendix V, Paragraph 4.3.

The fallacy applicants frequently entertain is that the use of a third party substantially elevates the quality of an application. It doesn’t, it has the reverse effect. Much of the time, the Entry Clearance Officer will accept that the third party has the capacity for support and take it as a given. But the applicant’s circumstances, ties to their country, and lifestyle are too weak and so the application is refused.

Financial support is not the major element in a visa application. Instead the big gorilla in the room is Paragraph 4.2 (a) + (c)…

  • (a) will leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • (c) is genuinely seeking entry for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes (these are listed in Appendices 3, 4 and 5) …and these have nothing at all to do with third party support.

Depending on the ECO’s determination and if the third party is resident in the UK, they may ask for an Sponsorship Undertaking. If the ECO decides an undertaking is needed (and this is an extremely rare event), they will contact the applicant and ask for it. It’s part of standard advice that this form should not be submitted unless asked for, and that a consultation with a legal professional should be obtained prior to submission. Submitting the form as part of the applicant’s original evidence may cause it to be ignored.

obiter dictum: terminology-wise, UKVI likes to use the term “third party” in the rules instead of “co-sponsor”, but the terms are fundamentally equivalent.

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