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I am an Indian citizen residing in the United States. My wife and I are planning to travel to the UK for a week. We plan to apply for the UK standard visitor visa from the US. I was filling out the application and I have a few questions.

  1. Travel History - The application asks for travel history to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Considering that we're resident aliens in the United States, should we consider all the times we've traveled back to the US from India?
  2. Travel History - Should we also list out the times we've traveled to India from the US?
  3. Cost of the trip - Hypothetically if we plan to spend a total of ~4,000 USD on this trip, should I split up the cost and write down 2,000 USD on my application and 2,000 USD on my wife's application?
  4. Income - From what I've read on the forum, my wife must say that "someone else" i.e. me - is paying for her costs and mention my GWF number in the remarks on her application. Would that be sufficient considering that I'll be sending all income documents with my application?
  5. Savings - We have joint savings accounts. Should I mention the same amount on both our applications?
  6. Posting the documents - Is the up-to-date advice to send all documents in one packet? Or would sending them in separate packets at the same time be better? My thought was to annotate my wife's packet with my GWF number if we were to send them separately.
  7. Bank statements - We get e-statements. Would printing those out be enough?
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User @GayotFow, on sabbatical, has spent Boxing Day offering a comprehensive response to your query via his blog post (and with the author's permission).

There was an interesting question on TSE about the UK Standard Visitor Visa (SVV). The question has a lot of different parts, but portions of it can be answered ‘canonically’ (i.e., addressed in a way that covers a broad category of applicants).

The OP and his spouse are preparing their applications for an SVV. In this case the OP is the family ‘breadwinner’ and his spouse is a housewife without a source of income. In UKVI terms, it means the OP is the ‘primary’ and the spouse is the ‘dependent’. According to the rules, both primary and dependent must submit a separate application, it means there is no such thing as a ‘joint application’. Even if there are multiple dependants such as children, each applicant must submit their own application.

UKVI recognises that the traditional family model of a primary and dependants raises special considerations about how questions are answered and how evidence is presented. In particular they do not want dependants to include copies of the primary’s evidence. Doing so would go against UKVI’s overarching requirement that all evidence should be originals (to the extent reasonable). Given this is the case, there is not much value in attempting to make pro-rata allocations for each family member’s trip costs because such allocations would be contrived and we all know that ECO’s bristle when they see contrived evidence.

So in these cases, the ‘primary’ alone submits the bank statements and other financial evidence. This includes statements that are held jointly by the ‘primary’ and their partner. The ‘primary’ also submits estimates for the trip cost as a bulk figure. In the remarks section, the ‘primary’ should list the GWF number(s) for each dependent. Each dependent should list the GWF numer in their remarks section along the lines of…

Dependent application and travelling with the Primary, [Primary’s Name, relationship], GWF number [Primary’s GWF number]

For children under 18, their remarks section should include the additional line(s) that identify other adults who they are travelling with, something like…

Also travelling with [Adult’s name, relationship], GWF number [Adult’s GWF number].

When UKVI sees the various GWF numbers they will know what to do after that with respect to linking the applications together.

A note on ‘e-statements’… It is fine to print out ‘e-statements’, but each statement must be verified and signed by the bank manager. And then all of that must be translated into English.

I have already explained elsewhere that the family should show up ‘en masse‘ for their biometrics at the primary’s appointment and once completed, the other appointments should be cancelled. It is long-standing UKVI policy that families should not be separated at any part of the visa process.

Each application should be placed in its own A4 (or ‘legal’ size if in the USA) envelope and addressed fully. The outside of the envelope should include the various GWF numbers just like they appear in the various remarks sections. This is fine for applications that are collected at the Visa Application Centres. For applications that must be posted a single large envelope can be used to contain the individual envelopes according to optional preference.

You may ask… Where’s the link for all of this information so that I can verify it?

There isn’t one. None of the material given in this article appears anywhere in the corpus of UK Immigration Law. Instead, this material is extracted from ‘best practices‘ (i.e., what would happen if a proper solicitor were representing the application(s)). There are lots of different ways to assemble a winning visa application and ‘best practices’ is only one of them.


Side note: somewhat inexplicably the OP asks if they should provide their travel history where the form asks about the applicant’s travel history. Assuming I understand the OP’s intent, then indeed yes, the applicant’s travel history should be provided in the part of the form that asks for the applicant’s travel history. For working purposes, ‘travel history’ means any country outside of that shown in the applicant’s passport as their nationality. This includes any transit where the applicant entered land side.

  • I think the OP wonders if they need to list every trip between the US (where they are permanent residents) and India (their country of origin). I would estimate that much detail as unnecessary, since it adds nothing to the OPs history of compliance. – DJClayworth Dec 26 '17 at 19:25
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    @DJClayworth; thank you; I thought the same, but GayotFow disabused me of that thought and advised that, when a direct question is asked, 'it is not down to the applicant to determine which material to omit because he thinks it is not significant. Instead, the question should be answered fully and the applicant should assume that ALL of the material is significant.' I would think that even a PR could have a travel history that suggests system abuse, and Five Eyes info sharing could highlight omitted trips that an ECO might find questionable. As Gayot suggests, less is not more in this case :) – Giorgio Dec 26 '17 at 20:04

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