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A friend of mine has been refused a UK visitor visa. He is an African student studying in Russia who wanted to visit me for a week and I was going to accommodate his stay here. The reasons for the refusal appear to be due to the following reasons:

1) The origin of his funds is unclear from his bank statements. He brought money in cash from his home country and deposited this on arrival in Russia in 2016. So I'm not sure why this is being queried. What evidence is needed to show this? Bank statement showing deposit?

2) ECO is unclear how he maintains and accommodates himself in Russia. He maintains himself and pays for his student accommodation from his funds. What evidence is needed here? Receipt for accommodation?

3) ECO is not satisfied that he will return in light-of 1) and 2). He will return as he needs to finish his degree. Is this not satisfactory? They acknowledge that he enrolled as a student there. What evidence do they need to be satisfied?

4) ECO is not satisfied that he will be able to maintain himself for his trip and meet the cost of a return journey. I am hosting him so he does not have any maintenance or accommodation costs, which is actually acknowledged in the text of the letter by them, so I am not clear why this is an issue. He is buying a return ticket so why do they think he will not be able to afford this? He is bringing over £1,000 anyway, so this would cover a flight back. How much do you have to bring for a week's stay? He only needs some spending money for any shopping or sightseeing, travel dates, etc. I am accomodating him so there is no cost there. Again what evidence might satisfy them?

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated so that we can make a better visitor visa re-application.

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    While you await a response, you might wish to read this canonical respose which covers many of the issues, and hurdles that your friend has to overcome. Needing a sponsor raises the bar, as does weak documentation on the source of funds. Even more, he is not in his home country, so demonstrating significant ties is another complication. If this is the same person referenced in your earlier question, the ECO didn't believe his reasons to visit the UK, so his credibility has taken a hit, as well. – Giorgio Jan 1 '18 at 0:06
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    Visiting him in Russia or elsewhere may be a good plan. Fundamentally, he's submitted documents that show he has £1840 to his name, no other identified source of funds, and he wants to spend £1000 of it on a one week vacation to visit a friend, leaving him with £840 and no income to cover his expenses in Russia. That's a tough sell. – Zach Lipton Jan 1 '18 at 1:17
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    Something else here--it appears that he's planning to use most of his living funds on this trip. That would make me very suspicious if I were a visa officer. – Loren Pechtel Jan 1 '18 at 1:58
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    So he has £1840 and has budgeted £1800 for the semester? That doesn't even leave your much lower £300 estimate for the trip, much less the £1500 he claimed. How was he going to make up the difference? – Kevin Jan 1 '18 at 17:26
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    If this is the same person you were talking about getting some sort of marriage visa for, you've just entirely screwed your credibility. – nkjt Jan 1 '18 at 18:01
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I suggest starting with this excellent post as it explains the role and purpose of statements. Regarding the rest of your questions:

He brought money in cash from his home country and deposited this on arrival in Russia in 2016 and so I not sure why this is being queried? What evidence is needed to show this? Bank statement showing deposit?

It is asked because UK wants visitors who have legitimate income. This is why they want to know the source of the income in the first place. An initial deposit statement (probably a series of statements) would support it, together with written explanation. But then he would face further issues:

He maintains himself and pays for his student accommodation from his funds.What evidence is needed here? Receipt for accommodation?

At minimum there should be some explanation of income and expenses. He is a student in a foreign country with no income. So naturally they wonder how could he not only support himself, but also visit UK? They also are probably like to ensure he doesn't receive "unexplained" income.

3) They are not satisfied that he will return in light-of 1) and 2) --He will return as he needs to finish his degree. Is this not satisfactory?

I know a few people myself who didn't finish their degree, and I presume they know way more than me. So no, just because someone is enrolled in university, doesn't mean he would return in time. In Russia a student can usually take a so-called "academical leave" to interrupt the studies for up to a year, if I remember.

4) They are not satisfied that he will be able to maintain himself for his trip and meet the cost of a return journey. ---I am hosting him so he does not have any maintenance or accommodation costs which is actually acknowledged in the text of the letter by them so I am not clear why this is an issue.

Sponsorship applications for friends are very weak. The post above - again - lists some reasons, and I will add a few more.

The weakest point of a "friend" type sponsorship application is their unreliability. We all know cases where friends turned enemies on a whim, in which case the sponsorship might naturally end, leaving your friend stranded in UK. Kicking out a family member on the street is much less likely (and even this occasionally happens!), but kicking out a mere friend is more probable, and UKVI would probably like to see that your friend can take care of himself financially in such case.

Finances seem to be the most important criteria for UK visa applicants, and your friend's situation doesn't seem to be good enough. Unsure a "better visa application" would make any difference until his circumstances changed.

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