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In the UK visa form, what does How much money do you have in savings (in GBP)? mean?

I have cash in hand, which is my savings. May I mention that I have property in the form of a building and land as my savings, and mention the value of these properties?

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    They're asking how much money do you have that you can live off. Liquid assets don't count because if you need to pay for a hotel tonight you can't sell your assets quickly enough. Assets like that aren't savings. You might have to prove it so don't declare anything that you can't prove with a bank statement. – Keith Loughnane May 25 '18 at 11:23
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    @KeithLoughnane: I'd go further than that and say that the applicant will have to prove it. People post on this forum all the time saying that their UK visa applications were denied because they didn't provide enough documentation of their financial situation. – Michael Seifert May 25 '18 at 12:48
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    Just putting the money you have in the house into a savings account will not work either. It would be a suspicious amount that might be seen as money parking. (See the link in the other comment.) – Willeke May 25 '18 at 14:20
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    @KeithLoughnane did you mean "illiquid assets"? Cash is a liquid asset, as are assets that can easily and quickly be converted to cash. – phoog May 25 '18 at 14:20
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    Property and land are not liquid, they're hard assets. – Giorgio May 25 '18 at 14:25
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Savings is:

Saving is income not spent, or deferred consumption. Methods of saving include putting money aside in, for example, a deposit account, a pension account, an investment fund, or as cash.

Wikipedia

The gov.uk site provides a full list of supporting documents (PDF). In this file, under Section 2: other documents you may want to provide – all visitors it states:

Financial documents showing that you have sufficient funds available. These must clearly show that you have access to the funds, such as:

  • bank statements
  • building society book
  • proof of earnings such as a letter from employer confirming employment details (start date of employment, salary, role, company contact details)
  • 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

So here we can see that a title or deed of property ownership is not considered proof of sufficient funds.

Therefore, one can safely assume that the same cannot be used as proof of savings, however it is good evidence of ties at home.

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Saving is income not spent, but put aside. Your cash in hand would more appropriately be unspent income. Savings would be what you move into a separate account, one that you don't use for daily/monthly expenses, but leave untouchedfor events such as travel, large purchases, or your future (e.g., school or retirement).

Your building and land are investments, not savings, and while they have value, they are not liquid, meaning they can't easily be converted into cash to cover travel related expenses. If you have rents paid to you from these, then it would be rental income.

If a question is asked on the visa application form which doesn't apply to you, then you can leave it blank, if permitted, or put in 'no' or n/a (not applicable).

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