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I am a freelancer (makeup artist) based in Mumbai. I want to visit a friend in the UK for about a week. As a freelancer, what documents should I submit during the visa application process?

Also, though I am freelancing, as I started it only few months back, I don't have a regular source of income. I am mostly paid in cash for my services, and my bank statement wouldn't show enough money.

However, for this trip, my parents are paying me. I was not always a freelancer but have worked with a few multi-national corporations before, and from the savings I own a home. What documents are required to get a UK visitor visa in this scenario?

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First things first, I suggest you read our informative guides:

When applying for a visa, you need to meet several eligibility criteria. For the UK, these are summarised as:

Genuine intention to visit

V 4.2 The applicant must satisfy the decision maker that they are a genuine visitor. This means that the applicant:

(a) will leave the UK at the end of their visit; and

(b) will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK their main home; and

(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

(d) will not undertake any prohibited activities set out in V 4.5 – V 4.10; and

(e) must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. This includes the cost of the return or onward journey, any costs relating to dependants, and the cost of planned activities such as private medical treatment.

Basically, you want to make sure you can demonstrate that you want to visit the UK for allowed purposes, and then return to your home country going back to your stable life.

You state that you do not have a regular source of income, are mostly paid in cash, and that your bank statements will not show enough money. Stop right there. Unregistered, untracked, cash payments, and erratic deposits of variable amounts in a bank account, will inevitably raise some red flags. Even worse if you do not have evidence to support these incomes via invoices, tax returns, etc.

To make a strong case, you need to show that you meet all of the criteria listed above. You must provide all the necessary documents supporting your application and the information you provide within it. You must make sure that you appear like a genuine visitor and not someone who is living an unstable life at home and thus trying to illegally emigrate permanently to the UK via a Standard Visitor Visa.

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