My girlfriend from the US was denied entry to the UK upon arrival as she had no return flight booked. Unfortunately she was sent back to the US.

She was told she may return when she likes, but to play it safe, we're going to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. What documents could we prove she intends to return to the US? She has no job there, and has graduated.

These are the documents we have so far to legitimize her visit and show she intends to return to the US:

  • Return flight, 2 months after arrival
  • Letter from both her parents and my parents confirming her character, and that she will not overstay. Also, a affidavit of financial support from both mine and her parents, if need be.
  • My dad would sponsor her visit (he's in a good-paying job with a regular income/mortgage/family/permanent resident of UK)
  • Invitation to her sister's birthday party in the US (not very strong, I know..)
  • Family ties. Her entire family live in the US.
  • Bank statements to show she has enough funds to return home
  • She's worked abroad before and always returned home within the allowed time
  • Going to include bank statements from her parents' incomes to prove she has a good, stable life at home (she lives with parents) and has little reason to remain in the UK, other than her boyfriend
  • Letter of invitation from me

We're very worried she risks getting refused since she got refused at the border, although that was due to having no return flight and basically they saw it as an indefinite stay. We're since rectified that. What else could we supply? I'm also thinking of booking a flight to USA on the same day she leaves the UK to indeed prove we're both leaving.

One other point... when she was working abroad, she got her wages deposited into her Chinese bank account that they opened for her. When it was time to leave China, she sent those funds to my UK account, as she was unable to send to her US account since they could not verify where it was coming from. My UK bank simply accepted the deposit. Anyway... will they check my account? It does look suspicious having a couple thousand in my savings with no source of deposit, and if they found it was her money, I do believe that looks sketchy as hell. Should I just let it sit in my account and say it's mine, or send it to her US account, and have them see? Note: I do NOT intend to show my bank statement on her application as I am unemployed and would not want to appear as if I am 'funds parking'.

The hard part is she is a genuine visitor, and she's even going to start a teaching course in the States next year but has not enrolled yet, and cannot until early next year, and it seems very difficult to prove she is indeed a genuine visitor given her previous UK refusal.

Note: After being refused upon arrival for having no return ticket, they made it clear it was not a ban and she does not even need a visa to travel back to the UK. Does applying for a visa anyway show good intentions on her half?

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    @HonoraryWorldCitizen That's really not very helpful. There are great resources here in the archive and we should highlight them, yes. But if a question is a duplicate, then the specific question(s) it duplicates should be linked. A generic pointer to find them somewhere is not a closure reason. – Zach Lipton Nov 16 at 6:34
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    @LReuan I understand why you’d worry but I think you may be in danger of going overboard with this amount of documentation. Letters from parents re good character won’t carry much weight. If your girlfriend has sufficient savings of her own (and can prove the source of the funds), bank statements from others are superfluous. If someone is sponsoring her visit financially then that person needs to provide bank statements and payslips. Your father should write a covering letter explaining why he’s sponsoring the visit and to what extent (accommodation/food only?). – Traveller Nov 16 at 8:40
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    @LReuan There’s some advice on a cover letter here travel.stackexchange.com/questions/71874/… Applying for a visa after denial of visa-free entry is generally recognised as advisable. – Traveller Nov 16 at 8:42
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    @LReuan If you’ve not already seen this, it may help assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/… – Traveller Nov 16 at 8:53
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    Visa application forms are quite clear about what documents should be provided. Don't waste time by supplying documents that aren't requested. An invitation to a birthday party and letters from her family saying she's a good person are pointless, since almost everybody would say that about their daughter. Also, might it be a better idea to start with a shorter visit? – David Richerby Nov 16 at 10:26

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