I have applied for standard UK visitor visa's for me and my wife and children. I have elderly parents staying behind, but they do not live with me and are not dependants, nor did I list them as such in the application.

We have a dog (for 5 years now) who we consider as family and we have strong emotional ties and attachment to him. He will be in a pet care service for the duration of our visit.

  1. Can I mention my pet as a family member left behind in my cover letter? I can provide documentation of his vaccination records for the last 5 years - it mentions my name and address - as proof that I care for him and look after him.

  2. Can I still mention my parents in my cover letter? Do I need to provide some documentation for them?

Please advise ASAP. Thanks.

  • There’s nothing in the Immigration Rules or associated guidance about mentioning a pet as proof of ties but I doubt that it would carry any weight. Do you have other strong ties to your home country in addition to your parents (job, property, savings)?
    – Traveller
    Apr 7, 2019 at 9:33
  • @Traveller Yes I have all 3 - job, property, savings. And I am submitting the necessary and relevant documents for each. This was one section "evidence of family members..." I was surprised to find in the documentation checklist and hence my question. Do I take it that I can leave this as empty since I am providing proof of the others? Do I need to mention my parents and provide documents for them? Thanks.
    – Vikky
    Apr 7, 2019 at 10:04
  • On 2, for evidence of family members remaining see travel.stackexchange.com/questions/105037/… My advice is not to include the dog.
    – A E
    Apr 23, 2019 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


There is not a lot online on how pets are considered for ties to home country, but the fact that they are never mentioned in the lists with options shows they are not considered any strong tie.

While you feel the dog as a family member, immigration officers do not. Likely out of experience as too many people would not return home to get back to the dog and because it is possible for the dog to be send to you while you are in the UK. It is not as if it needs a passport and a visa.

You should mention your parents if they are an influence in your position, but if they do not depend on you nor you on them they will not be considered a strong part in consideration for your case.

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