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I am an Indian citizen applying for UK standard visitor visa.

In supporting documents guide for visitor visa, it is mentioned that, All documents must be originals and not photocopies (I am attaching the screenshot).

enter image description here

I am going for a conference in UK, I have got invitation letter and accommodation letter in email as a scanned copy. It will take at least 10 days to get original shipped from UK to my place, assuming the organisers are kind enough to send original immediately.

What supporting documents should I attach to convince the Visa officer to say that I can not submit originals for invitation letter and accommodation?

  • Is 10 days the estimate for the fastest available shipping method, probably one of the private delivery services, not airmail? – Patricia Shanahan May 18 at 16:04
  • When is the conference? – mkennedy May 18 at 16:06
  • It starts from July 7.. I will be in London on 2nd July.. @mkennedy – Praphulla Koushik May 18 at 16:07
  • @PatriciaShanahan I searched for airmail only.. it takes ~10 days... – Praphulla Koushik May 18 at 16:10
  • I just checked FedEx from Birmingham, England, B4 7DA, United Kingdom to Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560078, India. They claim to be able to pick up a 0.5 Kg packet on Monday, May 20th, and deliver on May 22nd. That was an arbitrary choice of shipping service and locations within the UK and India. You can check other services, and put in the actual postal codes. – Patricia Shanahan May 18 at 22:54
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I suggest the following steps:

Between now and Monday morning, compare delivery services and pick one that can get a packet from the conference organizers to you as fast as possible. It will be a lot faster than 10 days.

Between now and Monday prepare your application.

As early as possible on Monday (UK time) contact the conference organizers. Ask whether other visa applications with just the scanned images have been approved recently.

If they say yes, send in the application immediately with the scanned letters you already have.

If they say no, ask them to send originals on Monday, using a fast delivery service. If you can, offer to pay the delivery charges. Be prepared to recommend the best service you found, unless they have a strong preference. Send in the application as soon as you receive the originals.

  • Tanks. I will keep this in mind next time.. But now, it may not work... From ICMS, Potterrow, Edinburgh, UK to Trivandrum they are saying if we ship today, they will deliver by 24th May 8PM with charge of 65 GBP... I am not in a position to spend that much money on courier service and organisers can not possibly ship today and my visa interview is on 22nd may... – Praphulla Koushik May 19 at 2:54
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    From my experience that request for originals is just boilerplate nonsense. I have in the past submitted scanned invitation letters and scanned copies of my permanent resident card been issued a UK visa. – user 56513 May 20 at 13:10
  • @user56513's comment is very encouraging, because it represents real experience. One possibility is that the originals requirement is in there so they can reject an application if they suspect a copy has been digitally edited, but that they will take the copy if everything looks OK and consistent. – Patricia Shanahan May 20 at 14:09

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