For at least the last 4 years, every time I get a UK visitor visa I've seen something in the fine print about, "flights etc are not required"... yet because of various contradictory statements elsewhere in the documentation (and dire warnings from compatriots) I have submitted them anyway, and the people at the appointment have ticked them off dutifully when I handed them over at the appointment. They acted as though I had done the right thing.

When I applied for a visa now, I have seen even more warnings saying, "flights are not required... you should not submit unless specifically requested ...". Based on previous inconsistencies I feel like I have to assume the maximum possible suspicion and cannot trust this.

When is it safe to assume that the UK visa process is what it claims to be?

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    The people at the VFS are not the same as UKVI and are known to give wrong advice, request unrequited supporting documents etc. Follow the written guidance from UKVI May 27, 2019 at 22:44
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    Can you link to one of those "contradictory statements"? The official UK govt advice is the same for many years now, don't book anything before you get the visa.
    – TooTea
    May 27, 2019 at 23:05
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    The UK does not want these. See Why doesn't the UK ask for travel bookings for a tourist visitor visa? May 28, 2019 at 1:18
  • I don't know what inconsistency you're referring to. I have applied for (and received) a number of UK visas over the last 5+ years, and not once did I submit any flight bookings with my applications.
    – brhans
    May 28, 2019 at 1:33
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    I don't see any contradiction, here. The guidance has, for years, said you do not need flight or hotel bookings (they prove nothing and they waste your money if you don't get the visa). The people at the appointment have not rejected them because, while they're not required, they're also not forbidden. The unofficial guidance you've received from others is just that: unofficial and not authoritative. And why would you believe what we might say when you don't believe the official guidance? How is it rational to believe that the official guidance is deliberately false? May 28, 2019 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


When is it safe to assume that the UK visa process is what it claims to be?


If it says something on a UK government website such as https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visitor-visa-guide-to-supporting-documents you should absolutely proceed on the assumption it is true.

If it turns out not to be true (due to e.g. error on their part) you almost certainly have cause for redress.

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