I applied for a 6 month general visitor visa on 20/10/2015. They called me this afternoon asking if I can provide them with 24 months bank statement and they also gave me a reference number. The statements should be delivered in 3 days to VFS with the reference number.

Why would they want to see 2 years bank statements although it's not a regularity nor a visa requirement? Are they trying to find grounds or a reason to refuse?

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    No, they are trying to find a reason to approve you. – Michael Hampton Oct 28 '15 at 13:00
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    Michael is right. They don't need reasons to refuse you, or more specifically they don't need to provide them to you. If they wanted to refuse they would do it. – Andrey Oct 28 '15 at 13:34
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    Best guess: the ECO was minded to refuse but decided that the series of bank statements could save the application. Most people complain that the ECO never called, so it's a good sign. – Gayot Fow Oct 28 '15 at 14:40
  • Since I received their call this afternoon, I was trying to establish what is the point of asking for 2 years bank statement? When I went to the bank, they were really surprised and shocked because they haven't experienced it before! – Mohamed Oct 28 '15 at 17:09
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    If there are any large (non salary) payments in the statements, it may be a good idea to provide an explanation. – CMaster Oct 29 '15 at 9:45

When applying for a UK visitor visa you are required to show evidence that you can support yourself for the entire duration of the trip. The purpose of the bank statements is also to verify your employment status: it would be suspicious if you claimed to be employed but don't receive a salary. To this purpose you usually submit recent bank statements (the UK governmental website gives 6 months of bank statements as an example).

There is no hard limit to how many bank statements to provide or how old they should be. The point being that you should provide all the documentation you deem necessary to uphold your application, no more no less. There is however a soft limit when it comes to old bank statements. Indeed the governmental UK Guide to supporting documents - visiting the UK states that bank statements older than one year should not be sent unless requested:

Section 4: documents you should not send unless specifically requested

This page provides guidance on the types of documents that are not required to consider your application.


  • bank statements or letters issued more than 1 year before the date of application

The point here is that the ECO can request supporting information to your application, including old bank statements. Our advice here on TSE is to comply with the request of submitting extra documents. If the ECO is asking for more documents is to make an informed decision about your application. Chances are that refusing to submit these is likely to cause your visa to be refused.


I don't know if that's what you find puzzling but one thing that hasn't been made clear until now is that the financial means requirements for British visas are much broader than merely having cash in hand.

They want to know where the money comes from, whether you have a stable situation and whether the trip you are planning is commensurate with your means. Of course, they prefer applicants who are relatively well-off but being “too rich” compared to your legitimate sources of income is not good. So they like to see monthly transfers from your employer, whereas a large cash deposit would be a big red flag.

Bank statements can be used to assess all that.

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    Just posting an update: I have received my visa today and thank god everything worked out this time. Thank you for your support. – Mohamed Nov 10 '15 at 18:28

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