I read somewhere that 'funds parking' in your bank account during last minute is considered as 'mild deception' by consular officers which may lead to a denial.

Please explain why 'funds parking' in your bank account is considered a mild deception?. I see no reason why there is something wrong with this. People are free to do whatever they want with their bank account (e.g could even borrow funds from family) for travel.

I believe visa officers are always looking for several reasons to just deny you a visa.

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    I believe that visa officers are trying to tell genuine tourists from illegal immigrants. Some countries have a policy to err on the side of caution, others have a policy to take larger risks, but most countries have a tourism industry which welcomes visitors. – o.m. Feb 6 '16 at 17:35
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    When I started in about 1997 I saw refusals for funds parking, and almost 20 years have elapsed and people are STILL doing it! So I think it's fair to say that it's a 'permanent condition'. Your question provides a great introduction to the concept. Also note that 'funds parking' is TSE jargon to describe that strategy and the term does not exist elsewhere. – Gayot Fow Apr 27 '16 at 8:02
  • @GayotFow Do UK officials (or those of any other country) have a term to denote "funds parking"? – phoog Aug 4 '16 at 12:48
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    @phoog sorry for the delay, I just noticed your ping. "Funds Parking" is a term totally invented here as a term to define the strategy. UKVI does not use it and nobody that I know of uses it outside of TSE. The etymology comes from investment banking (where I have a lengthy background), please see investopedia.com/terms/p/parking.asp for more info. And by the way, "Relaxed'" answer hits it dead on. And TSE is the sole user of the term AFAIK. – Gayot Fow May 25 '17 at 3:16
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    @GayotFow let me rephrase the question: How would someone at UKVI describe to someone else at UKVI a situation where an applicant has borrowed a bunch of money to beef up his or her bank account? Is there no concise term? Would they just have to say "this looks like the applicant has borrowed money to beef up the bank account"? – phoog May 25 '17 at 4:40
up vote 31 down vote accepted

One reason for income and funds requirements is that consulates want to know how solvent applicants are (to find out whether their plans are plausible and how likely they might be to work illegally or even choose not to return to their place of residence). That's why consulates do not merely want to see some cash on hand but also assess an applicant's financial situation over several months (income, etc.)

“Funds parking” implies getting money merely to disguise those circumstances. We are talking about money that is used to pad the account for a few days and would not even be available to the person during the trip. It's really about defeating the whole process, which is after all intended to vet an applicant's personal situation quite thoroughly. So you can't expect the people who designed and manage this process to take that nicely.

Clearly people with no means, no income and no ties to their country (like a job or business…) are not particularly welcome in the UK and other rich countries. What consulates love to see is a stable job with a good income paid by bank transfer, something that shows without ambiguity you have enough money to make the trip and want to come back to your country. That's not particularly “nice” but that's the nature of the visa application process.

On the other hand, borrowing money from family is not forbidden per se but you still need to document your own income thoroughly and account for the sudden cash deposit. The problem here is that it looks a lot like you obtained money just to make yourself look richer than you really are and increase your chances of getting a visa. Also, the consulate wants to know that you (and your family) obtained the money legally, i.e. that you are not involved in criminal activities, money laundering, etc. And cash is much harder to trace so that's another reason why large cash deposits are best avoided.

So it does not really make sense to claim that people “are free to do whatever they want with their bank account”. Simply said, they are not. If you want a visa, you have to submit yourself to a quite intrusive process and jump through many hoops. That's not to say it's pleasant or entirely fair but that's the way the whole process is intended to work and the fact cash deposits are frowned upon is a small detail in all this.

Incidentally, there is another subtle reason why getting money from family looks worse than you might think. In some countries, it's not unheard of for a family to fund the education of its brightest children, hopping them to secure a visa to some European country, somehow get a better life there but also send money back. Even if that means starting from a student or visitor visa and looking for a way to secure another status or staying illegally in the country afterwards. And countries with restrictive immigration policies like the UK do not welcome that.

From this perspective, someone who already has money, kids they are leaving behind, etc. is a “low risk” applicant, they are most likely to be a regular tourist who will spend some money in the country and leave as planned. But someone who does not have a situation is more likely to be willing to try his or her luck any way they can. And because obtaining a visa and enough money to pay for the trip, etc. is not trivial, the rest of the family does expect something in return and you can be under a lot of pressure not to disappoint. For the consulate, the family loan you thought of as a harmless bit of help can therefore make you appear even more likely to violate the conditions of the visa.

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    "The problem here is that it looks a lot like funds parking." This is an important thing to note. If your relative gifts you money to use on your trip, it looks pretty much the same as if your relative loans you money to hold in your bank account for the purpose of making your visa application look better. There's no way, looking at the documents, to know whether the relative expects the money back or whether he expects anything in return. – Zach Lipton Feb 6 '16 at 19:47
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    +1, great explanation. Please note that 'funds parking' in the context of visas is a term coined and originated here on TSE to explain the strategy. The term does not, to my knowledge, exist elsewhere. If it does, it was vectored from TSE. A search on 'funds parking visa' SHOULD return TSE as the top hits. In capital markets, 'funds parking' means about the same thing, but it is a criminal activity. – Gayot Fow Feb 7 '16 at 1:05
  • Good link with graphic explanation – P.M May 26 '16 at 22:52
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    @GayotFow : I've heard about it more then 10 years ago, although i'm not 100% sure the same term was used. I know about a group of people who pooled all their money together, so that one of them applied to the visa, sent all the money to the account of the next one, who then applied and passed the money on again, and so on. And at the end they were surprised that they were refused. In the answer it's stated that verifying such things is not fair... but, if you want to work there you should apply for a work visa. If you apply for a tourist visa but then lie, they are free to reject you. – vsz Jan 2 at 13:04

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