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In a situation wherein a visitor to the UK, with a valid visa, is staying with a friend, who happens not to be a/the sponsor of the visitor in a self-catered holiday rental apartment, how would the visitor be able to prove that he/she would be staying at this particular place, especially if the friend had booked the accommodation?

As far as most receipts go, only the name of the person who booked it shows up, more so when it is done through a booking site. Should the visitor carry any letter from this friend (who, let's say, is a non-native and holds the same passport as the visitor) but is on say a Tx visa in the UK?

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    wouldn't a better question be "do you have to prove that you are staying at the address you put on your landing card?" - I've never been to UK secondary so I can't answer this, but no country in the world, including those where I've gone to secondary, ever asked me to prove the address – Kate Gregory Jul 21 '16 at 17:33
  • @KateGregory : that is indeed the question in a nutshell. I was curious if the IO might want to press for further information on the accommodation details during the landing interview. In such a case, the visitor might have a bit of trouble to prove that the reservation shown is applicable to him/her? – D.Phish Jul 21 '16 at 19:48
  • Expect to get a call from the border official, if you did the booking, if they decide to check the accommodation arrangements. – DumbCoder Jul 22 '16 at 8:34
  • @DumbCoder : That wouldn't be an issue but I wonder if preparing a letter from the person who booked the accommodation, stating relationship and the monetary adjustment involved would save a bit of hassle for the visitor, who is travelling out for the first time. – D.Phish Jul 22 '16 at 15:11
  • You do realize that anybody can write any number of letters for the same. How are you going to convince the border official that something written on plain paper is genuine and truthful. – DumbCoder Jul 22 '16 at 15:24
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+50

Should the visitor carry any letter from this friend (who, let's say, is a non-native and holds the same passport as the visitor) but is on say a Tx visa in the UK?

I suggest not, for the reasons given by @Kate Gregory. (ie I too have never been asked for proof even when asked where I was planning to stay.) In any case, it is usually only the first night's accommodation that seems to be of interest (in my experience). In other words, I have no real idea why the question is even asked, other than to be sure the reply is not "on the street" and in general to judge your demeanour.

If you feel exposed without some paperwork, I suggest a copy of the contract between the landlord and your friend would be adequate. If your accommodation were an issue Immigration could then contact your friend to confirm her/his permission and already have evidence that s/he has accommodation to offer you.

Perhaps some indication is when a friend of mine was asked about accommodation (though not in UK) where he had none planned. He was about to be turned back but, thinking on his feet, said his friend (who had by then cleared Immigration) held the address. He was allowed to find 'his friend', looked up a hotel in the Yellow Pages, returned with that address - and was allowed through.

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