My father would like to apply for a UK visa in order to visit us, he has no bank account back home and it's not possible for him to get one in that corrupted country where less than 1% of the population have bank accounts.

I can have a secondary card with his name on my pre-paid credit card account and deposit a thousand pound or two for him in it. Would such card be considered as an evidence that he can support himself during his visit to the UK?


2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, in addition to showing financial health bank account statements are used to establish or confirm ties to the country.

The fact that is there x amount in the bank is only of secondary importance.

The embassy officer is looking for:

  1. Do you have regular expenses, and regular income? (this shows ties)

  2. Do you have enough funds to cover the expenses of your trip, and not be a burden on the state? The amount that the officer is looking for depends on the length and purpose of your trip and/or if any part of the trip is pre-paid or being supported by someone else.

  3. Is your financial position / lifestyle commensurate with your job? Do you have any undeclared income that you didn't show?

I have never seen credit cards being used to satisfy all the above. If your father is retired, then he can show his pension statement. If he is receiving payments from other businesses in cash, he can show receipts of the same, or a letter from a recognized, accredited accounting firm that handles his business accounts.

I fear that providing a large sum in the form of a credit card would raise flags and this is akin to funds parking (that is, borrowing large amounts of money for the status of inflating your financial situation in order to obtain a visa). If suspected of this, the application is almost guaranteed to be rejected.

I do know that credit cards have been used as secondary sources of funds; for example when asked by the officer how do you plan on supporting your self, one can answer:

I have x in GBP available to me in my bank account from my savings, in addition I have access to x GBP available through my credit cards.

The correct way for you to support your father, is to provide an affadavit of support; this is in a form of a letter addressed to the embassy, it should state:

  1. Your full name, passport information and current status in the UK.
  2. Your address
  3. Your job details (if you are employed).
  4. Proof of relationship with the sponsored (if applicable)
  5. A statement that you are willing to support the person during their stay from ________ till _________ for the purpose of _____________ .
  6. Any addition form of support (for example, you are paying for their ticket, the person will be staying with you - or - you have arranged for a hotel), etc.

Along with the letter a copy of your passport and visa page, or residence card. Proof of accomodation (this could be a lease for property, or proof of a hotel reservation, or copies of utility bills stating your name and the address).

Your father can then supply this to the embassy as proof of funds.


I agree with the detailed information in Burhan Khalid's answer. But just to make this perfectly clear: the action you are proposing will be considered fraudulent and will lead to certain refusal of the application.

The main problem is not the credit card (though this inadequate). The main problem is you sending your relative a large sum of money in an attempt to make them appear able to support themselves on the trip. This is known as funds parking, and it would be just as unacceptable if you deposited this money into a bank account.

Update: the "correct" way to do this is for the application to make clear that you, as a third party, will be providing the funds to support your father. This is allowed on the application. In this case, you will provide documenting evidence about your own financial situation.

See some information in the visitor guidance under "Maintenance and accommodation provided by a third party". There are also some related questions and answers on this site; here is one.

There is potential for a visa to be refused in this situation. If the person evaluating the application is not satisfied that your father has enough financial and other ties to his country to return, they may fear he intends to stay in the UK illegally (Unfortunately, it is a reality that people who are financially comfortable get visas much more easily than those who are not).

  • 2
    What's the right/legal way to do it? I want to support him during the period he is staying here and pay for all his expenses. You answer made me confused a little, do they allow only rich people who are comfortable all the time or they allow a person who is not necessarily comfortable but can afford the trip?
    – Ulkoma
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 8:40
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    @Ulkoma The right way is that you buy the plane tickets and pay for the various expenses of the trip yourself (after the visa is approved). Your father will disclose this on his visa application; there are specific questions about it. Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 8:49
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    @Ulkoma You may also need to submit some of your financial information, and a letter undertaking to support your father on his visit. See travel.stackexchange.com/q/66104/3221 Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 8:54
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    @Ulkoma re: last paragraph; yes it is a sad reality, that they prefer rich people who are comfortable. If you are comfortable enough to support your father, while he cannot afford this himself, they may fear, that he'll prefer to stay with you, since you're so much better off here in the UK. To maximize chance of success your father should go to every effort to demonstrate his other links to home, e.g. does he own a house/flat? Is he married and is his wife staying back at home? Things like that could be added to expand the last paragraph of this answer.
    – LLlAMnYP
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 9:48
  • 1
    "Unfortunately, it is a reality that people who are financially comfortable get visas much more easily than those who are not": This follows from the statutory requirement (in most countries) to presume that the applicant intends to immigrate. It is much easier for a financially stable person to overcome that presumption, so someone who is not as well off should, as @LLlAMnYP notes, pay extra attention to using other means to demonstrate ties to his or her home country.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 12:58

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