I am considering whether there is any paperwork I should be collecting for future tourist visa applications.

I am a British Citizen, US Permanent Resident, and my recent travel outside the US and EU has been group tours and cruises. I have been treated as having low risk of overstay etc. However, bureaucracy happens, and I want to be prepared.

The potential problem is that I am retired. No job, no school. A lot of visa granting seems to depend on jobs to prove monthly income and intent to return home.

I transfer a fixed allowance from an investment account to my checking account each month, and treat that as though it were my income. The investment account can go up and down in value quite dramatically over periods of months, because it contains stocks and bonds as well as cash equivalents.

I have no family in the US. I do have a house I like, and consider my home.

Is there any paperwork should I be collecting to maximize my chances of getting any tourist visas I might want in the future? Possible non-EU countries include Russia, Mongolia, and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. EU may become an issue, depending on the terms of the Brexit divorce.


I agree with the comments that I am likely to get most visas with no problem. That has been my practical experience. The question is what I should do to guard against exceptions, such as an excessively bureaucratic process requiring me to prove intent to return home.

  • 1
    You're in mostly the sort of situation that most countries love to see. You should have no issues getting a visa to anywhere. Aug 6, 2016 at 0:11
  • @MichaelHampton The question is what documentation could I produce if challenged to prove income and intent to return home. Aug 6, 2016 at 8:24
  • @GayotFow I am not American. I am a British Citizen and US Permanent Resident. Myself, my parents, and three of my grandparents were born in the UK. One grandmother came from somewhere unspecified in central Europe. Not promising for proving any citizenship other than British. Aug 8, 2016 at 1:44
  • Follow up on the unspecified country then, it may prove very helpful
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 8, 2016 at 1:49
  • @GayotFow Not for this question, which is about paperwork for getting visas, not expanding the already quite long list of countries for which I don't need visas. Aug 8, 2016 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


Since the question is generalized about documentation to show "intent to return home" for visitor visa purposes. I will list down a number of 'ties' which can be used to show this intent. All of these are based on my personal experience of mine and friends' visa applications. Details for some visa for a specific country may vary.

1_ The most basic and first proof can be your home. If you own a house, apartment or any personal residence; its' relevant documentation is a solid proof of home-ties.

Assets. A disclosure of your assets both personal and business. No one would leave their assets just to stay in another country. This may include bank accounts, businesses, insurances, endowments etc. e.g. if you have an important/specific medical insurance that can be used for good effect.

Residential rental agreements. You may not have a house of your own but may be living on a long term rental agreement. This is fairly practiced in the gulf countries where people have 1-2 years rental agreements for their residences.

2_ Current job. Having a permanent fix salaried job or an on going contract is also a very nice proof. You can show your current job and career buildup/advancement documentation, sometimes even a professional resume/CV with references mentioned on it works as well. This also highlights that you won't be staying illegally for work.

If you are a business-person then your business ties will replace the job related documentation.

3_ Letter from current/past employers for rehiring. This may be a long shot for you but if you have good terms with your employer you can use a letter from your company stating that they are interested in rehiring you once you come back. Of course this doesn't put a legal obligation on them but it will be helpful for your visa processing.

4_ Renewal of certain documentations. For example if you have any professional license which requires renewals; that license is a potential intent to come back to renew it. A common example of such a license can be a teaching license.

5_ Social ties. Documentation supporting your social ties and role in your community. These may be immediate family members living with you like parents, kids, step-kids, wife, custodial children etc. e.g. Documentation supporting your kids schooling can have a very strong impact.

Furthermore a link to some organization can also be used. You may be a part of some charity, a religious institute memberships

Now coming to the point that since you are a retired UK national; trust the comments, you will literally have no issues in getting visas. You are the kind of person countries want to have as visitors and tourists. :-P

(I may have missed something or if something comes to mind later on I will edit this post)

For others reading this just keep this general point in mind that proving home ties can be a strenuous process and it really depends on how you approach the visa officer and the application. USCIS has more-or-less the most thorough process for verifying home ties; they operate based on the assumption that you are coming to the US because want to illegally overstay and you have to convince them otherwise. Having a look at the requirements on their website will be very helpful for almost any country.

  • 2
    #2 the OP is retired, #3 not sure how helpful this is #5 OP mentioned family ties aren't significant enough
    – blackbird
    Aug 14, 2016 at 12:02
  • 1
    Thanks for attempting an answer to the question, and for seeing the general issue. The question is specifically about the case of a jobless retiree with no family in the country of residence, excluding #2 and #5. In practice, I would go with #1. I own my home, and going underground would be counter-productive for someone living off investment income and entitled to US Social Security. Aug 14, 2016 at 12:28
  • yes i understand some points may not be relevant to you but i listed them down anyway to be as generic as possible. @blackbird I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that they are listed in order of decreasing importance. since the op is retired yes some may not be applicable and the best shot would be to go with #1 and the second half of #5. but there may be other retired people (above 65 years) who may be working intermittently on contractual basis etc. hence my #2 and #3
    – Newton
    Aug 14, 2016 at 12:38
  • One possible addition - I don't know whether it would help. Since retiring, ending business travel, I have consistently acted like a tourist. I travel somewhere, spend two to three weeks staying in hotels or on cruise boats, doing tourist activities, and then return to California. Aug 14, 2016 at 12:55
  • so you are saying that travel history - itineraries, visa stamps, hotel bookings can be potential proofs?
    – Newton
    Aug 14, 2016 at 13:04

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