UK citizens and residents may have to host family and friends from time to time. Along with opening your doors to welcome your loved ones, you may also have to help them with their visa process. This mainly includes sending an invitation letter. When a foreigner applies for a UK visit or tourist visa, they must submit an invitation letter from the host or sponsor in the UK. Although the invitation letter for UK visa is not considered mandatory for a visit visa (it is not needed for UK transit visas), it surely has its advantages. The invitation letter gives more weight to the visa application. But what exactly is a visa letter of invitation? Let us find out.
What is a Letter of Invitation?
A letter of invitation is an official document written by the host or sponsor in the UK to invite their friend, family member, or partner to the country. It may feel like the letter is written to invite a person to the country. But its real purpose is to convey the reason for the person’s visit to the immigrant officials. It helps establish the relationship between the host and the visitor. So, you must include all the details of both the host and the guest and the reasons for visiting the UK. The invitation must be addressed to immigration officers, specifically the British Entry Clearance Officer (ECO).
Who Can Send a Letter of Invitation for a UK Visa?
You must fulfill certain criteria to be eligible to send an invitation letter for a UK visa. Here are the eligibility requirements for the invitation letter for a UK visa:
- You should be a UK citizen, a legal resident, or at least a permanent resident to invite a foreigner to the country.
- You can sponsor or host of a relative, family member, friend, partner, or spouse.
- You should own or rent a residential property in the UK, be it a flat or a house.
- There should be adequate space to accommodate your guest during their visit
What details go into the invitation letter for a UK visa?
Before writing the invitation letter, you must know what to include in it. Not including any important information and providing incorrect information can both backfire, leading to the rejection of a UK visa application.
- The letter should have all your information, including your full name, address, telephone number, occupation, UK residential status, and relationship with the visitor.
- You also need to provide details of the guest, like their full name, travel itinerary, and their relationship with you.
- Next comes the details of the trip. You need to mention the purpose of your guest’s visit, how long they plan to stay in the UK, and the dates for entering and exiting the country.
- The purpose of the visit should be clearly mentioned. The purpose should be genuine, one that is permitted as per the types of UK visa you are applying for. In the case of a UK visit visa, the purpose could be visiting family or friends, attending an event or function, sightseeing, etc.
- You must mention your guest’s accommodation and travel arrangements. An important detail to include is the financial side of their visit. You must also specify whether you sponsor their trip or they will use their own financial resources. Even if both parties share the costs, the letter should mention the same.
- Most tourists visiting the UK plan for a one- or two-day trip. In such a case, the dates of travel and accommodation details should be mentioned in the letter.
- If there is a plan to travel anywhere in the UK for more than a day, you must mention the dates and accommodation details.
Important Tips for Writing a UK Invitation Letter
Apart from knowing what to write, you should also know how to write a UK visa invitation letter. Here are some important tips:
- Use a formal tone to write the letter.
- The format of the letter should be formal.
- Make sure that the letter is organized well. Assign different paragraphs for different points. You can make use of bullet points wherever necessary.
- All the information in the letter should be accurate. There should be no spelling or factual errors.
- Rather than writing lengthy sentences, opt for short ones and make the letter concise but clear.
Supporting Documents Required for the UK Invitation Letter
The letter itself may not be sufficient. There should be supporting documents to give credibility to your letter. Here is the list of important documents to go with your UK invitation letter:
- A scanned copy of your UK passport or biometric resident permit verifying your residency status
- Proof that you own or rent a residential place in the UK
- Proof of financial resources in the form of bank statements
- Scanned copies of travel, accommodation, and activity plans within the UK
- Additional legal documents to improve the chances of UK visa approval
Sample Invitation Letter for UK Visa
Here is a sample invitation letter that will help you write one on your own:
UK Immigration Division
Re: Invitation Letter for (Applicant’s Name) – (Applicant’s Passport Number)
To whom it may concern,
I (your name and date of birth) wish to invite (applicant’s or guest’s name along with date of birth) to the UK through this invitation letter. They will stay with me at my residence (address) from (date of arrival) to (date of departure).
(Name of the guest/application) is my (explain relation: friend, relative, partner, or spouse). (He/she) is visiting for (mention the purpose of the visit).
I am a permanent resident of the UK and have been residing here for the past (mention the years). I look forward to financially supporting the (applicant’s name) visit to the UK; this includes their accommodation, food, and travel expenses. My apartment/house has adequate space to accommodate (applicant’s name) during their visit.
Kindly find copies of my passport, rent/ownership agreement, and booking details of the hotel (location) where we plan to stay. You can also find my bank statements for the last three months along with this letter.
We value your help in approving this visa application. If you need any further documents or information, kindly get in touch without hesitation.
(Your Name and Signature)
The process of writing an invitation letter for a UK visa may sound daunting. But it is quite straightforward. You can simply follow the instructions above and write an effective UK visa invitation letter in no time.
Nilkanth Patil is a passionate writer with an impressive background in travel and has experience in the fields of visa consulting and customer service. He combines his expertise in these fields with his love of writing viewing it as both a hobby and a way to share his perspectives on topics that fascinate him.