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How to Write a Letter of Invitation for a UK Visa

If you wish to act as a sponsor for a visitor to the UK, you may have to write a letter of invitation.

For more information about UK visitor visas and the requirements when applying for one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online.

What is a Letter of Invitation?

A letter of invitation (also known as a sponsorship letter or sponsor letter) is a letter written by a UK-based sponsor to support a friend, family member, or partner’s UK visitor visa application.

This is usually because you will need to demonstrate that you have ties to the visa applicant in question and that you will be able to support or accommodate the visitor for the entire duration of their stay in the UK.

The main content of the letter will be you inviting the visitor to stay in your home. Details about yourself, the visitor, and the trip itself should also be included in order to give the fullest and most detailed description of the visit as possible.

In addition, you should also include copies of supporting documents to verify and back up the information contained within the invitation letter.

What Are the Requirements for a Letter of Invitation?

In order for the invitation letter to be taken as valid evidence, you should:

  • Be a UK citizen, legal resident, or lawful permanent resident
  • Be a friend, relative, or partner/spouse of the visitor
  • Have a registered place of accommodation (such as a house or a flat that you rent or own)
  • Have enough space to accommodate the visitor for the whole duration of their stay

All of the information included in the letter must be truthful and accurate.

Who Should the Letter of Invitation be Addressed To?

Although the purpose of the letter of invitation is to invite someone to stay in your home, the letter doesn’t need to be addressed directly to the visitor.

This is because the invitation letter is simply a formality intended to convey supporting information such as your personal details, the visitor’s details and details about the visit to the British Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) or UK consular officer.

Therefore, the letter does not need to be written as though you are writing to, speaking to, or inviting the visitor directly.

Instead, it’s perfectly acceptable to write as though you are addressing the ECO, rather than the visitor. If so, then you may wish to start the letter with ‘Dear Sir/Madam’, or ‘To whom it may concern’.

However, you may wish to address the invitation letter to the visitor you are inviting to stay if you wish. This would then be written as ‘Dear <visitor’s name>’.

If you require assistance writing a letter of invitation, get in touch with us today.

What Information Should be Included in the Letter of Invitation?

Basic Information to be Included in the Letter of Invitation

The letter of invitation should ideally contain details about the host, the visitor, and the trip itself.

It should include the host’s:

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Telephone number
  • Occupation
  • Status in the UK
  • Relationship to the visitor

In addition to this, it should also include the visitor’s:

  • Full name
  • Travel itinerary
  • Relationship to the host

The sponsor letter should also give details about the trip itself. The letter should include details regarding the following:

  • The length of the stay
  • The start and end dates of the stay
  • The purpose of the visit
  • The accommodation
  • Living, travel and other expenses

Additional Information to be Included in the Letter of Invitation

Details regarding the expenses should be outlined by the host. This may be stating that the host intends to fully financially support the visitor throughout the trip, including living and food costs. Alternatively, the invitation letter may state that the host and visitor intend to share costs throughout the trip, or that the visitor intends on paying a certain amount of the costs of the visit.

It may be that you’re unable to provide exact dates of the trip, as you or the visitor haven’t made any firm arrangements yet.

If so, then it’s acceptable to give a rough idea of the number of days or the date in the invitation letter. For example, this may be expressed as ‘I am inviting <visitor’s name> to stay with me for two weeks in August’, or ‘The visit will last for around eight days in November or December’.

In addition, if you and the visitor are planning to stay somewhere other than (or in addition to) your own home, you should include details about this also. This may be written as ‘We are also planning to stay in <location’s address> for three nights from <start date> to <end date>.

When outlining the purpose of the visit in the invitation letter, it may be something as simple as sightseeing, or wanting to spend time with friends or relatives. However, if the visitor is travelling to the UK for a specific reason, such as to attend a specific event or to take a course, then this should be mentioned in the letter.

What Supporting Documents Should be Included with the Letter of Invitation?

In order for the invitation letter to be accepted by the ECO, it should be accompanied by copies of supporting documents to back up the information included in the letter.

For example, these might be documents that prove your status as a UK citizen, or ones that prove that you’re able to financially support the visitor throughout the stay.

Below are some examples of supporting documents you may wish to include with the invitation letter:

  • A scan of your UK passport
  • A scan of something that confirms your status in the UK, such as biometric residence permit
  • Proof of rental or ownership of your home, such as a tenancy agreement
  • Proof of financial means, such as bank statements
  • Copies of any travel, accommodation or activity plans already arranged
  • Any other legal document that will support the visitor’s visa application

There are no specific documents that absolutely must be included with the letter. However, the more documents you include, the stronger the support for the visa application will be.

woman writing a letter at a table

Sample Letter of Invitation

Below is an example of what a letter of invitation for a visitor visa or family visitor visa may look like. Note that this is only a rough template, and sections may be added, taken away, or edited as needed according to your own personal circumstances.

<Your Name>

<Your Address>

<Your phone number>

<Your email address>

<Date>

Application for visitor visa for <visitor’s name>

To whom it may concern,

This is a letter of invitation inviting <visitor’s name, with date of birth> to come and stay with me, <your full name, with date of birth> in the UK. They will stay with me for <length of stay> at my address in <location> from <start date> to <end date>.

<Visitor’s name> is my <type of relationship here, with length of time known if applicable>, and the intention of the trip will be sightseeing, seeing family and travelling to local areas of interest.

In addition to <visitor’s name> staying in my own home, we will also spend three days lodging at <name of accommodation or place> from <start date> to <end date>. The address of the lodging is <address>.

I am a UK citizen by birth and work as a <occupation>. I fully intend to financially support <visitor’s name> for the duration of the trip, including food, room and board, and travel costs within the UK. I also have more than enough room in my own home to accommodate <visitor’s name> for the duration of their trip.

Please find attached copies of my British passport, tenancy agreement, work ID, and booking details of the lodgings in <location>. I have also enclosed a copy of my bank statement from <date> to confirm that I have the necessary funds to fund <visitor’s name>’s visit to the UK.

If you require any more information from me, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

Yours faithfully,

<your signature>

<your name>

How Can IAS Help?

If you’re required to write an invitation letter to support a UK visitor visa, it’s important to be clear on what you’re expected to include in it, as well as what supporting documents you will need.

However, if you require any assistance with writing an invitation letter for a UK visa, or if you have any questions about the process, IAS are here to help.

We are expert immigration lawyers who have years’ worth of experience in UK immigration law. We can assist you with any UK immigration or visa issue, including advising you on how to write, format and complete a letter of invitation for a UK visitor visa.

For more information about the services we offer, and to speak to one of our trusted legal advisers, get in touch with us today on 0333 305 9375, or contact us through our form online.

We can help you with your immigration issues and queries.

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