Mon | May 16, 2022

Summer stay

Published:Tuesday | May 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I currently reside in the UK and I read your columns online. My colleague has asked me to be a sponsor for her as she would like to visit in the summer.

Would you please advise me what information I would need to supply?

Thanks.

S.Y.

Dear S.Y.,

The documents needed to support your colleague's application will largely depend on the circumstances of the case. If your colleague is asking you to provide documents that a sponsor could provide to support a general visitor's application, then the UK authorities may ask you to send in evidence that would substantiate your own immigration status in the country.

In addition, you may also have to provide a sponsorship letter to explain your relationship to the person applying. You will be required to explain the purpose of the visit and give the address where your visitor intends to stay.

Then there is the issue of whether you will be providing financial support and accommodation for your general visitor; and/or whether you will be paying for her travel to the UK.

If you will be financially responsible for the visitor and/or if you will be paying for her travel, then you should be prepared to send the UK authorities the following items that would be used to substantiate as evidence that you are in a position and are able to do so. You should send copies of your financial statements from a bank or building society; pay slips for the last six months; or a copy of your savings account book.

If the person you are sponsoring to the UK is for the purposes of business, then the authorities may ask you to send them a letter that would outline the business links between yourself and the visitor. You would also be expected to explain what your visitor would be doing while in the UK and whether your company is paying for the trip.

As the sponsor, you are not expected to act as a guarantor for your general visitor. This is because you - the prospective sponsor - cannot be expected to guarantee that the individual will leave at the end of his/her visit. If you agree to act as sponsor and upon providing the above-mentioned documentation and the UK authorities decide your general visitor cannot enter, it is not necessarily a reflection on the quality of evidence you provided or that they doubt what you have told them. The reason that the application would be rejected is because, under the UK immigration rules, it is the general visitor who must satisfy the entry-clearance officer or the immigration officer (or both) that he/she qualifies for entry.

I hope that this assists you.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises in Jamaica. He is a Supreme Court-appointed mediator and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com or editor@gleanerjm.com.