I'll be entering the UK for 6 months, will immigration ask to see my finances?

That’s a great point, @kathrynoh… I’ve been debating how to present that. Perhaps… I earn passive income from a business I own in the U.S.?

I could omit it altogether and simply say I’m there for tourism. But then if they asked to see 6 months’-worth of savings to support two people, I’d have to say “Actually, I’m receiving regular payments from my U.S.-based business.”

Hmm… still considering how best to go about it!

Normally I wouldn’t be so paranoid about this stuff, but now that I have a non-traditional employment situation and a spouse from a developing country, I can’t help but think about it.

Absolutely DO NOT mention to them that you are earning a single penny while in the UK or they will not let you in unless you have a work visa. Make sure you have proof of onward travel and have a number in your head of how much it will cost you to live and tell them that’s what you have in the bank.

The UK does not do well, in my experience, with non-traditional travelers. Have a list of places you are going to visit while you’re there (even if you’re not) and at least one person you can use as a local contact.

Last time I flew into the UK they almost didn’t let me in and I got a REALLY long lecture about how it was illegal and I could be arrested and deported if I did any sort of work online while I was there.


The other option is you get a refundable ticket for, say, a month after you land and lie about how long you’re planning on staying. (I assume you have enough savings in the bank to prove you can both survive for a month). As long as you don’t overstay your 6 month visa, it’s not like they will do anything about it if you “decide” not to leave after the initial month.

IANAL: but as long as you’re not overstaying the visa, I wouldn’t worry about fabricating a better story too much…

I’m British so I’ve never had this issue but considering how many illegal immigrants we actually have in England, I have no idea why they’d give an American a hard time.

^^ That too. Or check out one of the cheap RyanAir deals and just do that. You’ll lose a few bucks but not have to waste time dealing with getting a refund.

An alternative to Skyscanner from UK is Money Saving Expert’s Flight Scanner.
You can search from a popular hub (LHR, MAN, BHX) and choose “I’ll go anywhere”. There are some seriously cheap flights out there. You could even schedule a cheapie over a weekend and actually go for a mini break!

I agree. Do not mention that you will be working!
Maybe print out a bank statement in advance in case they want proof. And the tip to book a cheap flight is great! EasyJet.com has super cheap flights in Europe.

Also, I have no idea how this works in the UK but the last time I flew to the US they wouldn’t even let me board the plane in Amsterdam because I ONLY had an onward flight to Colombia and none back to the EU. They made me buy one then and there.

@wanderingdev @Yemoonyah - Thanks - I’ll definitely not mention working online! This is exactly the type of info I needed to know.

We’ll have genuine onward tickets to leave the UK a couple weeks before our 6 months are up. And through some reshuffling of funds, I think I’ll be able to pump up my bank account enough to prove sufficient support for two non-working people for half a year.

An American might not normally get questioned, but an American + a Brazilian who plan on just studying/tourism for multiple months might be unusual.

I’ll update this thread after we travel.

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I’m an American and they questioned me for @ 45 minutes so don’t count on the ‘Americans are usually waived through’ thing.

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Great advice and I think that applies to any country–even between Canada and the US. “I’m a non-working tourist with sufficient funds abiding by all of your rules, and I have my onward ticket” is a good attitude to have.

You never want border agents thinking you’re coming to their country to work.

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Update: My husband and I got in successfully. The immigration officer asked:

  • Purpose of trip (me = tourism; husband = studying)
  • Length of trip (just under 6 months)
  • Whether we had an outbound ticket - we did - and he asked to see it
  • What exactly I would be doing while my husband was studying for 6 months - I said sightseeing. He seemed a bit skeptical and then asked…
  • How we planned to support ourselves - I said “savings” - he asked how much - I told him the amount, and he was satisfied and did not ask to see my bank statement, even though I had it printed out and ready

Hope this info helps anyone else considering staying a few months in the UK!


Great news Shayna. I’m brazilian too, but my wife is Spanish. I got a visa family to enter in UK.
By the way, where are you working during your stay here in London?

Hi everyone, I’ve luckily never been asked to prove my personal finance when trying to get a visa but I’m just worrying that it may happen sometime in the future, so what should I prepare for it? Can I just print out the page in my online banking site or have to have a bank statement provided from the bank with some officer’s signature? Hope someone can advise. Thanks!

Working mostly from home, actually! Would love to hear suggestions about good places to work if you know of any.

For the first few days, before I had my home internet set up, I went to the Fleet River Bakery - doesn’t look big when you initially enter, but there’s a large back room and downstairs room, and they have power outlets. Important to arrive outside of the breakfast/lunch rush, though.

I had the printed page from my online banking site (printed out as close to the date of travel as possible) but the officer didn’t ask to see it. He only asked the amount, and was satisfied with my verbal answer. Might depend on the country and on the officer, though; some may be stricter than others.

I’d also look for public libraries. I used to work in the Keats Library (right next to the Keats House; very inspirational place to write a book ;-). The British Library cafe is a cool place, but gets full quickly. Google campus is another option (they have a free cafe and a paid co-working space). I worked a lot in Starbucks and Costa, since there are so many around :wink:

Ahh, just realized this was an old thread…but will add my two-cents for future browsers:

I’m an American and they not only questioned me, but detained me for three and a half hours and then ultimately didn’t let me in. And I know another nomadic American that had the same issue.

I agree with everyone above, definitely don’t mention working (and keep in mind that any sort of volunteering, housesitting, pet-sitting, etc. is considered work).

In my case, after being detained, they did ask for proof of funds (which I did not have on me). So this is an excellent question. I normally wouldn’t advise people to travel with bank statements, but going into the UK it might be a good idea to have a statement on you.

I had been in Google Campus (https://www.campuslondon.com/) twice. It’s a great place to work. The only thing you need to do is signup through the website and head to the campus. Once inside, you need to take a chair and start to work. They have a super high speed internet and a coffee inside. It’s a quiet enviroment despite of being a coworking space). I went there 2 times and in both, I can grab a chair as soon as I arrived.

Where are you living? I had gone to The Timberyard too, it’s near the Google Campus. I think it looks like the Fleet River as you described. When you enter doesn’t look big but there’s a downstairs room too.

Check it out this link too: http://www.locappy.com/blog/blog/best-cafes-and-places-to-work-from-in-london

I’m an American who has entered the UK visa-free two (and a half) times over the past year. The border checks were more thorough and serious than I’ve experienced elsewhere in Europe, and they did ask me once about how I was planning to support myself, but nobody asked to see my actual finances. Nobody asked to see an onward ticket, either — just an estimate of how long I was planning to stay. (I think I said something on the order of “a few months”.)

Caveat: I was arriving by Chunnel bus from mainland Europe. YMMV if you come by plane.

It might be a good idea to have a printout of a bank statement just in case!

This is usually the type of questions you get asked at the border by UK immigration officers. I just saw this post and its good you did not mention work. But for the purposes of the type of visit visa you can be working on your online business. The rules really are about not working in the UK and getting paid for it. Its an old concept and like @wanderingdev said it will confuse them so better keep it simple.

It will be ok to show them that you have the funds being earned online but keep in mind the immigration rules. If you meet them, they they should let you through.

US visitors do not need a visa to visit for a short period but for certain other nationalities, you will. Check out our tips for UK visit visas

I have been in the UK for a week now.

The immigration/border officer asked a couple of questions which are pretty standard:

  • How long are you staying
  • Where are you going next
  • How are you supporting yourself (I mentioned him that I work remotely)