ECB12 - Undertakings
This is internal guidance for use by entry clearance (visa) staff on the handling of visa applications made outside the UK. It is a live document under constant review and is for information only.
On this page
- ECB12.1 Undertaking by the applicant
- ECB12.2 Undertakings from sponsors, MPs etc
- ECB12.3 Sponsor undertakings on maintenance and accommodation
- ECB12.4 The sponsor's maintenance and accommodation undertaking
- ECB12.5 What to do with a completed sponsor's maintenance and accommodation undertaking
- ECB12.6 Is failure to provide / comply with an undertaking on maintenance and accommodation grounds for refusal?
ECB12.1 Undertaking by the applicant
Under the Rules, the ECO must be satisfied that a person applying is genuinely seeking entry for the period and purpose stated. An applicant gives an undertaking to this effect by completing the relevant part of the application form. This undertaking may be reinforced orally during an interview and noted by the ECO at that time.
ECB12.2 Undertakings from sponsors, MPs etc
Applications for entry clearance are sometimes supported by undertakings from a sponsor, Member of Parliament or other third parties. However, only the undertaking of a sponsor on maintenance and accommodation is mentioned in the Rules (see following sub-section).
Any other undertaking by a sponsor or any third party undertaking is unenforceable. No such undertakings should be sought by the ECO. Offers to provide such undertakings should not be accepted.
If an undertaking from a third party appears as an accompanying document to an application, the ECO may consider it as a factor, but without disproportionate weight.
If an MP writes directly to Post in support of an application, Post should send an acknowledgement stating that when the application is assessed, the MP's letter will be taken into account together with all other available evidence. Should an ECO consider supporting a case with an MP's letter which might subsequently need to be revealed at an appeal, and where the MP has not given their permission for this, the details should be sent to Visa Services Directorate, UK Border Agency, who will decide, in consultation with Parliamentary Relations and Devolution Team, whether the MP should be approached for consent.
ECB12.3 Sponsor undertakings on maintenance and accommodation
As with undertakings from an applicant (see above), the ECO should only require an undertaking from a sponsor in exceptional circumstances or for certain categories eg parents, grandparents and other dependent relatives under Rule 317 of the Immigration Rules. (see Maintenance & Accommodation - MAA)
An undertaking on maintenance and accommodation would not normally be necessary where the applicant is only going to the UK for a few weeks to stay with close relatives who have demonstrated adequate income and / or funds.
The ECO should:
- explain the significance of signing the maintenance and accommodation undertaking document to the sponsor and / or the applicant.
- make clear that this undertaking will be made available to the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK who will take the appropriate steps to recover the cost of any public funds paid to or in respect of the sponsored person.
ECB12.4 The sponsor's maintenance and accommodation undertaking
By signing this form, the sponsor confirms that they will be responsible for the applicant's maintenance and accommodation in the UK. The completed form should be included when making a settlement application.
Sponsorship undertaking form can be downloaded from the right side of this page under 'Related documents'.
ECB12.5 What to do with a completed sponsor's maintenance and accommodation undertaking
The ECO should complete the certification on the form, keep a copy on file and send the original sponsorship undertaking to DWP. Please refer to local address list for details of where to send to.
ECB12.6 Is failure to provide / comply with an undertaking on maintenance and accommodation grounds for refusal?
Yes. Failure by a sponsor to provide an undertaking on maintenance and accommodation when requested is grounds for refusal (Rules paragraph 320(14)). Additionally, variation of leave to remain in the UK can be refused by the UK Border Agency if a sponsor subsequently declines to give such an undertaking, or fails to honour one paragraph 322 (6).