Visa Application: When can you be sponsored and what documents do you need from your sponsor

You do not need a sponsor if you are self-employed unless the trip is in the interest of your sponsor.

If you are employed, you also do not need a sponsor unless you are traveling on behalf of your company, or the trip is in the interest of any other person sponsoring you.

You need a sponsor if you are dependent of someone and such person is the perfect sponsor.

Visa officers usually doubt if a non-dependent is being sponsored. In this case, you have to give reasons why someone else is paying for your trip.

Documents Needed From Your Sponsor

Letter of Sponsorship

This is a letter addressed to the embassy indicating your sponsor’s commitment to pay for your trip. The letter must state the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant, and why he/she intends paying for your trip.

If you are not sponsored by your parents, it’s advisable to indicate why they are not paying for your trip.

Any relations?

If you are related to your sponsor, you can include a document to confirm this relation. If you are sponsored by your parents or siblings, your birth certificate should be able tell that indeed they are your parents or siblings.  In case of your brothers or sisters, include their birth certificates as well. If you are being sponsored by your spouse, your marriage certificate will confirm your relation.

If you are being sponsored by your uncle, sometimes your birth certificate can do the magic if he shares the same surname with your parent.

Bank Statements

Bank Statements are needed; usually three to six months statements from licensed banks. Though embassies accept statements from rural banks and microfinances, it’s strongly advised that you don’t use them in your visa applications. The balance of the statement is also important. Click HERE to read how to know if your sponsor is having enough balance in account.

Proof of employment and income

Funds in the bank statements must be defended with your sponsor’s source of income. If your sponsor is self-employed, business registration, invoices, tax clearance certificate and other any other document to prove a running business are required.

If your sponsor is a salary worker, then these documents would be needed rather as proof of employment and income:

  • Letter of introduction from employer
  • Appointment letter, if available
  • 3 to 6 months payslips

Any investments?

If your sponsor has any fixed deposits or other investments, you can include them for the embassy to know how strong he/she is financially.

ID/Travel History

Include a copy of your sponsor’s ID. If your sponsor has a travel history, especially to the country you are visiting, you can include copies of visas issued him/her.

Proof of remittances

If you are dependent of your sponsor, then you can add any proof of funds you’ve been receiving from him/her, if any. If your sponsor lives abroad, then definitely you have some Western Union or Moneygram receipts to include.

Traveling on behalf of a company?

If you are embarking on a business trip on behalf of a company, it means the trip is being sponsored by the company.

The company has to issue to you a Letter of Introduction and Sponsorship indicating their commitment and interest in the trip. The company’s business registration documents, tax clearance certificates and bank statements should be included in the application.

Though the company is sponsoring for your trip, you still have to include your personal bank statement and payslips which will indicate that you truly receive salaries from your employer.

Sponsorship Letter For Visa Application: Sample, myth, FAQs and mistake to avoid

If someone is paying for your travel, you will need to include a Letter of Sponsorship from your sponsor.

Companies who are sponsoring employees on a trip can include a line in the Introductory Letter indicating the company’s financial commitments towards the trip. In this case, a separate Sponsorship Letter would not be required.

Letter of Sponsorships for visa applications are addressed to the Visa Section or Consular of the embassy or consulate concerned.

What a Sponsorship Letter should include

A Letter of Sponsorship must include but not limited to, the following:

  1. Relationship to the applicant
  2. Applicant’s date of birth or Passport Number
  3. Applicant’s purpose of travel
  4. Intended travel dates
  5. Reason for Sponsorship (Very important if the person sponsoring is not a parent/guardian)
  6. Sponsorship amount
  7. Sponsorship’s employment (Very important if sponsorship’s source of income is not easily explained by documents included in the application)
  8. Contact details

Sample text of a Sponsorship Letter For Visa Application

December 11, 2019

The Consular,
South Africa High Commission,

Dear Sir/Madam,


I write to confirm my commitment in sponsoring my son Kyrian Patrice Sanza with passport number G6865886 on a two-week vacation to South Africa.

I will make available to him $2,500 to cover his travel and stay while in South Africa and will bear any other cost that may arise as a result of his travel.

I work as a Travel Blogger and have attached documents relating to my blog and income to this letter for your kind perusal.

I can be reached on 0249383939 should you require further information.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
Akesse Moise Sanza
(Father to Applicant)

In the above sample by, a father is sponsoring his son, and he doesn’t need to state why he has decided to use his money that way. But if a friend or someone else is sponsoring the applicant, there should be a line indicating the reason for the sponsorship. The same reason will serve as an answer to why he/she has decided to use the money that way.

An applicant who is being sponsored by someone other than parents must prove to the Consular through material evidence that the sponsor is committed to him financially. Add proof of funds received from the sponsor in the past.

Myths and mistakes to avoid when writing a Sponsorship Letter for Visa Application

Is letterhead needed?

Sponsorship Letter for visa application or any other thing should only be written on a letterhead if the company is sponsoring the applicant. The fact that your sponsor attached documents relating to his business does not mean the company is sponsoring you. Those documents are only serving as his source of income.

Writing the letter of the company’s letterhead means the company has an interest in the travel, and such interest should be stated in the letter. If the company has no interest in the applicant’s travel, letterheads should be avoided.

Sponsorship limited to one person?

The myth that a sponsor cannot sponsor more than one applicant, or need some time to sponsor a second applicant, has entered into people’s head. There is no limit as to how many people you can give money to travel at a time, or within a period. Once you have the means, you can even sponsor the entire Ghanaian population on a trip at a time. The only question a sponsor need to ask himself is: Can I afford to pay for all these trips? Once the answer is YES, then it’s okay to sponsor all the applicants.

READ ALSO: Visa Application: When can you be sponsored and what documents do you need from your sponsor

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change/switch sponsors?

If your previous application was sponsored by someone who is no longer paying for your trip, or you are travelling for a different purpose which has a new person paying, then you are free to switch sponsors. The person paying for the trip is referred to as a SPONSOR. It isn’t just for a formality for visa applications.

Can I have more than one sponsor?

YES. If two or more people are paying for your trip, you have to include all of them in your application as sponsors. They are to indicate in the sponsorship letters the amount they are contributing towards your trip. All sponsors must also include documents to support their employment and financial status.

My sponsor doesn’t have Bank Statement, what can I do?

Where is he/she keeping the money to be spent on your holiday? If your sponsor is the type that keeps money at home or unlicensed banks, then you should advise him/her of your travel plans and the need to keep funds at the bank.

My sponsor is ready to pay for my trip but not ready to give me his documents because he intends travelling soon.

This is another myth. Some people think they can’t travel themselves once they sponsor someone on a trip. You can sponsor hundreds of people and still be able to travel yourself once you can meet the financial demands. There are no limitations.

How much balance should my sponsor have in his statement?

Bank Statement For Visa Application: How much balance is enough?

Who can sponsor my application?

Anyone willing to pay for your travel.

Can I buy or use a fake bank statement?

No, it’s a crime. Dangers of using fake bank statements in visa applications

Can I add my bank statement as well?

Yes. If you are employed, you need to add your bank statement. If you are a student or not employed but have a bank statement, there is no need to add since you have no income. You should add it when it’s confirming a claim you have made in your application. E.g., You stated that your sponsor gives you GHS2000 monthly and this is clearly shown on your bank statement because he sends via bank transfer or direct deposit. In this case, you are to add your bank statement to your application even if you don’t have a coin in it.

My sponsor only has a bank statement, no other document to support it. What should I do?

Having enough funds to pay for your trip is not the only concern of the consular. Your sponsor must prove that he/she has legally acquired the funds. Embassies do not accept bank statements that have funds illegally obtained.

My sponsor’s bank statement is genuine. Why was I refused?

‘My bank statement is genuine, why was my visa application refused’ – Question from reader