Accommodation certificates are required by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office and by the British High Commission in the relevant country, for any individuals requiring a visa application to enter and to reside in the UK with relatives, on a permanent or semi permanent basis.

The application is made by the householder in the United Kingdom.

The certificate, if granted, shows that the property is considered to provide a safe and healthy environment for the occupants and that the property satisfies the overcrowding standard in the Housing Acts 1985 and 2004.

Application procedure

To arrange an inspection an application form must be completed and returned to the cashiers counter situated within the One Stop Shop at the Town Hall together with the fee charged for this service, currently £133.00(fees subject to change as of 1st April each year). Upon payment an appointment will be made at the One Stop Shop. Please note from the 1st April 2017 payment will be taken by card only.

Appointments are currently carried out every Tuesday between 2pm - 5pm.

An application form can be found on the Downloads tab, they are also available from the One Stop Shop at the Town Hall.

Accommodation certificate inspection

To obtain a certificate an officer must inspect your property in order to assess its condition and suitability for occupation. It will be necessary to measure each room and assess any hazards that may be present. The room sizes will be used to calculate the maximum number of people able to live in the property, as a single household, therefore ensuring the property is not overcrowded.

If the property would become overcrowded as a result of someone moving in then you may have to find alternative accommodation for the people being sponsored.

Overcrowding standards

A property is considered to be overcrowded if either the room standard or the space standard is exceeded.

Room Standard

There should be sufficient rooms in each individual property so that no male and female aged 10 or over, should have to sleep in the same room, unless they are living together as ‘husband and wife’.

Space Standard

This standard specifies the maximum number of people who can sleep in any room considered suitable for use as a sleeping room and the maximum number who may sleep in any individual property when taking into account the number of sleeping rooms available to the occupants.

Receiving your certificate

After the inspection has been carried out, an accommodation certificate will be provided within 5 working days specifying whether the property meets the required standards and if the proposed occupancy is suitable. This certificate meets the needs of the Home Office/High Commission and can therefore be used as part of a visa application.

Certificates are only valid for six months.

Once an officer has carried out an inspection, a fee cannot be refunded. A new application will need to be completed for each property inspected and a fee is chargeable for each application.

Bolton Council

Town Hall

Victoria Square



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