Visitor visa and graduation (UK)

Applying for a Visitor visa to attend your graduation ceremony

It is not possible to extend your Student/Tier 4 visa to attend your graduation ceremony. If your ceremony is going to take place after the end date of your Student/Tier 4 visa:

Alternatively, check if you need a UK visa on the UK Government website.

The UK Government website gives details about Visiting the UK as a Standard Visitor and the documents needed for the application. You will also need to request a graduation ceremony invitation visa letter to support your application and for the Visitor visa application of anyone coming to see you at the ceremony. You can do this via your Student Information pages.

Please visit the Graduation website for information on your graduation ceremony.

Do friends and family need a visa to visit you in the UK?

Visa nationals 

Visa nationals will need to apply for a Visitor visa before travelling to the UK.

If they are a visa national, they will need to apply for a visa before they come to the UK by following the steps:

  • Complete the online application form.
  • Pay the application fees which is currently £95 for a 6 month Visitor visa.
  • Provide documents to show the reason for your visit (see Documents needed below).

Non-visa nationals/EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

If they are a non-visa national or EU/EEA/Swiss national, they do not have to apply for a visa before they travel to the UK - they can request entry as a visitor upon arrival. 

If you request to enter as a visitor upon arrival, they still might need to present all the documents to support your application to a Border Force Officer when they arrive in the UK. 

If you are a non-visa national from a specific country who can use the e-gates, you should still have these documents ready in case you are asked to present them. See Use of the e-gates and Documents needed in the sections below.

Documents needed

Documents needed with a Visitor visa application or to show the Border Force Officer when entering the UK as a visitor:

  • It is recommended to give copies of your passport and visa to help with your family/friend’s application
  • A letter from you inviting them to visit. For example, if they are attending your graduation you can request a graduation ceremony invitation visa letter.
  • Your Brookes attendance letter (if you haven't yet enrolled on your course, then you can use your CAS and unconditional offer letter instead)
  • Evidence that they have enough money to support themselves during their visit
  • Proof that they have arranged accommodation
  • Proof that they can pay for a return or onward journey and they will leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • When someone is applying for a Standard Visitor Visa it is a good idea to include evidence of their continuing connections with their home country. For example, evidence of other close family, rent agreements or property ownership, and any study or employment. This is because the UKVI can refuse Visitor visa applications if they think the person applying may not go back home and they can do this without asking for more evidence and there is no way to review or appeal the decision.
  • Please see the Home Office’s guidance for supporting documents for full details of what they should provide with your application.

Use of the e-gates

Non-visa nationals of the EU/EEA/Switzerland or Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA have the option of entering the UK via the e-gates if you have a biometric passport. If you enter this way, you automatically receive leave to enter the UK for 6 months as a visitor. You will not receive a stamp.

If you are from any of the countries listed above but do not have a biometric passport, you will need to see a Border Force Officer to enter the UK as a Visitor (see previous section).

More information

Visit the Gov.UK website for information about applying for Visitor visas:

Healthcare

It is a good idea for your visitors to take out private travel and medical insurance as they will not be eligible for most NHS care.