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Visitor Visa

Applying for a visa to attend your graduation

Exceptionally, If your current Tier 4 (General) student visa expires before your graduation date, you may need to leave the UK and apply to return as a General Visitor to come back to attend your ceremony.

The UK Visas and Immigration pages on the website contain information about General Visitor and Family Visitor visas.

Which visa do I need?

The visa you will need to apply for is the 'General Visitor' visa . Make sure you read the VAF guidance notes before completing the form.

Please note: You cannot change your visa status to General Visitor from within the UK. The maximum time a visitor can stay in the UK is six months. Visitors cannot not normally switch into another immigration category from within the UK. General Visitors are prohibited from undertaking any work (paid or unpaid) whilst in the UK. 

What documents do my Family Members need to apply for a General Visitor Visa for Graduation?

You may request up to four invitations for your guests on the Graduation Booking System but only two places will be guaranteed. Check the graduation pages of the website. Once the graduation booking system is available, and you have booked places for your guests you will receive a confirmation email.

If your guests require a letter for their visa application, please visit the page below. Click on the 'inviting guests' tab on the right-hand side of the page, where you will find information on how to obtain this..

Academic Services - How to get a visa letter

You may also find the following UK Visas and Immigration guidance useful:

Supporting documents required for visitor visas

.How your guests apply for a general visitor visa

Unless they are from North Korea, your guest(s) will need to submit their application online. Applicants from North Korea will need to complete a paper application form. See the link below for information about:

How to apply, visa application fees and processing times

If you (the graduate) are:

  • a British citizen
  • settled in the UK
  • granted asylum in the UK or
  • have Humanitarian Protection status.

In these cases ONLY your overseas family member may choose to apply as a Family Visitor.

More information about this category

What are the conditions for qualifying for a visit visa?

Visitors must show they wish to visit for a maximum of six months that they intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit and have enough money to support themselves during their visit.

General/Family Visitors are not allowed to work or study during their visit to the UK. If they indicated that they intend to do so in their application they are likely to be refused a visa. It is not possible to switch from this category to any other visa category whilst in the UK.

How long is this visa granted for and how much is the fee?

Visas in this category are normally granted for up to six months. The application fee is £89.00 (from 06 April 2017) payable in local currency in the country where the application is submitted.


Please note: The information provided here is for general guidance only, and is not intended as a comprehensive guide to the visit visa category of the UK Immigration Rules. Exact requirements may vary from country to country and it is your responsibility to check with your local Visa Application Centre for exact details of required documentation.

For more information visit

Page last updated on Tuesday 4 April 2017 at 1.26pm.


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