Student Immigration Service

Applying for a visa to attend graduation

Students who are not currently in the UK may need to apply for a standard visitor visa to attend graduation.

Do I need a visitor visa?

If you are outside of the UK (for example if your Tier 4/Student visa has expired, or if you are a distance learning student), and your main reason for coming to the UK is to attend your graduation ceremony and perhaps have a short holiday here, you should apply for a standard visitor visa.

Full information about the Standard Visitor visa, including how to apply, is available on the UKVI website:

Standard Visitor Visa

What documents will I need?

The exact documents you need will depend on the details of your visit.  The following is provided as a general guide.  With the exception of your passport, all other documents can be originals or photocopies.

Further information

The above is provided as a general guide, however please note that the Student Immigration Service cannot give specific advice on visitor visa applications.

UKVI have produced a guide to supporting documents on their website:

UKVI guide to supporting documents

If you require specific advice for your situation you can find a list of regulated immigration advisers on the UK Government website:

Find an immigration adviser

When your visa is issued

Your visitor visa will be valid for 6 months.  You do not have to travel on the exact dates provided in your visa application, however it is advisable to adhere to these dates (or at least the same duration of visit) as much as possible.  If your plans change significantly, you may need to explain the reason for this to UK Border Force when you arrive, or to UK Visas & Immigration in future visa applications.

If you have applied for your visitor visa before travelling to the UK,  you should carry all of your supporting documents with you in your hand luggage, as UK Border Force may request to see them when you arrive.

As a visitor, you will not be able to work in the UK and you will not be able to claim public funds.  You will also not be able to extend your stay beyond 6 months or to switch into any other immigration category from within the UK.

You may be liable to pay for medical treatment in the UK and so you could consider taking out private insurance to cover this before you travel.