Visa support letters
If you are inviting friends or family to attend your graduation ceremony they may need to apply for a standard visitor visa to enter the UK for this purpose. You can check whether a visa is required to travel to the UK on the UKVI website. A list of documents required to support a standard visitor visa application is also available. Please do ensure that you and your guests are aware of the requirements of the immigration route and the permissions that will be granted.
It is essential you book your place by the deadline if you wish to attend, even if you are unsure if you will be able to travel. You will need to make your own travel and accommodation arrangements, but we would recommend that you don't make these until you definitely know you can come.
We understand that you may be unsure if your visa application will be accepted. If you are in this situation, we would advise you book your place along with your two free guest tickets, without purchasing additional guest tickets, photography, or hiring robes. This would be free of charge and will guarantee your place at the ceremony if you complete your award.
You would then be able to purchase additional guest tickets, photography, and hire your robes via the Ede & Ravenscroft website closer to the time of your ceremony, as long as it is before the booking deadline. If you miss the deadline you will be able to purchase photography and hire robes on the day of your ceremony, along with additional guest tickets (subject to availability).
Inviting your friends or family
The University does not produce individual letters for graduation ceremony guests. We suggest that you provide your guests with the following documents to support their standard visitor visa applications:
- A copy of your email from the University confirming that you are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony.
- A letter of invitation from yourself – please see the suggested letter template (doc) as a guide.
- A copy of your passport information page and student visa.
We also suggest that visitors prepare the following documents for their visa application:
- visa application fee
- evidence that they have sufficient funds for their proposed visit
- evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit such as a letter from their employer
- evidence of their relationship to you, for example a birth or marriage certificate or family book
- evidence of suitable accommodation, this could be a copy of your tenancy agreement if they will be staying with you.
Students requiring a visa
If you are outside of the UK and require a visa to come for the sole purpose of attending your own graduation ceremony, a standard visitor visa should be appropriate. We recommend that you provide a copy of your email from the University confirming that you are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony as proof of your reason for visiting the UK. Please do make yourself aware of the permission of this immigration route and in particular note that it is not possible to switch from a visitor visa to other immigration categories (for example student or skilled worker) from inside the UK.
Refunds and cancellations
In the event that you do purchase guest tickets, photography or hire robes and your visa is not facilitated, you will be eligible for a refund. Please check our cancellations and refunds page to see how to claim a refund, or see our terms and conditions for more information.