Inviting a Visitor

If you would like to invite friends or family members for a short visit to the UK, your visitor should apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

To qualify for this visa type, your visitor must show:

  • that they wish to visit the UK for no more than six months;

  • that they intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit; and

  • they have enough money to support themselves while they are in the UK without working or having recourse to public funds.

If your visitor is a non-visa national they do not need to apply for immigration permission before travelling to the UK as they will apply for entry to the UK at the border by showing the same documents as they would if they were applying for a visa from overseas. 

Check the UKVI website to find out whether your visitor must apply for their visa before travelling to the UK or whether they can apply on arrival.

Your visitor must read the information on the UKVI website about how to apply and then apply online selecting the Visa type of General Visitor and the appropriate subtype.

If your visitor plans to come to the UK on a more regular basis they can apply for a one year, 2 year, 5 year or 10 year visitor visa. However, the maximum period of time your visitor can spend in the UK is six months out of any twelve month period.

Your visitor can apply for this type of visa from any country.

• Your personal letter of invitation explaining your relationship with your visitor and the purpose of the visit. You can edit our template letter with your own circumstances and sign and date the letter.

Important! You must not use University of Manchester headed paper or logos on your letter - it is not necessary and may be could be seen as fraud by the UKVI.

• A confirmation of attendance letter confirming your registration/attendance obtained from the Student Services Centre.

• A photocopy of your passport pages containing your personal details, your visa (if applicable) and the most recent UK entry stamp. This is the only photocopied document that you can send.

• If you are paying for accommodation and other living expenses while your visitor(s) stay here, you should send the latest six months' bank statements from your UK account to show that you have sufficient funds available.  

• If you are inviting visitors for a shorter period of time it will help them with their application if you show that you are arranging suitable accommodation for them.  You can find a hotel for them on the internet, for example at, Visit ManchesterLate Rooms and Hostel World (includes listings of private rooms).

• If you are living in private accommodation and your landlord/lady has given permission for your visitors to stay with you, ask for written confirmation from the landlord/lady.

Your visitor(s) must take your letter of invitation and the documents to the British Embassy or High Commission when they apply for immigration permission for the United Kingdom.  Guidance notes and the visa application forms can be downloaded from the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Please remember that if you are inviting more than one person, each of your visitors will need original letters and documents from you because they will each apply for immigration permission separately.

On arriving in the UK, your visitors may be asked for the reason they are visiting. We recommend that you tell your visitors to carry the paperwork about their visit in their hand luggage so that it is easy to access and can be shown to the border force officials.