Inviting visitors to Graduation


If your parents, family or friends will be attending your graduation as your guests they may need to visitor visa to enter the UK.

Some nationalities are not required to apply for a visitor visa before travel and are granted visitor status on arrival at the border. If the nationality is not listed in the visa national list, then they are a 'non-visa national' and do not need to apply for a visa to visit the UK for a short period. To make your visitors entry to the UK as smooth as possible, we recommend that non-visa nationals still carry documentation ready to show at the border as evidence of the purpose of the visit.

If your visitors are "visa-nationals" they must obtain a visa before travelling and should follow the instructions below.

Your visitor must read the information on the UKVI website about how to apply and then apply online selecting the Visa type of Standard Visitor. It costs £100 for a 6 month visit visa.

If your visitor plans to come to the UK on a more regular basis they can apply for a 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 a visa application centre in 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 could be  viewed 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.

• 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. Your visitors should also provide their own financial evidence if possible to show that they can support themselves for the duration of the trip. They also need to show that they intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit i.e. By providing a return flight ticket or evidence that they have a job, study or caring responsibilities to return to.

• 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 include your letter of invitation along with the other documents when they apply for the standard visit visa.  Guidance notes and the visa application forms can be accessed from the UK Visas and Immigration website.

Please remember that if you are inviting more than one person, each of your visitors will require 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.