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Visits from family and friends

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Find out about inviting your friends or family to visit you in the UK.

While you are staying in the UK you may wish to invite your parents or friends to visit you, for example, during graduation or for a short stay. In order to visit you, your visitor may need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.  The following information is to help your visitors apply for a Standard Visitor visa.  We also recommend that your guest speaks to their local Embassy, High Commission or Consulate if they need further information.

Do my guests need a visa to come to the UK?

Your visitor should check the UKVI website to see whether they need to apply for a visa before travelling. Even if they are able to obtain a visa as they arrive in the UK, we would recommend they apply in advance to avoid any delays and/or unnecessary travel. A Standard Visitor visa, whether applied for in advance of travel, or upon arrival to the UK, is issued for a maximum of 6 months and cannot be extended from within the UK.

Documents needed

Full details of how to apply can be found on the UKVI website, including what documents they will need to submit.

  • Depending on where your visitor lives, they may be able to apply online, or they may need to send a paper application form to their local Embassy. The paper application form is called VAF1A (PDF download).

  • Evidence of their finances. This can be bank statements or payslips, and should show that the applicant has sufficient funds to support themselves for the duration of their stay.

  • Evidence of their intention to leave the UK before their visa expires. This can be proof of a property at home, a letter from their employer, return flight information or any other relevant document.

Your visitor needs to read the UKVI webpages carefully. The information we have provided you with here is just a guide, your guest should check what other documents they need to submit.

Remind them that any documents not in English should be accompanied by an authorised translation. 

We would also recommend that you send your visitor the following documents, to help them apply:

  • A photocopy of your current passport

  • A photocopy of your current UK visa

  • A letter from the Student Centre confirming your student status (either visit them directly, in RHB117 or email studentcentre@gold.ac.uk)

  • If your visitor is attending your graduation, a letter from the Student Centre confirming the dates of your ceremony

  • A letter of invitation from you, the student. We have created a visitor template invitation letter - you should amend it so that it meets your needs.