Visits from family and friends

Find out if visitors need visas and what they need to do if they are coming to see you.

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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.

Visa requirement

Your visitor should use the GOV.UK visa check to see if they need to apply for a visa before travelling. Even if they are able to obtain a visa when they arrive in the UK at the border, we would recommend they apply in advance to avoid any delays and/or unnecessary travel.

A Standard Visitor visa is issued for a maximum of 6 months and cannot be extended from within the UK.

Full details of how to apply can be found on the GOV.UK General Visa pages, including what documents they will need to submit.

Your visitor will most likely be able to apply online, if, for any reasons they are unable to do so, they may need to send a paper application form to their local Embassy. The paper application form is called VAF1A.

Documents needed

  • 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 in their home country, a letter from their employer, return flight information or any other relevant document

Your visitor needs to read the GOV.UK 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 BRP card (or visa in your passport)
  • A letter from the Student hubs confirming your student status
  • If your visitor is attending your graduation, a letter from the Student hubs confirming the dates of your ceremony
  • A letter of invitation from you, the student. You can use our Visitor Visa template tailored to include your information