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More in this section Immigration and Visas

Inviting family and friends


If any of your family members require a visa to travel to the UK, they will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa to visit you or attend your graduation ceremony in the UK.

Applicants must apply online with the exception of North Korea and Cuba (paper : VAF1A application ) You can use the UKVI guidance notes to help you with your application.

What are the regulations?

A standard visitor visa allows your friend or family member to enter the UK and remain for up to six months. They are not allowed to work or study and must leave the country at the end of the six month period. Visitors are not entitled to free medical treatment on the National Health Service. It is not possible to switch from a visitor visa to any other category (for instance, your visitor cannot then extend their stay in the UK as your dependant.) 

The standard visitor visa has also replaced the:

  • Business visitor visa, including visas for academics, doctors and dentists.

You need apply for a standard visitor visa if you’re an academic visitor.


Letters for students to support the standard visitor visa application


For a general visit

If you're expecting a visit from a member of your family or friend, you can download and print a colour copy of your Student Status Certificate from Campus Connect. Your visitor can include this letter with their standard visitor visa application in their own country.

For academic visitors you need a supporting letter from the relevant faculty.

For Graduation

For students and/or their guests who require a visa to attend the graduation ceremonies, you will need to complete an online request form for a supporting letter from the Student Services Centre to include in the visa application.

To request a visa letter please complete and submit the online graduation ceremonies visa letter request form.

Required documents for a standard visitor visa

  • Application form: (online), North Korea and Cuba (paper form)

  • Application fee in local currency (currently £89.00)

  • Passport(s)

  • Two passport sized colour photographs

  • Evidence that they have sufficient funds for their proposed visit (eg: at least six months' bank statements and/or payslips). If you are funding their visit, you will need to provide proof of your finances

  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (eg: a letter from their employer (confirming they have been given time off)

  • Evidence of their relationship to you (eg a birth or marriage certificate)

  • Evidence of suitable accommodation (eg:hotel reservations or a copy of your tenancy agreement if they will be staying with you)

  • A Student Status Certificate

  • Your graduation ceremony invitation email (if applicable)

An invitation letter from you - (Address the letter to the Entry Clearance Officer at the embassy where your visitor is applying for their visa. You will need to include these details:

    • Your visitor’s full name
    • Your relationship to them (parent, friend, etc.)
    • The reason for their visit (graduation, holiday, etc.)
    • Their planned arrival and departure dates 
    • Where they intend to stay; if they plan to stay with you, give your full address
    • Your own immigration status (for instance, student until 2017)
    • You may find this Invitation Sample Letter useful in preparing your letter 
    • Copies of your current passport and student visa/BRP Card

    • English translations of any documents which are not already in English




Contact us

We're located at the International Building, Room 009, 

We're open: Mon-Fri, 10.00am to  4.00pm 

Email: internationaladvice@royalholloway.ac.uk


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