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Visa support

There are two visa support letters that we are able to provide you with – please make sure you request the correct one.

If you (the graduate) have:

If you are in the UK with a valid student visa and would like to invite guests to your ceremony

Please download our letter template (Word) and complete it if you are inviting your guests to attend your ceremony.

Please note: it may be useful to provide your booking confirmation email as further evidence of your graduation date and time for your guests to obtain a visitor visa.
Relatives and friends coming to the UK for up to six months will need to apply for a general visitor visa.

  • Visitors from countries which are not classed as visa national countries can apply for a visa either before travelling or on arrival in the UK.
  • Visitors from countries which are classed as visa national countries will need to apply for a visa at the British Embassy in their home country before travelling.

For full information on eligibility and how to apply, please see the Home Office website – the how to apply section also explains the process in your country, including visa fees and waiting times. Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

Important: anyone coming or returning on a general visitor visa please take out health insurance as you will not be covered by the NHS in the UK.

Documents to help your visitor to obtain their visa

If your friends or relatives are planning to come to the UK to attend your ceremony, you can assist them with their visa application by sending them the following documents:

  • A letter of invitation from you stating your address in the UK, your relationship with your visitor, the purpose of the visit, the dates of the visit and the details of where they will be staying. As you are the person that your friend or relative is coming to visit, this letter must come from you and not from Kingston University. Please see the invitation letter (Word) as an example of what to include.
  • A photocopy of the information page of your passport.
  • A photocopy of your valid student visa.
  • A copy of your ticket booking confirmation email. This will confirm the date and time of your graduation ceremony.
  • If you will be supporting your visitor financially during their visit, or paying for the cost of their visit, your original pay slips, bank statements, or some other evidence to show that you have enough money to support them. We suggest that these documents should cover several months before the date of application.
  • If your visitor will be staying with you for the duration of their stay in the UK, you should also provide proof of your address (eg a copy of your tenancy agreement).

Note: the information provided here is only general guidance. Requirements may vary from country to country and you must check with the Home Office, your local British Embassy or High Commission for exact details of the required documentation.

Immigration regulations are subject to change at short notice and therefore we cannot guarantee that a visa application will be successful if all the above documents are provided. Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

If you have returned home and would like to attend the ceremony with/without guests

If you are travelling from outside the EU to attend a graduation ceremony you will need a visa to enter the UK. If your student visa has expired and you have left the UK, you will need to apply for a general visitor visa. If your student visa is still valid but you have left the UK, we recommend that you apply for a general visitor visa, too.

Kingston University can provide you and your guests with a visa support letter to support you and your guests when you apply for your visitor visa.

Full information about applying for this visa is provided by the Home Office.

Documents required when applying for a visitor visa

The documents you require to support your application for a visitor visa will depend on the purpose of your visit and may vary from person to person. You should provide as many relevant documents as you can to show that you qualify for entry to the UK. You must decide which documents will best support your application. In general, the documents will need to include the following:

  • information about you – ie your passport, any existing or past UK visas;
  • information about your finances and employment – ie bank statements, pay slips;
  • your accommodation and travel details – ie your flight/travel details, confirmation of accommodation booking or proof of address from the person you will be staying with
  • information about your visit to the UK – ie details about the purpose of your stay, which can be supported by the visa support letter issued to you at your request. Please request your visa letter from our website, the visa letter will be sent to you electronically within five working days of submission.

For full details of UK visa requirements please refer to the Home Office website.

Visas for your friends and relatives

Relatives and friends coming to the UK for up to six months will need to apply for a general visitor visa.

Please submit your friends and relatives' information when you submit your visa support letter from the graduations team.

Note: the confirmation letter contains the date and time of your graduation ceremony and the names of the guests you wish to invite – please ensure all information is filled out correctly.

  • Visitors from countries which are not classed as visa national countries can apply for a visa either before travelling or on arrival in the UK.
  • Visitors from countries which are classed as visa national countries will need to apply for a visa at the British Embassy in their home country before travelling.

For full information on eligibility and how to apply, please see the Home Office website – the how to apply section also explains the process in your country, including visa fees and waiting times. Kingston University cannot accept responsibility for any decisions made by the Home Office.

Contact us

Graduations
Kingston University
53–57 High Street
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 1LQ
Email us

FAQs

We suggest you check our FAQs to find out everything you need to know about the graduation ceremonies.

Ready to graduate?

Have you...

  • Checked your ceremony date and time?
  • Cleared any outstanding debt with the University?
  • Applied for your graduate and guest tickets?
  • Received an email confirming your tickets have been purchased?
  • Hired your gown?
  • Downloaded and printed your ceremony information leaflet?
  • Informed the graduations team of any special requirements you or your guests have?
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