Request for visas

Please note no visa letters will be processed at this time as the deadline has passed.

If you or your guests require a Visa in order to enter the UK and attend a graduation ceremony in September, we can provide you with a letter to support your application. We will only be able to provide you with a letter to support your application after you have completed your registration and paid for your tickets.  Please remember that you will only be able to attend Graduation in September if you have been awarded by Wednesday 30 June. If you are being awarded after this date, you will be invited to the winter ceremonies – further details about this will be released nearer the time.

All guests travelling from abroad will be responsible for completing any UK entry requirements and complying to any travel restrictions that have been put in place by the government regarding international travel and COVID-19 rules. Unfortunately, if you are travelling from a red list country, we will not be able to provide you with a Visa letter. To find out which colour category your country is currently listed as, and for details on what entry requirements you will need to complete, please visit the government website.

Please download and fill out the Visa Letter Application Form, before returning this to us at graduation@uel.ac.uk so that we can create your letter. If you have any issues or are unable to download the form, please let us know.

As soon as this has been returned to us and processed, we will email you with a digital copy of the Visa Support Letter. A physical copy of the letter can also be posted to you – if you require this, please indicate this on the form and include a delivery address. Please note however, that there could be a delay in posting out physical letters as the team are currently working remotely.

We advise that Visa Letters are posted, however if you need to collect this in person for any reason, please contact us to book an appointment so that we can arrange this.

If you have any issues or queries regarding Visa Letters, please contact us at graduation@uel.ac.uk.

Inviting your friends and family to graduation

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My friends and family are EU nationals, do they need to apply for a visa to enter the UK?

EU nationals are considered as non-visa nationals which means they can enter the UK without applying for a visa and be granted entry as a visitor at the border. You can use this link to check if you need a UK visa - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Can my friends/ family apply for a standard visitor visa if they are travelling from a red list country?

No, unfortunately travel to the UK from a red list country is currently banned unless you have a British passport or ‘residency rights. If you are currently on a student/ Tier 4 visa, you have residency rights. However, applications for standard visitor visas will be put on hold until those without residency rights are permitted to travel to the UK. Please see the government webpage for the latest advice.

How long does a standard visitor visa take to process?

Standard visitor visas usually take 3 weeks to process. However, if visa application centres are closed, they may take longer to process. Please see Visa processing times for more information.

Do I need to quarantine and take a Covid-19 test before travelling to the England?

What you need to do depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive. Countries are rated as red, amber and green for COVID-19 and the rules you must follow to enter England:

 

  • green list - you must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2
  • amber list - you must quarantine in the place you’re staying and take 2 COVID-19 tests
  • red list - you must quarantine in a hotel and take 2 COVID-19 tests


You cannot currently enter the UK if you’ve been in or through a country on the red list unless you’re British, Irish or you have the right to live in the UK.

Please follow the government advice for the latest travel advice.

What documents do my friends/ family or myself need to apply for a Standard visitor visa?

They should prepare the following documents:

  • Current passport
  • Financial documents
  • For example, 6 months’ worth of bank statements showing a consistent amount of funds. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) do not stipulate the amount of money you need to show as it depends on the length of your trip, living arrangements and purpose of trip. As a guide you can use the student visa requirement which would be £1,334 per month per person of the trip.
  • If the funds are not in the main applicant’s name, the main applicant will need written consent and evidence of the relationship of the sponsor such as birth certificate.
  • UKVI can question financial statements which show large deposits of money being transferred. Please ensure your family members and friends provide evidence of the source of funds such as payslips. 
  • A graduation invitation letter 
  • A letter of invitation written by you inviting your friend(s) or family member(s) to the UK
  • Evidence of the relationship of your family members. Examples can include the following:

    Your birth certificate if your parent(s) are visiting you.

    Marriage certificate if your spouse is visiting you.

  • Evidence of accommodation. Examples can include the following:
    Hotel bookings.
    Tenancy agreement/ permission from landlord if your friends or family members are staying with you. You can mention this in your letter of invitation.
  • Evidence of ties to home country. Examples can include the following:
     A student status letter / holiday letter confirming your visitor is on university/ school vacation period.
    Property or other assets to show economic ties.
    Family members in their home county to show social ties.
    Letter from employer granting annual leave/ vacation period or evidence of business(s) if your visitor(s) are self-employed.
    A copy of the information page of your passport and BTP card 
    Please note: all documents need to be in English and if not accompanied by a certified translation meeting UK visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements 

More information can be found on the following weblinks: