During your time in the UK you may wish to invite your parents or friends to visit you, either during your studies or to attend graduation. In order to visit you, your visitor may need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa (SVV). More details about this visa can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Your visitor should use the Check if you need a UK visa service on GOV.UK to see whether their nationality requires them to apply for a visa before travelling to the UK (known as a ‘visa national’) or whether they are permitted to apply when they arrive in the UK (known as a ‘non-visa national’). Even if they can obtain a visa when they arrive, they may want to consider applying in advance of their trip to avoid any delays on arrival. If you are unsure, you can contact us for help.
A Standard Visitor visa, whether applied for in advance of travel or upon arrival to the UK, is issued for a maximum of six months and cannot be extended from within the UK. A visitor is not permitted to work while in the UK.
Visitor visa basics
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Applications must be made online on the GOV.UK website. The earliest you can apply is three months before you travel.
Full details of the documents needed can be found on GOV.UK. These include:
- Evidence of finances – this can be bank statements or payslips and should show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves (accommodation and living expenses) for the duration of their stay. We would recommend six months of statements/payslips.
- Evidence of intention to leave the UK before their visa expires – this can include proof of property in their home country, a letter from their employer, return flight information or any other relevant document.
- Evidence of accommodation while in the UK (for example, hotel booking).
- Proof of any activities they want to do in the UK. This will be details about their visit to you and any other activities/business they want to do (for example, trip to Stonehenge).
We would also recommend that you send your visitor the following documents, to help them apply:
- a photocopy of your current passport and BRP (both sides)
- a letter from the university confirming your student status
- if your visitor is attending your graduation, a letter from the university confirming the date of your ceremony
a letter of invitation from you, the student.
This should explain that you are currently studying at St George’s, your relationship to the visitor, the reason for their visit (including why the visit is scheduled for this particular time, for example, outside of assessment period) and details of any accommodation and/or financial support that you are planning to provide them. If you are providing financial support, you should include copies of your last six months of bank statements.
Any document that is not in English should be accompanied by an authorised translation.