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Immigration

Standard Visitor Visas

If you have left the UK and would like to return to Durham for your Congregation Ceremony, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa* before you travel.

Family and friends can also travel with you or visit the UK using a Standard Visitor visa*

UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) information about Standard Visitor visas

Please note: You will not be able to undertake employment or apply for another visa whilst in the UK as a Visitor.

*Non-visa nationals (those that do not require a visa to visit the UK) may be granted entry as a Visitor on arrival. However, you must be able to provide the same evidence to show that you meet the requirements on arrival in the UK (see below)

Using your Tier 4 visa after your programme has ended: Warning

You should not attempt to travel using a previous Tier 4 (General) visa, even if you still have time remaining on it. Immigration Officials may question why you need to re-enter the UK under Tier 4 if your programme has ended and you may be refused entry to the UK.

How to apply

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa up to 3 months before the intended visit date.

At busy times it can take much longer to process applications. Check guidance provided by the British Embassy or Visa Application Centre in your home country for specific details about processing times and when to apply.

Documents required

You should provide the documents stated on the Home Office website for your country. The following documents are normally required:

  • 3 months’ bank statements, payslips, or other evidence to show you can pay for your visit and have enough money to support yourself without assitance or working
  • Evidence that you intend to leave the UK at the end of your visit (for example a letter from an employer or evidence confirming commitments requiring you to return home after your visit)
  • Congregation Invitation Letter from the University (see below).

Congregation Invitation Letter

You can produce your own Congregation Invitation Letter to support a visa application for yourselves and your guests.

Go to Banner Self Service in DUO, click on Self-service Student Letters, then Congregation Invitation Letter. You will be asked to provide your address and the names of your guests, if required. The letter will then be published in pdf format on University letterhead and include the official University stamp.

Inviting Your Family or Friends to Visit

If family or friends would like to visit you whilst you are in the UK, they may also need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa* before they travel.

How to apply

You can apply up to 3 months before the intended visit date.

At busy times it can take much longer to process applications. Check guidance provided by the British Embassy or Visa Application Centre in your home country for specific details about processing times and when to apply.

Documents required

The person applying should provide the documents stated on the UK Visas & Immigration website for their country. The following documents are normally required:

  • 3 months’ bank statements, payslips, or other evidence to show they can pay for the visit and have enough money to support themselves without assitance or working
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (for example a letter from an employer or evidence confirming commitments requiring them to return home after their visit)
  • Copies of the photograph page in your passport and your UK visa or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
  • Proof of your enrolment at Durham University: a Student Status letter, available from Banner Self Service in DUO.(Students on continuation or under exam may need to request the letter from Student Documentation Services)
  • Your Congregation Invitation Letter, if appropriate (see above)
  • A letter of invitation from you (see below)

Invitation letter

You must provide the person applying with an invitation letter from yourself, addressed to the Entry Clearance Officer at the Embassy or Visa Application Centre where they are applying.

Details to include in your invitation letter:

  • The full name and date of birth of the proposed visitor(s) and their relationship to you (parent, friend, etc)
  • Why they are visiting you (to attend your congregation, holiday, etc)
  • How long they want to stay in the UK and arrival and departure dates (where possible)
  • Where they will stay during their visit (if they are staying in hotel accommodation, provide details of the booking; if staying with you, give your full address)
  • Details of your own immigration status in the UK (a copy of your current Tier 4 Student visa / BRP)

Use the Visitor visa invitation letter template below to help you:

Resources

Contact Us

Student Immigration Office
The Palatine Centre 
Stockton Road
Durham
DH1 3LE, UK