General Visitor Visas
If you have left the UK and would like to return to Durham for your Congregation Ceremony, you can apply for a General Visitor visa* before you travel.
Family and friends can also travel with you or visit the UK using a General Visitor visa*
- You should not attempt to travel using a previous Tier 4 (General) Student 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.
- 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 General 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)
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.
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.
If your family are travelling with you, they can also apply for a General Visitor visa. See information on inviting your family to visit