Inviting people to visit you in the UK

If you would like to invite someone to visit you in the UK, they may require immigration permission to enter the UK as a visitor. To check if they need to apply for a visa, please visit the government website.

When applying for entry to the UK as a Standard Visitor, including for those who are allowed to seek entry at the UK border, certain documents are required. Your visitor will need to check exactly what is required by reading the government website, Immigration Rules and guide to supporting documents.

Along with other specified documents your visitor may require the following from you:

  • recent proof of your registration at the University of Essex, you can download a Certificate of Registration and;
  • a copy of the photograph page in your passport and a copy of your UK visa (entry clearance sticker or Biometric Residence Permit) and;
  • a letter of invitation from you, see the guidance below. A formal letter of invitation from the University is not required.


If you wish to invite friends or relatives to visit you to attend your Graduation, together with your letter of invitation your guests could also supply copies of emails sent to you by the University confirming details of your ceremony.

If your student visa is no longer valid and you wish to return to the UK to attend your ceremony you will need to apply for a visitor visa for yourself. You can request a letter from the Graduation Office.

Your letter of invitation

Write a letter, addressed to UK Visas and Immigration, include in your letter:

  • the full name and date of birth of the proposed visitor(s) and their relationship to you.
  • why they want to come and visit you.
  • how long they want to stay in the UK and, if possible, their proposed arrival and departure dates.
  • where they intend to stay. If they plan to stay with you, give your full address. If you would like your visitor to stay with you in University accommodation, read the accommodation pages to find out what is allowed and who to contact.
  • your own immigration status in the UK (for example, Student visa)

What to do next

Send your invitation letter, copies of your passport page and UK visa and original Certificate of Registration to your friend or relative so they can include them with their visitor visa application.

Advice and guidance

To find out more about coming to the UK to visit friends or family please read the Home Office guidance. University advisers are only able to provide advice and guidance about the Student Immigration Rules as they apply to students so if you require further advice you would need to contact an immigration solicitor.

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