Visas for graduation
If you complete your programme at the expected time
If you have a Tier 4 or student visa and have successfully completed your programme as expected, you are entitled to leave and return to the UK provided your visa remains valid. Please be aware however that where a Border Force officer is not satisfied that you intend to adhere to the terms of your visa (for example they may not be satisfied you intend to leave before the end of your visa) they can make a decision to refuse entry, as with any other visa category.
If you hold another visa type and are unsure of the requirements please contact the Visa Advice and Compliance team by logging an enquiry through the Student Portal.
If you complete your programme earlier than expected
If you have completed your programme earlier than expected the University will normally report this to the UKVI, and your visa would be shortened (known as a visa curtailment).
Where you have had your visa curtailed, you would not be permitted to enter the UK again even if you still held a valid visa. In this case we would recommend that you apply for a Standard Visitor Visa as outlined below.
Family members & Recent Graduates
Family members and graduates attending graduation should apply for a Standard Visitor Visa if your Student visa will have expired before the date of your graduation. Whilst it is recommended that everyone applies for this visa before travelling, non-visa nationals can choose to apply for a visitor stamp at the UK airport. In this instance you must have all documentation available to prove that you meet the requirements of this visa type. A list of those who must apply before travelling can be found in Appendix 2 of the Immigration rules for visitors.
If you require a student confirmation letter for use by yourself or to give to your family members in support of their Visit visa application you can download this from the Student Portal under the student record tile. You can also send them your online graduation registration confirmation.
Standard Visitor Visas are usually issued for six months, and holders of this type of visa cannot work or study in the UK. Guidance on the documents, which should be submitted in support of the visa application, is available on the UK Visa and Immigration website.
Applications should be submitted via the UK Gov website, and the application fee is currently £93. You can apply for this visa up to three months in advance and the average processing time is three weeks.