Graduation

International graduands

If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you may need a Visa to attend graduation.

Leaving the UK after finishing your course

To return to the UK for your graduation ceremony using your current student visa, you must still meet the requirements of the UK Visa and Immigration Office. If your studies have ended and you don't intend to apply for another course, you could face difficulties showing that you meet the immigration rules when you return to the UK.

The Entry Clearance Officer may decide that you don't meet the requirements and may refuse you permission to enter the UK. Permission to return to the UK on your student visa is at the discretion of the Entry Clearance Officer at the airport, so travelling this way is at your own risk.

If you're leaving the UK and intend to return for the purpose of attending your graduation ceremony, we recommend that you obtain a Standard Visitor Visa to avoid the risk of being refused entry to the UK. It is not possible to switch from a Visitor Visa to another visa category within the UK so this may impact your decision on whether to leave the UK before graduation or not.

It is, however, rare that your current student visa would cover the graduation ceremony as well. Please contact International Student Support in case of any questions.

How to apply for a visa

If you no longer have a valid student visa and you're planning to return to the UK to attend your graduation ceremony, you'll need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa.

To apply, you'll need to show:

  • That you wish to visit the UK for no more than six months
  • That you intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit
  • You have enough money to support yourself and any dependents while you are in the UK without working
  • You are able to pay for your return or onward travel and any other costs associated with your visit
  • You have proof of any business or other activities you want to do in the UK

When you arrive in the UK you may be asked by an Immigration Officer for the reason for your visit, so you should carry any relevant paperwork in your hand luggage with you to be able to confirm this.

For support with your visa application, or to ask any further questions, please contact the International Student Support Office.

If you need further documentation to support your visa application we can provide the student with a graduation visa letter, by filling out a visa letter request form.

It is however rare that your current student visa would cover the graduation ceremony as well. Please contact International Student Support in case of any questions.