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

In order to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa you will need to provide a copy of the graduation invitation email sent to you by the Ceremonies Office inviting you and your guests to attend the Graduation Ceremony.

This invitation email is sufficient to support your visa application as the Home Office does not require names of the guests to be listed. Please note that the invitation does not need to be an original letter. You will need to print off the invitation email and enclose it with your application.

In the unlikely event that your Embassy specifically asks you to provide an invitation letter instead of an invitation email please complete a visa letter request and the Ceremonies Office will issue a letter for you.

Please note that a Tier 4 General Student Visa does not cover the Graduation Ceremony visit. Please contact the International Student Support Office if you have further questions.

Visa letter request