Many international students invite their relatives or friends to visit them in the UK while they are studying here. It is also the case that UK students would like their relatives to visit, especially for those who are attending graduation ceremonies either in the summer or autumn.
Relatives and friends coming for a short visit to the UK from overseas very often need to apply for a visitor visa before travelling. If your visitor needs to apply for a visa before travelling, they need to apply to the British Embassy in their country.
More information on how to apply is available at the Home Office website:
Standard Visitor Information
The general guidance for inviting a visitor is to provide an invitation letter. Please see our sample invitation letter here. You should give your address in the invitation letter. In your letter, you should include the following:
• your relationship (e.g parents/friends etc)
• the purpose of the visit (be as specific as possible and provide as much proof of your plans as you can)
• the dates of the visit (arrival and departure)
• arrangements for accommodation (including bookings if appropriate)
You should also send the following documents to your family / friend for their application
• 3 months of your own bank statements if you are going to financially support your visitor
• a copy of your visa (International Students only)
• a letter to confirm your enrolment at University (from Registry in the Student Gateway)
• evidence about your graduation ceremony (if applicable)
• a copy of your tenancy agreement if your visitor is going to stay with you. If this is the case, you should state that you will be providing free accommodation.
Your visitor should also prepare their own financial documents to prove they have enough money to cover their proposed visit. They should also have some evidence that they intend to return home after their visit, e.g. proof they own property, have a job to return to, or have other family back at home. Return tickets are also useful evidence of this.
This guidance is intended to assist applicants with their applications but does not guarantee that if all of the above documents are provided that the application will be successful. The UKVI determines the outcome according to their rules.