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Information Regarding Visas for the Graduation Ceremonies

The Awards & Ceremonies team cannot issue letters for visa purposes or provide visa-related advice. However, the Immigration Service Team in the International Student Office can provide you with information and guidance regarding the appropriate visa to attend the Graduation Ceremony, as well as information on how to invite family/friends.

The information below is supplied by the Immigration Service Team which we hope you find useful. If you require further advice, please visit their Travel and Re-entry to the UK webpage.

VISA FOR YOURSELF

If you currently hold a valid Tier 4 student visa which is sponsored by the University of Warwick, AND you will remain in the UK until the date of the Graduation Ceremony, then you are fine to remain in the UK (and attend the Graduation Ceremony) until your visa expiry date.

If you currently hold a valid Tier 4 student visa which is sponsored by the University of Warwick, AND you have left the UK but will return to the UK for your Graduation Ceremony, we have been assured by the Home Office UKVI Policy Team in March 2018 that the Border Force officers have been briefed that attending the Graduation Ceremony is a permitted activity for students who completed their course successfully, hold a valid Tier 4 visa and wish to return to the UK for the purpose of attending their Graduation Ceremony. If you fall into this category, you no longer need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa (although you can if you wish to). However, please note that the Border Force officials retain the right to establish that you are genuinely coming back to the UK to do what you said you would, and so it is important that you have sufficient evidence in your hand luggage in case you are asked (for example, an email sent from Graduation Team confirming your registration; an email from professional services or your academic department confirming you have passed your degree; a return ticket to your home country after the Graduation Ceremony etc).

If you do not have a valid Tier 4 visa, you should apply for a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’. To do so you should request a Student Status Letter, and include in your visa application a print-out of the email from the Graduation Team which confirms that you have been invited to attend the Graduation Ceremony, and a print-out of the email from professional services/your academic department that you have passed your degree. Please refer to https://warwick.ac.uk/study/international/immigration/othervisas/generalvisitor/ for more information as to what other documents you may need to provide for this visa application.

VISA FOR YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS

If you intend to invite parents/friends to attend the Graduation Ceremony, they will usually need a ‘Standard Visitor Visa’. You should provide your guest with a Student Status Letter, and a print-out of the email from the Graduation Team which confirms that you have been invited to attend the Graduation Ceremony.

You will also need to write an invitation letter. A sample invitation letter which you can tailor to invite your family/friends can be found on this website (scroll down the page to see the 'sample invitation letter'), as well as detailed information about applying for a general visitor visa.