Inviting family & friends


It is possible for family members and friends to visit a student in the UK whilst they are studying, also for the graduation ceremony. Nationals of most countries are required to have a visa to enter the UK. The category they would apply under is ‘Standard Visitor Visa’.

Who is required to enter with this visa?

To find out if your friend or family member is required to have a visitor visa please check UKVI Website

What type of visitor visa does my family member/friend need?

Family members or friends would need to apply for a standard visitor visa.

What are the conditions for qualifying for this visa?

Visitors must show they wish to visit for a maximum of 6 months, that they intend to leave the UK at the end of the visit and have enough money to support themselves during their visit.

Visitors under this category are not allowed to work during their visit to the UK, and study cannot be the main reason for their visit. If they intend to do this they will need to see if they can qualify through one of the other visa categories. The UKVI Website can help identify which visa is appropriate for the visit.

It is also not possible to switch from this category to another visa in the UK such as a Tier 4 Visa.

How long is this visa granted for and how much is the fee?

Visas in this category are normally granted for up to 6 months. Check current fees on UKVI website.

How do I make an application?

An application can be made online. Detailed information about this visa is also available on UKVI website.

What documents would my family/friend need to apply for Visitor visa?

They can make  the application online. The following documents will need to be submitted when making the application:

  • Passport
  • Previous travel documents/passports which show previous travel
  • 2 passport size photos
  • Letter from the student inviting the friend/family. This should explain that you are a student at University of Bedfordshire, your relationship to the visitor, the reason for their visit including why the visit is taking place at this particular time. Details of any accommodation or any financial support you may give them. This is not mandatory.
  • Photocopy of the visa and bio-data pages of your passport
  • Financial evidence for at least 6 months e.g. bank statements, payslips - by the sponsor or the visitor to prove they can support themselves whilst in the UK without difficulty / that their sponsor will provide all financial support. It will be a stronger application if the applicant can show finances in their own name rather than a sponsor.
  • Evidence that your family/friend have every reason to leave the UK at the end of their visit, such as a letter from a employer/education provider/family ties back in their country, any assets/properties in their country in their name.
  • Letter from the University confirming the student is studying here. Students can get this from SiD - PDF 139.7 KB
  • If any documents are not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation containing confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document, the date of the translation, the translator's full name and signature, and the translator's contact details.
  • Please see UKVI website for full details.