Graduation for international students

General information

As your time with us draws to a close, makes sure that you are reading the information we have provided on Coming to the end of your studies, as this will highlight what you need to think about before you leave the UK or whilst thinking about your future plans.

Graduation ceremonies

Following recent clarification from the UKVI we can now confirm that you are now able to re-enter the UK to attend your graduation ceremony as long as you have enough time left on your current Tier 4 visa to do so. Please note however, that if your visa has been curtailed for any reason either before your departure or after your return home, your Tier 4 visa will not allow you to enter the UK, regardless of any remaining time left on your visa, and you will need to apply for a visitor visa as outlined below.

If you do not have enough time on your current visa to attend your graduation ceremony, you cannot extend your visa under Tier 4 but will need to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance as a general visitor to attend.

Applying for entry clearance as a general visitor to attend your graduation ceremony

To apply as a general vistor, you will need to complete the VAF1A visitor form, which is downloadable from the Home Office website.

The immigration rules state that a visitor must stay for no longer than six months, must have adequate funds to pay for accommodation, living expenses and return journey and must not take up employment in the UK. The length of time in which applications are processed varies, so it is advisable to contact the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate in your own country as soon as possible.

The full list of documents you need to provide is given on the application form and all of the documents should be originals and not photocopies. You should also provide the the following document to support your application:

  • Your invitation to graduation (which will be sent to you by email). Please make sure the University knows where to send this email by updating your faculty before you leave the UK.

Immigration support for family members who plan to attend your graduation ceremony

For all campuses guest letters for family members who are planning on traveling with you can be requested when you register your intention to attend the Graduation Ceremony. Further information relating to the Graduation Ceremonies can be found on the University Graduation web pages.