Visas for friends and family
Inviting your family to visit you in the UK
Many students are visited by their family or friends from home while they are in the UK. Depending on where they are from, they may need to obtain a visa in order to come to the UK to visit you.
If your family/friends would like to visit you while you are in the UK, then first of all they need to check if they need a visa in order to visit. If they are a visa national and are able to obtain entry to the UK at the airport without applying for a visa in advance, they should still ensure they have documentation with them in their hand luggage to show the immigration officer.
How to Apply
If your family/friends would like to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa from outside the UK, please refer to the UKVI website.
Your visitors should read the immigration guidance carefully before applying. There is no specific list of documents they must show to get this visa, nor is there a specific amount of money that you or they must hold.
Your visitor will need to demonstrate to UKVI that s/he:
• wants to visit the UK for 6 months or less
• intends to leave the UK at the end of their visit
• has enough money to support themselves during their visit
• does not intend to work in the UK
UKVI are also likely to require evidence that they have somewhere to stay during their time in the UK, and will want to see evidence of their reason for visiting, so will need additional evidence from you (see below). Your visitors should check with their local UK embassy if there are any further documents they need before they apply.
Please also be aware that visitors are not eligible for NHS health treatment. Your visitors should arrange their own travel/health insurance and have evidence of this when they make their application.
If your visitors are non-visa nationals and intend to obtain entry to the UK on arrival at the airport, they should still carry these documents with them in their hand luggage in case the immigration officer wishes to see them.
Invitation letter + financial documents
To assist with the Standard Visitor visa application process, you can write an invitation letter for your visitors and post this to your family or friends to submit in support of their visa application. Each person you invite will need their own original letter from you.
We suggest your invitation letter to include below information:
- who you are inviting over (the relationship between you and the person)
- your current status (e.g. full-time student studying on BSc/BA/MSc/MA programme at King's)
- the reason they are visiting you (e.g. attening your graduation ceremony, travelling with you, or any other specific reasons)
- the proposed length of stay in the UK
- the accommodation arrangement made for the person during the time
- list of documents you will provide to support their visitor visa application
Please note, if you are financially supporting your visitor, you will need to send an original bank statement to demonstrate you have enough funds to do this. If your visitor is staying with you then you will need to state this in your invitation letter. If they are staying in a hotel then you can submit a hotel booking, or they can book their own hotel and show evidence of their booking.
You will always need to send your visitors a copy of your passport details page + visa page + Biometric Residence Permit (if you have one), for them to enclose in support of their Standard Visitor visa application.
You will also always need to send a letter from the University confirming you are a student. You can request an invitation letter for this purpose from Student Services.
Attending your graduation ceremony
If your relatives/friends are coming to the UK to attend your graduation ceremony, then you will need to obtain a visa assistance letter from the Graduation Office for them. You will need to book graduation tickets for yourself and your guests before you can request this letter.