International at City

  1. International Students
  2. International Partnerships
  1. Visa and Immigration Advice
  2. Applying for a visa to attend Graduation

Applying for a visa to attend Graduation

Please note: The information provided here is only general guidance. Requirements may vary from country to country and you must check with your local Visa Application Centre, British Embassy or High Commission for exact details of required documentation.

Attending your own graduation

If you are a visa national and your current Tier 4 Student Visa expires before your graduation date, you will need to leave the UK and apply for a General Visitor visa to come back to attend your graduation ceremony.

If you leave the UK on completion of your course, and want to come back on your current Tier 4 student visa in order to attend a graduation ceremony (so within the 4 months additional time granted on top of your course-end date) you potentially risk facing problems at Border Control on re-entry. This is because although your Tier 4 visa might still be valid, you no longer meet the student immigration rules (because you are no longer enrolled on a full-time course of study). A border force official might consider that your circumstances have changed or that you are trying to enter the UK for a purpose other than that for which your visa was granted. However, in our experience, as long as you carry with you in your hand luggage evidence that you have recently completed a course of study at City University, and evidence of your graduation ceremony (confirmation email from the University, electronic booking receipt), then you should be given re-entry on your Tier 4 permission. If you don't want to risk any potential problems, you should remain in the UK to await your graduation ceremony or you should apply to return to the UK under General Visitor conditions.

You may apply for a General Visitor visa online or by completing the VAF1A application form. It is helpful if you can provide evidence of the date of your ceremony. Invitations to attend the Graduation Ceremony are emailed to graduating students approximately 6 weeks before the date of each ceremony. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Graduation Team. More information about applying for a General Visitor visa is provided by the Home Office.

Inviting your family to visit you to attend your graduation ceremony

If your family members need a visa to travel to the UK, they will need to apply for a General Visitor visa to visit you and attend your graduation ceremony in the UK.

Documents required by family members

  • Application form: VAF1A
  • Application fee: £83 in local currency
  • Passport(s)
  • 2 passport sized colour photographs
  • Evidence that they have sufficient funds for their proposed visit (eg: at least 3 months' bank statements and/or payslips). If you are funding their visit, you will need to provide proof of your finances.
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (eg: a letter from their employer)
  • Evidence of their relationship to you (eg: a birth or marriage certificate or family book)
  • Evidence of suitable accommodation (eg: hotel reservations or a copy of your tenancy agreement if they will be staying with you)
  • A Student Status letter from your School Office or the Student Centre confirming you are a student at City University London
  • Your graduation ceremony invitation email
  • An invitation letter from you (a sample letter is available here)
  • Copies of your current passport and student visa
  • English translation of any documents which are not already in English.