Once you've settled into life in Portsmouth, you'll probably want to invite your friends and family to visit.
If they're arriving from outside the European Union, they might need a Standard Visitor visa. You can apply for this up to 3 months in advance, and in most cases, you'll get a decision back within 3 weeks.
The visa will allow them to visit, but there are restrictions on what they can do when they're here – they can't, for example, do any paid or unpaid work. You can find more details on the UK Government website.
How to apply
- First, you'll need to write an invitation letter to the British Embassy in the country where your visitors are based. You can download a sample letter here.
- You'll also need to send the Embassy a copy of your student visa, a copy of your passport, and an Attendance Letter to confirm that you are a registered student.
- You can request your Attendance Letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +44 (0)23 9284 4444; you'll need to provide your full name, student ID number, full course title and whether you want the letter emailed to you or printed out.
- Your friend or family member should then contact their local visa application centre, which will provide details on what they need to supply. You can see a full list of UK visa application centres here.
If you'd like to invite friends and family to your graduation, you can order an invitation letter as part of your graduation registration.