Inviting your family to visit
Students may sometimes want to invite parents or other family to visit them in the UK, perhaps for their Graduation.
Your family will usually need to apply to visit the UK as Family Visitors. Most applicants will be be required to apply online (instead of completing a paper form), though this wil depend which country the person is applying from. Please check the UK Government website for more information about whether it is possible to apply online from your country, or whether your family will need to complete a form and visit a visa application centre. Guidance information is also available online in a number of different languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Hindi and Thai.
Family visitors can generally apply for either a single entry or multi-entry visitors visa, which would allow them to stay in the UK for up to 6 months.
How can I help my family get a visa to visit me?
Your relatives will need to provide a number of relevant documents to support their application. You can find more information about this on the UK Government website.
To help your relatives apply, you will usually need to send them evidence of your Tier 4 Student visa status. This will usually be -
• a copy or scan of your passport (visa page and photo page) and biometric residence permit (if you have one);
• a copy of the email you were sent confirming your booking at your graduation ceremony. Please note that you should not require a graduation letter from DMU - the confirmation booking email should be sufficient.
• a letter of invitation.
What is a letter of invitation?
This is a letter that you should write which is typed, dated and addressed to the British Embassy where your visitor is applying for their visa, and includes the names and details of family members, when they will visit and what arrangements will be made for them. You will need to write this, as it is you (and not the university) that is inviting your family to visit. You should send the letter to your relative, so that they can include it with their application. Do not send it to the British Embassy.
We have provided an invitation template letter here, which you may want to adapt to write your own letter.
What else will my family need to do?
The requirements for a visitor are:
• They plan to visit for no more than six months;
• They intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit;
• They have enough funds to support themselves whilst in the UK.
To demonstrate this your family will need to prepare financial information showing how they will fund their visit (e.g. their bank statements, payslips) and any documents which prove that they plan to leave the UK at the end of their visit (letter from employer at home, evidence of property in their home country, return flight tickets, and so on).
You should not need to provide your own bank statements, unless you will be sponsoring them (paying for their visit).
Where can I get more information?
There is lots of information and guidance on the UK Government website.
If you need further assistance, we suggest making an appointment with the DSU Advice in the Students' Union, who should be able to give you detailed advice you on this process.