Immigration rules do change frequently so you should always check you have the most up to date information before you make any visa application. Full details can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa
You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK:
- for leisure, e.g on holiday or to see your family and friends
- for business-related activities, e.g coming to the UK for a conference, or to take part in sports-related events
- for another reason, e.g to receive private medical treatment or as an organ donor
How long can you stay?
You can usually stay in the UK for up to 6 months.
What you can and can't do
- take part in any business-related activities mentioned in the visitor rules
- study for up to 30 days as long as it is not the main reason for your visit
- do paid or unpaid work
- live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
- marry or register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership
- get public funds
You must always show that:
- you will leave the UK at the end of your visit
- you're able to support yourself and any dependents for the duration of the trip
- you're able to pay for your return or onward journey and any other costs relating to your visit
Documents you must provide
When you apply you'll need to provide:
- a current passport or other valid travel identification - you need a page in your passport that's blank on both sides for your visa
- one passport sized colour photograph
- evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, e.g bank statements or payslips for the last 6 months
- a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
How to apply
- You must apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa
- You must have your fingerprints and photograph (known as 'biometric information') taken at a Visa Application Centre as part of your application
- You may be able to get your visa faster depending on what country you are in - check with your Visa Application Centre
- If you can't apply online you can download form VAF1A
If you/your family member are visiting for your graduation ceremony, you can request a letter through My Student Record, or from the Graduation Team, Bryan Nicholson Building. This will help support your application.
If your family member is making a general visit to see you and it is not specifically for your graduation ceremony, you can create your own invitation letter - please see our example invitation letter below. You should also provide a copy of your current visa and a student status letter, which you can request from a Hallam Help Point.
Example Invitation Letter
<Your UK address>
To whom it may concern:
This letter is to confirm that I am inviting my mother and father to visit me in Sheffield. I am a student at Sheffield Hallam University and am studying MSc International Hospitality Management. Please find my student status letter attached.
I wish my parents to visit me because we have a university summer vacation period. My parents will be visiting me for two weeks and will be staying with me in my accommodation . I am very excited to show my parents where I study and the city I live in. My parents are coming for a short visit only because I must continue with my studies, and they also need to return to their commitments at home. I miss my family and hope that they will be granted a visitor visa so we can spend some time together.