Visas and Immigration for study in the UK

Inviting a visitor to the UK

During your studies, you may wish for a friend or family member to visit you in the UK from overseas.

If a friend or a relative wants to come to visit you in the UK and they need a visa to enter the UK, they should prepare to apply for a Standard Visitor visa. If they are a visa-national, they will need to submit the application at their nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) in the country where there are living.

Non-visa nationals are allowed to request a visitor visa at the point of entry to the UK; however, they should still make sure they have the relevant documents with them in their hand luggage to show to border officials.

For a faster entry in the UK, some visitors may be able to access the e-Gates. The e-Gates are an automated self-service barrier operated by the UK Border Force and are an alternative to getting documents checked at the desk by an officer. You can find out who has access to the e-Gates by reading the Home Office guidance.

Your visitor should enter their information at to find out the process relevant for them.


Your visitor/s should read the Standard Visit visa information on the UKVI website carefully, before applying for their visa/s.

They will need to demonstrate that:

  • They intend to visit the UK for no more than 6 months
  • They intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit
  • They have enough money to support themselves whilst in the UK, without working or needing any help from public funds

Please see below a list of documents we suggest your visitors to provide with their application, if relevant:

  • Passport (this is mandatory)
  • 2 passport photographs
  • Application fee in local currency
  • A photocopy of your passport including the photograph page and your visa/BRP card
  • At least 6 months bank statements and/or payslips to show that they can fund their trip and any expenses. If you are funding their visit, you should provide proof of your finances for them to show
  • Evidence that they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit (for instance, a letter from their employer).
  • Details of where they intend to stay and their travel plans
  • Proof of your registration at the University of Greenwich
  • A letter of invitation from you

Proof of your registration at the University of Greenwich

To provide your visitor with proof of your registration at the university, you can get a 'student status letter', which you can request online. This is the only formal document you normally need from the university in support of your visitor's visa application.

Your letter of invitation

If possible, you should write a letter of invitation for your visitor to provide with their application. Address the letter to the Entry Clearance Officer at the embassy/ high commission where your visitor is applying for their visa. You will need to include these details:

  • Your visitor's full name and date of birth
  • Your relationship to them (sibling, friend, etc.)
  • The reason for their visit (graduation, holiday, etc.)
  • Their planned arrival and departure dates
  • Where they intend to stay. If they plan to stay with you, give your full address
  • Your own immigration status in the UK (for example, Student Visa)

View our suggested template for the invitation letter for guidance on how to write this letter if you need it.

What to do next

Send your invitation letter, proof of registration (student status letter), copy of your passport, visa and any other applicable documents on the list of suggested documents to your friend or relative, so they can include them with their visa application. Do not send it directly to the Embassy.

You can contact the International Student Advice Service if you have questions or concerns regarding a UK Standard Visit visa application.