Inviting family and friends to visit the UK

International Support Services Guide
Inviting family and
friends to visit
the UK
The information provided in this guide is correct at the time of publication
(March 2013) however it is subject to change without notice. For the most
up-to-date information, please check the online version of this guide at
Anyone can come to visit you in the UK for a
short period of time while you are studying here.
Depending on their nationality, they will either
have to apply for a visitor visa before they leave
home - visa nationals - or they can apply on arrival
at the airport - non-visa nationals. To find out if
your visitor will need to apply for a visa before
you come to the UK, please see www.ukba.
Visitors will be able to visit the UK for a maximum
of six months. They are not permitted to work while
they are in the UK and they will also not be entitled
to claim public funds or attend school. This means
that they must be able to prove that they have
sufficient funds to finance their stay in the UK.
Visitors are also not eligible for healthcare under
the National Health Service (NHS).
Non-visa nationals
Generally, non-visa nationals are issued a visitor
visa when they arrive in the UK. The immigration
officer at the airport will ask to see documentation
such as proof of finances available and evidence
of the purpose of the trip in order to issue a visa.
Visa nationals
Visa nationals have to apply for a visitor visa before
they travel to the UK. They will be able to apply
for a visitor visa from the British Embassy or visa
application centre in their home country. If they are
successful in securing entry clearance as a visitor,
they will be able to enter the UK for up to six
months. The six-month period cannot be extended.
It is important that visitors are genuinely seeking
entry for a limited period and plan to return home
at the end of their stay.
Inviting family and friends to visit the UK
Documents a prospective visa national should
submit with their application
Items marked with a *** should be supplied by you
and posted to your visitor so that they can include
the original copies with their visa application.
VAF1A application form which is available
to download from the UK Border Agency
website at
valid passport
visa fee
recent passport photographs
evidence of funds to cover all expenses,
for example, personal bank statements or
evidence of earnings. As a rough guide,
estimate £30 per day for basic expenses
in addition to accommodation, travel and
entertainment costs. It is possible to use the
student’s original UK bank statements if you
are covering all of your guest’s expenses for
their visit in the UK.
evidence of medical insurance, perhaps as
part of an overall travel insurance policy.
Visitors are not eligible for National Health
Service treatment.
evidence to show that they intend to return
home at the end of their visit. This might be
proof of a job, family members, study or a
*** university letter giving course details
and start, end and graduation dates of your
course. Request the letter online at store. (Product Catalogue>
Student Documents and Letters> Letters)
*** an invitation letter from you. This should
provide details of any costs you will cover,
accommodation such as a hotel reservation
or a room in the student’s house (in which
case also include a copy of the tenancy
agreement), and the dates and purpose of
the visit. An example letter is provided at the
end of this guide.
Study Abroad and exchange students
(including those from the China and
Malaysia campuses) should request
their confirmation letter directly from
the Study Abroad Team. Please email
[email protected] with
your name, student ID number, purpose
of the letter and the number of copies
you require. The Study Abroad Team
will then contact you directly once your
letter has been produced.
Students studying a presessional
English Programme through the Centre
for English Language Education (CELE)
should request a letter from CELE
The UK Border Agency have a helpful checklist of
the documents required for visitor visa applications
at their website as well as links to the application
forms required.
Travelling to the UK
All visitors should carry relevant documents in their
hand luggage to explain the purpose of their visit
and their finances in case the immigration officer
at the airport asks for more information before
allowing the visitor to enter the UK.
Visiting Europe
If the visitor plans to go to any other European
countries in the course of their visit to the UK and
requires a Schengen visa, they should apply for
this from the appropriate Embassy in their home
country before travelling to the UK.
Inviting family and friends to visit the UK
Sample invitation letter to provide in support of visitor visa applications
Your name
Your address
Your telephone number
I am writing to invite you to visit me in Nottingham on….. for …. days/weeks. I am a fulltime registered student at the University of Nottingham, and I’ve enclosed a letter from the
University confirming the details of my course.
I confirm that I will be responsible for the cost of your accommodation whilst you are staying
in the UK. You will be able to stay in a spare bedroom in my rented house for the duration
of your stay. I’ve enclosed a copy of my tenancy agreement to prove that I am renting this
accommodation, and three months’ recent bank statements to show that I have sufficient
funds to pay for your room.
(Or…) I confirm I have arranged local hotel accommodation for you, please see reservation
enclosed for the following hotel:
I also enclose copies of relevant pages from my passport to show that I have valid leave to
remain in the UK as a student until……
For further information, I can be contacted at the above address.
Best regards…
Inviting family and friends to visit the UK
We’re here to help, get in touch:
We run a regular drop-in service at the
International Office on Jubilee Campus between
1-4pm, Monday - Friday throughout the academic
year. If you are submitting a visa application for
yourself and your dependants, please make an
appointment by calling +44 (0)115 951 5247.
You can also make an appointment to speak to
an advisor on University Park Campus. We offer a
term-time appointment service between 2-4:20pm
at the Student Services Centre. Appointments
can be booked in person at the Student Services
Centre in the Portland Building, or by telephone on
+44 (0)115 951 3710.
To see an advisor on the Sutton Bonington
Campus, please call the Student Services Centre
on +44 (0)115 9516004 to make an appointment.
The International Office is located at:
C Floor, YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
The University of Nottingham
t: +44 (0)115 951 5247
f: +44 (0)115 951 5155
e: [email protected]
We are always looking for ways to develop
and improve our support service and welcome
feedback from staff and students.
The information in this leaflet is given in good
faith and correct at the time of writing. It has
been carefully checked with UKCISA and the UK
Border Agency, but The University of Nottingham
accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the
If you would like any further information or
assistance, please contact the International
Support Services Team. The advisors, Rosemary
Gibson, Hong Sun, Ruth Hudson, Melanie
Bentham-Hill and Deborah Webb, are authorised
to provide immigration advice and services by
an order made under Section 84 (4) (d) of the
Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
If at any time you are not happy with the advice
you have been given by the International Support
Services Team, in the first instance you should
raise this with the Head of the International
Support Services Team or the Director of the
International Office. If the matter is not resolved or
you are still unhappy, you can make a complaint
to the OISC (Office of the Immigration Services
Commissioner) via their website
If you require this publication in an alternative
format, please contact us:
t: +44 (0)115 951 4591
e: [email protected]