Getting a visa for graduation

Find out if you or your guests need a visa for a Sussex graduation ceremony.

If you already have a visa

You won’t need a visa for graduation if your current study visa expires after your ceremony, unless your course finishes early.

Re-entering the UK on a current Tier 4 student visa

If you leave the UK and want to attend graduation on your current Tier 4 visa (during the four months you get after your course ends), we recommend showing a Border Force Officer (BFO) a confirmation letter.

The letter confirms:

  • you have recently completed a course at Sussex
  • your invitation to the graduation ceremony.

You should then be granted entry on your Tier 4 visa.

If possible, show proof that you will leave the UK before your current visa expires (such as a return air ticket).

The decision to allow you back into the UK rests with the BFO you encounter.

Finishing early

If you complete your course earlier than expected, we will email you to confirm your new course end date.

We have to report your new course end date to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

UKVI then curtails (shortens) your visa to expire four months from your new course end date.

You must not re-enter the UK on your existing visa if UKVI knows you completed early. Apply for a Standard Visitor visa instead.

Who requires a visa

A Standard Visitor visa is enough to attend Graduation.

You’ll need one if:

  • you were a Tier 4 student and your visa has expired or been curtailed
  • you are a guest attending a graduation ceremony and you are from a country which requires a visa.

Find out if you need a Standard Visitor visa.

How to apply for a visa for graduation

You can apply for a Standard Visitor visa to attend your graduation ceremony.

Visa nationals will need to apply for this visa online before entering the UK. Non-visa nationals can request this visa on arrival at the port of entry.

Check if you need a UK visa before travelling.

You can request a letter from Sussex confirming your course details and the date of your ceremony to include with your visa application or show at the border.

If you want to invite family or friends to your graduation, and they need a visa, they will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa. Guests will also need a letter to support their application.

Request letters from Sussex

You can request:

  • a letter confirming your course details and the date of your ceremony
  • a letter for graduation guests attending a ceremony.

Both letters can be included with visa applications or shown at the border.

If you are:

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