Applying for a Standard Visitor Visa

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:

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

You can:

  • 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

You can't:

  • 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

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 your faculty reception.

Example Invitation Letter

<Your name>
<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.

Yours sincerely,

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