Standard visitor visa

Guidance on applying for a standard visitor visa for short visits to the UK (not for study)

On this page you can find information about:

Visas for family and friends visiting

If you have family or friends that wish to visit the UK for a short period and they are non-EEA or Swiss nationals and do not qualify for the Electronic Visa Waiver scheme, they will need a visa.

The visa type they should apply for to enter the UK is the Standard Visitor visa. They can apply for this visa from any overseas post. 


If you are attending a Graduation Ceremony, you will receive confirmation of the date and time of your graduation ceremony in the confirmation mailing in late May. This correspondence can be used to support your visitors’ visa applications. Please note that UCL is unable to provide any kind of additional invitation letter to support visa applications.

Nationals of certain countries do not have to apply for this visa in advance and can obtain it on entry to the UK. They should ask for a Standard Visitor visa at the immigration desk. They can check whether this applies to them on the UKVI website. It is still advisable to have all of the necessary documents needed for a Standard Visitor visa available in case they are requested.

For additional information about this visa please see the UKVI website.

Visa requirements for Admissions interviews

Visa guidance for prospective students invited to an interview at UCL

If you are a prospective student and have been invited to UCL for an interview as part of your conditional offer requirements you will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa.  You can apply at your nearest British embassy if you are on the list of visa nationals listed in the Immigration Rules Appendix Visitor: Visa National list  or by asking for a Visit Visa Stamp upon entry to the UK from the Border Officers if you are a non-visa national not on the list.

Whichever process you choose you will need to show that you meet the requirements of the Standard Visit visa rules which can be found at in the Immigration Rules in Appendix Visitor

The evidence you will need to prepare for your application at the border or at the embassy is as follows:

  • Passport or other valid travel document (your document must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your intended visit to the UK)
  • Your UCL conditional offer letter inviting you for an interview
  • Financial documents showing that you have access to sufficient funds which will cover your stay in the UK. In addition to this you will also need to show you can pay the cost of your return travel from the UK.
  • To prove that you are a genuine visitor to the UK and that you intend to leave after your interview, you may wish to provide the following (where applicable)

          - Evidence that you have booked your flight out of the UK (if applying for the visa at the UK border)

          - An official letter from your employer confirming any employment you have and that you have been granted authorised absence to               undertake your visit

          - A letter from your education provider, on headed paper, confirming your enrolment and leave of absence

          - If self employed: business registration documents confirming the business owner’s name and the date the business started trading.

Where a third party (who is either in the UK or who will be legally in the UK at the time of your visit) is providing financial support to you e.g. a business, a friend or a relative, documents to show they have sufficient resources to support you in addition to themselves and any dependant family should be provided.

Where the third party is providing you with support in relation to accommodation they should provide evidence that they rent or own the property and give details of the number of persons residing in the property already along with details of who you will be sharing a room with or if you have the sole use of a spare bedroom.

All documents must be originals and not photocopies. If you submit a document that is not in English or Welsh, it must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. Each translated document must contain:

  • confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • the date of the translation
  • the translator's full name and signature
  • the translator's contact details

Find out more about the cost of a visit visa and how to access the online form

Please note you can NOT extend or apply to transfer to a Tier 4 Visa within the UK from a Visitor (standard) Visa or any previous visitor visas.