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Advice and Counselling Service


If you want to invite a relative or friend to come and visit you in the UK, and they need a visa, they will need to apply for a Standard Visitor visa at their nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC). There is information about how to apply on the website.

Your visitor must show the VAC some documents. You can find a list of required documents online.

In addition, it is usually helpful for your visitor to provide:
• proof of your enrolment at Queen Mary University of London or your graduation ceremony (see below)
• a letter of invitation from you (see below)

Students sometimes ask us in Advice and Counselling for an additional formal letter of invitation for their visitor, but this is not necessary.  The VAC in Beijing has confirmed to us as follows:
“There is no requirement [to the University] to provide anything [more] than a letter confirming that a particular student is studying at your University [or that they have] been invited to a graduation ceremony.  The other documents should be provided separately by the applicant.”  Duo Duo Chai, British Embassy Beijing, Visa Section  

Advice and Counselling Service staff can sometimes write an invitation letter on your behalf, but only if you can show us in a letter or email that the Embassy have asked for more information from the university than just proof of your enrolment.

Proof of your attendance at Queen Mary
If you are a current student you can send your family your Student Status Letter. You can access your student status letter by using your Gradintelligence account. Click here for information on how to access your Student Status Letter on your Gradintelligence account. Your family should not use a letter that is more than a month old when they submit their immigration applications or travel to the UK.

Proof of your Graduation Ceremony
If you are inviting your family or friends to attend your graduation ceremony, and have booked your tickets you can print the order confirmation.

Your letter of invitation

Write a letter, addressed to the Entry Clearance Officer at the VAC where your visitor is applying for their visa. Include in your letter:

• the full name and date of birth of the proposed visitor(s)
• their relationship to you (parent, friend, etc)
• why they want to come and visit you (for a holiday, to attend your graduation, etc.)
• how long they want to stay in the UK and, if possible, their proposed 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, Tier 4 or Student)

What to do next
Send your invitation letter and student status letter, or graduation order confirmation, to your friend or relative so they can include them with their visa application.  Do not send it direct to the VAC.
Again, you do not normally need any additional letter from Queen Mary, only proof of your student status or of your graduation ceremony.

More information and online application form

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