International Student Support

Getting a visa for graduation

Find out how to apply for a new visa for a Sussex graduation ceremony.

Who requires a visa

If you have not remained in the UK after your course finishes, you may need to apply for a visa to attend your graduation ceremony. Your family members or other guests may also need to apply for visas to attend.

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. More details on the documentation you need to include with the visa application (or show on arrival) can be found on the UKVI website.

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

Contact the following offices to request the letter:

Contact our Graduation office if you have any other queries about graduation.

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

If you leave the UK and want to re-enter on your current Tier 4 visa to attend graduation (during the additional four-month period you receive after your course end date), this is fine provided you have not completed your course early (see important info below). Paragraph 275 of the Tier 4 policy guidance confirms that you should carry with you documenation confirming details of the graduation ceremony and proof that you intend to leave the UK (such as a travel ticket) before your visa expiry date.

To request a graduation letter, contact the following offices:

Important – If you have completed your course earlier than expected, we will have reported your new course end date to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). UKVI will then curtail (shorten) your visa to expire four months from your new course end date. This happens with PhD students who complete early. Curtailed leave will lapse if you leave the UK. We advise that you don't re-enter the UK on your existing visa if you have been reported to UKVI for completing your studies early. You should apply for a standard visitor visa instead.

Visas for family and guests to attend your graduation ceremony

If you want to invite a family member or friend to come to the UK for your graduation, and they need a visa, they will need to apply for a standard visitor visa. See above for more details on applying.

You can request a guest invitation letter from the following offices, which your guest can include with their visa application or show at the border:


You can email or call +44 (0)1273 67 8422.

Our address is:

International Student Support
Bramber House, 2nd Floor, Room 202
Refectory Road
University of Sussex, Falmer
Brighton BN1 9QU

Graduation website

If you are looking for general information, see the Sussex graduation website.

International Student Support

T +44 (0)1273 67 8422