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Letters for students to support visitor visa applications for Graduation only

If you leave the UK when you finish your studies and wish to return to attend your graduation ceremony, you should be able to apply to enter the UK as a visitor and may require a letter of invitation from the University.

If you are not sure whether you need a letter from the University, please contact your local Visa Application Centre or Embassy for confirmation. Information on applying for entry clearance as a visitor is available from the Home Office website. The final decision to issue a visa remains with the Entry Clearance Officer and not the University. Please note that the University is not able to sponsor students under Tier 4 who have finished their studies and who wish to return to attend their graduation ceremony.

We do not provide letters for family and friends as it is not a requirement of the visitor rules.  A letter of invitation for your guests should come from yourself.  Guidance on writing a letter of invitation for your guests can be found at

Important: If you require a letter for yourself, we strongly advise that you make an online request in good time due to the time taken to receive an Embassy appointment. Please note that generally they will not accept scanned copies of our letters. See notes 1-5 below.

  1. Please complete an online request form - this service is now open.  (Note that students who are on 12 month programmes and finish their studies in September 2014 cannot apply for letters until December 2014).

  2. We aim to provide the letter in 5 working days from submission of the request. The letter will either be posted to the address that you detail on the online request form, or be available to collect from the Graduation Office (Room 6.123). Opening hours 10-1 and 2-4.

  3. A letter confirms that you are eligible to graduate and that you are invited to attend Graduation 2014.

  4. An email will be sent to you to confirm when the letter has been posted, or when it is ready to collect.

  5. This service will close on 27 June 2014.

Further information about Graduation

Eligible students will be able to purchase 2 guest tickets.  Additional guests can visit the University but will not be able to enter the ceremony or departmental reception (unless you have been able to purchase surplus guest tickets which may be available in the second phase of the ticket booking process - see Guest tickets for Graduation). 

If you have more questions about Graduation, please contact the Graduation Office using the contact details provided below.  Please note that the Graduation Office receives a high number of emails so we may not be able to respond to your email straight away.  We endeavour to reply within 5 working days.



Graduation Office
Academic Section
University of Essex

Wivenhoe Park
Essex CO4 3SQ


01206 872174 / 872969

International Tel:

+44 1206 872174 / 872969

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