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Travelling to the UK for graduation

In order to enter the UK using your student visa, you must still meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for student visas. Students whose studies have ended and who do not intend to take another course when they return to the UK will have difficulties showing that they still meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for students. If a border force officer considers that your circumstances have changed or that you are attempting to re-enter for a purpose other than that for which your leave was granted, your immigration permission can be cancelled and you can be required to leave the UK or, if you are a non-visa national, you can be granted leave to enter as a visitor instead.

We would recommend that if you are leaving the UK and intending to return for the purpose of just attending your graduation ceremony, you obtain a Visitor (Standard) Visa to do this to avoid any risk in being refused entry to the UK. You should be aware that it is not possible to switch from a visitor visa to another visa category within the UK and this may therefore impact your decision whether to leave the UK before graduation or not.

We are aware that recently, some students have got in touch with the UKVI International Enquiry Service or their local British Embassy with the same question, and some of them have been advised that they can return to the UK to attend Graduation Ceremony using their current Tier 4 visa, as long as the University has not withdrawn their CAS, and that they bring (in their hand luggage) 1) evidence that they have been studying (e.g., a Student Status Letter); 2) evidence of return ticket leaving the UK and 3) evidence that they will be attending the Graduation Ceremony (e.g., a print-out of the confirmation email from the Awards & Ceremony team). We would also advise that you bring a print-out of the email from the UKVI/ Embassy which contains such advice. These should mitigate the risk of you being refused entry as we highlighted above. You should avoid mention of work, if at all possible without being dishonest, as this often raises doubts in a border force officer's mind about your real reasons for re-entering the UK.

Fri 27 November 2015, 15:56 | Tags: Immigration Advice Welfare Advice Current student

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