We recommend that you email a Student Immigration Adviser at student-immigration-advice@bath.ac.uk if you want family or friends to stay with or visit you in the UK. They can help you to find out:

  • if you are a dependant, or if any family or friends should be classed as dependants
  • what visa types your family and friends need, and how to apply
  • what evidence you/your family need to provide in the application

The University also provides information about the support available for family members of international students.

Bringing your family to live with you

If you're a Tier 4 student visa holder, your family members (dependants) might be able to apply to join or remain with you in the UK.

Read the UK government's detailed guidance for dependants to find out how much money you'll need and which documents you need to provide.

  • if your course meets the requirements permitting Tier 4 dependants, you can apply together
  • family members can apply to stay with you in the UK if they have a dependant visa status
  • family members can change from a dependant visa into a Tier 4 visa. However, they must return to their home country to do this

Inviting your family and friends to visit

If your family or friends want to visit you for a short stay in the UK, they’ll need a Standard Visitor Visa. This type of visa is suitable for graduation ceremonies or other short visits. Some nationals (see Appendix 2) must get a visa before they leave home, but some can ask for permission on arrival to the UK.

In the first instance, you will need to request a letter from the University that proves your status as a full-time student and details of who you are inviting. You should use online registration to request this letter.

You can find a full list of documents required for visitor visa applications on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website.

Once you have all your documents, your family member or friend should then apply on the government's website.

Health insurance

If a family member or friend is going to be visiting you in the UK then they should have private healthcare insurance. This will help to avoid incurring significant costs in the event of needing to use the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

What your visitor can and can't do with a Standard Visitor Visa

Your visitor can:

  • visit for 6 months
  • study for up to 30 days as long as this is not the main reason they are coming

Your visitor can't:

  • get free medical treatment on the NHS - they must get medical insurance
  • get private medical treatment
  • work
  • extend the visa
  • switch into another visa
  • do paid or unpaid work
  • live in the UK for long periods of time through frequent visits
  • claim public funds
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership

Standard Visitor Visa checklist

Your visitors will need to present the following documents for their visitor visa application. They must also carry copies of these in their hand luggage to present when they arrive.

  • Letter from the University proving your status as a full-time student and the details of who you’re inviting. Request this letter when you register as a student. You’ll need to collect the letter from the Student Services Centre in 4 West (please allow 3 working days).
  • a personal letter of invitation written by you
  • copies of your passport pages
  • copies of your bank statements or sponsors' letters (optional, but advisable if you are funding the visit yourself)
  • proof of accommodation. This should be a copy of your tenancy contract or a hotel booking

Your visitors will also need to present the following for their visitor visa application:

  • evidence of returning home, for example details of work, business, studies
  • proof of salary or financial independence
  • a return ticket or money to buy one application fee (£87)