The United Kingdom has lifted the ban on processing of visitor visa applications earlier placed on Nigeria and 10 other African countries that were recently removed from the travel red list over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
This was disclosed in a statement issued yesterday by the British High Commission in Abuja in line with the lifting of red list restrictions on Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe Eswatini, Lesotho, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique.
The statement said that “following the UK Government announcement that from 4:00am on 15th December all countries who were on the red list will be removed – UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will lift the pause on processing visitor visas in all countries previously on the red list.
“Due to extremely high global demand, standard UK visitor visas are currently taking significantly longer than usual to be processed. UKVI are working hard to process visitor visa applications as soon as possible and sincerely apologise to all our customers affected.”
The statement added that non-visitor visa applications (including student and work visas) are still being processed within published service standards adding that officials are working hard to meet customer demand. It noted that applicants will be contacted by the Visa Application Centre (VAC) when their passport is ready for collection. They were advised not to visit the VAC until they have been invited to do so.
“You are not required to book any travel before applying for a visa, or before a decision is made on your application. Those with an urgent need to travel to the UK for compassionate reasons will still need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at a VAC. Applicants should clearly explain the compelling or compassionate reasons for the visit in their application form and must alert the VAC staff during biometric submission.