By Emmanuel Nduka
The United Kingdom (UK) Government has announced the lifting of the suspension placed on processing visitor’s visas in all countries previously on the red list, including Nigeria.
This was announced by the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) announced this in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the UK Government, the move was necessary after the removal of Nigeria and other countries from red list restrictions over the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
“From 4:00 am on 15th December, all countries currently on the red list will be removed. In line with the lifting of red list restrictions, 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.
“Non-visitor visa applications (including student and work visas) are still being processed within published service standards, and we are working hard to meet customer demand,” part of the statement read.
It added that applicants will be contacted by the Visa Application Centre (VAC) when their passports are ready for collection.
“They should not visit the VAC until they have been invited to do so. 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,” it added.
Meanwhile, the statement added further that the Priority Visa (PV) and Super Priority Visa (SPV) services remain temporarily suspended for all visa routes in all countries, coming off the red list.
It said this will allow UKVI to concentrate on assessing applications in date order for all visa customers and deal equitably with the increased demand of the process.