By John Ikani
The United Kingdom Mission in Nigeria has announced a temporary suspension of the Flexi Appointment, known as the walk-in service, at its Visa Application Centres.
The service allows the submission of applications during the opening hours of the Visa Application Centre (VAC) or before and after the applicant’s scheduled appointment date.
In a statement on Monday, the mission noted that the move was to ensure the safety of its customers who stand outside the VAC.
The Mission added that visa applicants will not be attended to should they appear before their appointment date.
What the UK mission is saying:
The statement read in part, “To protect the safety of customers waiting outside of our Visa Application Centres, the Flexi Appointment (walk-in) service has been temporarily suspended. You will not be able to book one of these appointments online or by turning up at the VAC. If you have already paid for this service (before 10 January) then you can still benefit from this.
“You should not attend the VAC until it is your allocated appointment time, or you have been contacted by TLS to collect your passport. Visa customers who turn up at the VAC significantly before their appointment will be asked to leave and return at the correct date and time.”
The UK Mission, however, stated that there would be exceptions for serious cases such as health emergencies, which would be on a case by case basis.
The statement added that applications for student visas are being processed within the normal time frame.
“Where there are extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical emergency), UKVI may consider expediting specific cases. However, the bar for this is high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
“We are aware that large numbers of prospective students are queuing outside of the Visa Application Centre to try and secure a visa appointment. Student applications are being processed within the customer service standard of 15 working days,” the statement added.