The processing time of standard visas for applicants seeking to visit the United Kingdom will now take about six weeks, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has said.
In a statement on Tuesday by the British High Commission in Abuja, the UKVI explained that the setback was a result of the global travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and global travel restrictions, UKVI are experiencing unpredictable demand across all visa routes,” it said.
“Standard visitor visa applications are taking on the average six weeks to process. UK Visas and Immigration are working to reduce the current processing time as quick as possible. You should bear this in mind when making travel arrangements.”
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The UKVI advised applicants against unnecessary visits to the Visa Application Centres (VACs) unless they were invited.
It stated that applicants whose passports were ready for collection would be contacted by officials at the centre for pick up.
The UKVI, however, said there would be a consideration for extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances such as medical emergencies, although that would come at an extra cost.
“You will be contacted by the Visa Application Centre (VAC) when your passport is ready for collection. Please do not attend the VAC until you have been invited to do so,” it said.
“Where there are extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (for example, a medical emergency), we may consider expediting specific cases. However, the bar for this is high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
“If your request is exceptionally urgent you can contact UK Visas and Immigration for help. Please note that this is a chargeable service for overseas customers. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”