The United Kingdom, consisting of England, Scotland, Whales and Northern Ireland, is on the continent of Europe. The main language spoken is the English language.
Citizens of other countries who need to travel to the UK need to apply for a UK visa.
To be eligible for a UK visa, there are requirements that must be met. Intending travellers also need to know the exact type of visa they should be applying for.
Types of Visa to the UK
Getting a visa is a prerequisite to travelling to most countries. Only foreigners with UK visas can be allowed to travel to the United Kingdom. Citizens of countries under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may travel without a visa but would need to present an electronic visa waiver (EVW). They are usually allowed 180 days (6 months) in the UK after entering with the EVW.
However, for foreigners whose countries do not qualify for the VWP, they need to obtain a visa that is in line for their purpose of travel.
The types of UK visas include:
Tier 1 Visa
There are 5 T-1 visa categories and they are-
Tier 1 (General) – This is no longer available to new applicants.
Tier 1 (Investor) – This visa is given to persons who intend to invest in the U.k.
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – This visa is given to business persons who intend to set up a business in the UK.
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) – This visa is granted to graduates who have operational ideas that are viable.
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)- This visa is granted to persons who have an endorsement from an academic sector.
Tier 2 Visa
This visa is issued to persons who have been offered a skilled job in the U.k. The Tier 2 visa is a work visa.
Tier 4 Visa
This visa is a student visa and it is issued to students who have already been issued admission in a U.K University and have enough capacity to foot the maintenance bills.
Tier 5 Visa
The Tier 5 visa is a work visa, and it is issued to different individuals under the following categories – Government Authorized Exchange, Youth Mobility Scheme, Creating Sporting Visas, Charity Worker, Religious Worker and International agreement.
UK Family Visa
The visa is granted to persons who intend to visit their relations in the UK for a while.
UK Visitor Visa
This visa is granted to persons who need visas that would enable them to stay in the UK for not more than 6 months. The categories of visitors include General visitors, Academic visitors, Entertainer visitors, Special visitors (Visitors for private medical treatment)
UK Visa Requirements
For each visa type, the applicants must ascertain that they can speak, communicate and understand the English language and that they are financially capable of taking care of their maintenance costs for at least the first month.
In addition, depending on the visa type, the applicants must be able to defend their reason for needing a visa with the necessary documents.
What are the requirements for UK visa?
There are some certain documents required for a UK visa and they are:
- A UK visa application form
- A valid travel document (international passport)
- A proof of the UK visa application fee payment
- A 29mmx34mm, coloured passport with white background
- Financial documents proofing that applicant can financially sustain himself in the UK.
These documents might include bank statements, proof of earnings, or the financial document of a dependent in the UK that has sufficient resources to financially support the applicant
- A letter from your employer outlining the reason for
your visit, who you will be meeting and details of any payment/expenses (for work visa applicants)
- Letter of Invitation (for visitor visa applicants)
- Travel Itenary (for tourist visa applicants)
- Evidence of admission into a UK university (for student visa applicants)
- Letter from a doctor or consultant in the UK showing –
Details of health condition
Cost and duration of treatment
Location of treatment (for Private medical treatment visa applicants)
How to Apply for a UK Visa
To apply for a UK visa, the applicant would need to:
- Verify what type of UK visa is needed.
- Fill the UK Visa application form (Be sure to enter valid information)
- Pay the UK Visa fee
- Submit and Print out the properly filled application form (This form would be requested for eventually)
- Save your GWF number (The GWF number is a 12 digit number auto-generated immediately after submitting the application form. It looks like this GWF0******98)
- Schedule an appointment (This is to be done on the same website where the form was filled)
- Register for a UK Visa Application accounts through the Teleperformance website in order to track your application later.
- Endeavour to honour your appointment on the scheduled date.
Where to get a UK Visa Application Form
There are two authorised UK visa application options for applicants in Nigeria. The first application option is through Teleperformance (a credible private Uk Visa registration company), and the second option is through the Government website – Visa4Uk. The Visa application form can be gotten from any of these two options.
How to Schedule a UK Visa Appointment
Scheduling a UK visa is to be done on the website where the UK application form was filled. For this course, an applicant would need the 12 digit GWF number.
Select an appointment time, and then a mail will be received, confirming the date and time of your appointment, the location of the Visa Application Centre and the documents that should be brought when visiting the Application Centre.
Once the appointment is confirmed, print a copy of the appointment confirmation page.
How / Where to Pay UK Visa Fees
Uk visa fees could be paid at any of the GTBank branches in Nigeria, or through GTBank Internet Banking Portal. This portal is for account holders only. After any of these payment processes, a receipt should be received from the teller, or printed online.
How to Submit UK Visa Application
The UK visa application form is to be submitted online where it was filled. The applicant’s valid passport as well other supporting documents requested for would be brought on the day scheduled for the appointment. It is necessary to note that documents not presented at this point may not be received again.
UK Visa Processing Time
The processing time varies according to the visa type being applied for. However, generally, it takes about 15 days to process the visa.
Visas can be processed in as short as 3 days or as long as 60 days.
How to Collect your UK Visa
VFS would notify the applicant when the visa is ready to be collected. The Visa is to be collected in person at the visa application centre where an application was made. Third parties are not allowed to collect visas on behalf of applicants unless the party is directly affiliated to the applicant in question.
Address and Location of the UK Embassies in Nigeria
UK Embassy, Abuja
British High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria
19 Torrens Close, Off Mississippi Street
Off Shehu Shagari Way (North), Maitama,
Dangote House, Aguyi Ironsi Street
Telephone: (+234) (9) 462 2200
Fax: (+234) (9) 462 2263
UK Embassy, Lagos
British Deputy High Commission
11 Walter Carrington Crescent,
For further information, you may visit the official UK Visa page.