In the first half of this year, the United Kingdom has opened its doors to a significant number of Nigerians, granting a total of 132,000 visas across various categories such as tourism, work, and study.
This recent update was shared by the new British Deputy High Commissioner, Jonny Baxter, who expressed his admiration for the energetic and entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians.
Having been in Nigeria for just over three weeks, Mr. Baxter is already captivated by the vibrant culture and people of the country.
He emphasized the strong connection between the UK and Nigeria, noting that a substantial percentage of visas issued by the UK globally are to Nigerians, highlighting the mutually beneficial relationship between the two nations.
In a candid chat with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Mr. Baxter shared that the UK has always been a preferred destination for Nigerians, especially students.
In fact, Nigeria ranks second, only to India, in the number of students it sends to the UK for educational purposes. The UK government warmly welcomes Nigerians coming to study or settle, provided they adhere to legal routes and respect the country’s rules.
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On another note, Mr. Baxter mentioned a significant increase in the number of dependents accompanying Nigerian students to the UK, which prompted a review and adjustment of relevant policies to address this international challenge.
Despite this, the UK continues to encourage Nigerian students to come, and this policy alteration is expected to take effect in January 2024.
As for the recent adjustments to visa fees, Mr. Baxter explained that the UK government regularly reviews these charges.
The increment is mainly due to the rising costs associated with processing visas and providing essential services to visitors, which are partially funded by the visa fees.
Lastly, he encouraged prospective travellers to apply for their visas well in advance to avoid any delays, as the visa granting process involves several steps and requires time to ensure thorough processing.
This advice aims to help individuals plan their trips better and ensure a smoother travel experience to the UK.