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UK suspends processing of visitor visa applications in Nigeria

The UK said, the decision to ‘pause decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries’ is parts of measures put in place to protect public health.

President Muhammadu Buhari and UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson .

Barely 24 hours after the United Kingdom banned foreign travellers from Nigeria over COVID-19 Omicron variant, the UK has suspended the processing of visitor visa applications from all red list countries, including Nigeria.

The British High Commission announced the suspension in a statement on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

In the statement, the UK said, the decision to ‘pause decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries’ is parts of measures put in place to protect public health.

The statement reads, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted,”

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“Visit visas cover travel to the UK for tourism, visiting family and friends, undertaking short-term business activities (for example, attending meetings), undertaking short-term studies (under 6 months), taking part in research or exchange programmes as an academic, medical reasons (for example, receiving private medical treatment).

“If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place.

“You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.

“Separate guidance is available for travellers entering Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Use https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories.

There are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases,” the statement reads.

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“If you have submitted a visit visa application and you do not wish to withdraw, we will continue to hold your application.

“If you choose to continue with your visa application, you will not receive a decision on your visit visa whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place.”

The UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid had earlier announced a temporary ban on foreign travellers from Nigeria.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Javid said, only United Kingdom residents or its citizens can enter the UK from Nigeria, and they would have to quarantine in one of the relevant hotels.

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