If you are planning to move to the UK for work or study, you will need to apply for a VISA. The UK visa application process can take up to 30 days and the earliest you can apply is three months in advance. Here is a detailed guide that will make your UK visa application process a lot easier.

Types of UK Visas

  • Standard UK Visitor Visa: For short stays of up to six months or transit
  • Work Visa: For paid and voluntary work, entrepreneur and investor visits
  • Study Visa: Short-term study visas and visas for longer courses, degrees and independent schools


How to Apply for a UK Visa

Applying for your UK visa from Nigeria is a step-by-step process.

    • Step 1
      • Register a user account on the GOV.UK website. You will also be able to check what type of visa you will need for your trip on the website.
    • Step 2
      • Fill out the application form, pay the visa fee and book an appointment at a visa application centre. You will receive an email confirming your appointment and what documents you will need to take along. You will also be given a GWF number which you will need for the next step.
    • Step 3
      • Register your details on the pos.tlscontact.com. If you don’t register, you will not be allowed to attend your appointment. You can track your application on the TLScontact website after you have registered.
    • Step 4
      • Attend your appointment and submit your biometrics at a UK visa application centre. To avoid any delays in the application process you should bring along the following:
        • Your original passport
        • Printed copies of your online application form and appointment confirmation
        • Receipt of payment of visa fees
        • All the required documents as stated above
        • Supporting documents

Important: Your visa fee will no longer be refundable after you have submitted your biometrics. You must also ensure that you are not late for your appointment. If you are late, your application process may be delayed as you will have to rebook your appointment.

  • Step 5
    • Wait for your visa application to be processed. You will be able to track your visa application on the TLScontact website.
  • Step 6
    • Collect your passport at the specified Visa Application Centre. You will be notified when it is ready for collection.

According to TLScontact, “Children under 5 years old are now required to attend the Visa Application Centre in order for them to have their photo taken at the centre. Please note that minors are not allowed to submit applications by themselves, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.”


UK Visa Fees

The cost of a Standard Visitor Visa is currently about $125. The UK visa fees are different for each visa category. These can be found on the GOV.UK website.


UK Visa Requirements

  • A valid international passport with a page that is blank on both sides
  • Completed visa application form (this is filled in online)
  • One passport photograph that meets the requirements
  • Visa fee
  • Proof of finances (e.g. original bank statement that is not older than 3 months)
  • Confirmation of accommodation and flight bookings
  • A letter of invitation if you are being sponsored by a friend or family member
  • Original marriage certificate if you are travelling with your spouse
  • Birth certificates for your children if you are travelling together
  • Recent utility bills
  • If you are travelling for business you will need to include: a letter of invitation/confirmation of training/confirmation of conference; and full details for an authorised representative from your company and their contact details.


Where to Apply

UK Visa Application Centres

  • UK Visa Application Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos
    • First Floor, Churchgate Building, Tower 2
    • Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
    • Website: pos.tlscontact.com
  • UK Visa Application Centre in Ikeja, Lagos
    • Ground & First Floors, Etiebets Place
    • 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way
    • Website: pos.tlscontact.com
  • UK Visa Application Centre, Abuja
    • Third floor, El-Yakub Building (beside Metro Plaza), Plot 1129
    • Zakariya Maimalari Street, Central Business District
    • Website: pos.tlscontact.com
  • British Deputy High Commission, Lagos
    • 11 Walter Carrington Crescent
    • British High Commission, Abuja
    • Plot 1137, Diplomatic Drive, Central Business District

UK Visa Processing

The UK visa application process can take four to six working days. However, some visa applications can take up to 30 days if documents are missing or they require special attention because of crime or a history of rejection.

UK Visa Collection

You will be able to collect your passport and visa from Monday to Friday (except public holidays). You will be alerted via SMS when your application has been sent to the UK Embassy on the submission day and you will be alerted when your passport arrives back at the UK visa application centre and is ready for collection.

Bring copies of your application documents, an original photographic ID and a copy of the biodata page in your passport.

Note: Someone else cannot collect your documents on your behalf, except if you are a government representative, a parent collecting for your child or children, or you are collecting on behalf of your family if you applied together.

UK Visa Rejection

The most common reasons for UK visas being rejected are:

  • Submitting false documents
  • The applicant has received a deportation order
  • The applicant was found guilty of a crime that warrants four years or more of jail time
  • Withholding documentation of a criminal background
  • Insufficient funds
  • Overstaying a previous visit to the UK
  • Submitting fraudulent documents on a previous trip to the UK
  • Not complying with all the application requirements
  • Lack of a valid passport or travel documents
  • Invalid reason for wanting to visit the UK

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