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Moving to the UK from Nigeria

Get in touch with IAS immigration lawyers if you want to find out more about your options to move from Nigeria to the UK.

Call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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    Do I need a visa to travel from Nigeria to the UK?

    You need to get a visa before you travel to the UK from Nigeria.

    As a general rule you must submit your UK visa application before you travel, although some business travelers might be eligible to request their visa on arrival. Before you enter the UK, you must receive written confirmation of your visa application being accepted.

    There are several visa categories you can apply to, depending on the reasons why you wish to move to the UK from Nigeria. Each tier has specific eligibility requirements and you will need to provide adequate documentation to support your case and demonstrate that you qualify for your desired visa.

    To find out more about UK immigration and to evaluate your option to travel from Nigeria to the UK, you can get in touch with IAS’ immigration lawyers.

    UK Spouse Visa for Nigerians

    If you wish to join your partner in the UK from Nigeria, you need to apply for a Spouse Visa. To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

    • You and your partner are aged 18 or over
    • You must be married or in a civil partnership recognized in the UK
    • Your partner, who is going to be your sponsor, must be a British citizen or UK settled person
    • You must have met personally at least once before getting married
    • You must have been living together for the past 2 years

    If you and your partner are not married but you plan to do it in the UK once you arrive from Nigeria, you can apply for a Fiancé Visa.

    UK Working Visas for Nigerian citizens

    To work in the UK, Nigerian citizens must apply for a Tier 2 visa. To be eligible, you must have received and accepted a job offer from a UK-based employer which holds a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. This visa tier includes the following permits:

    • Tier 2 (General), for international highly-skilled workers who meet specific eligibility requirements.
    • Tier 2 (ICT), which is only available for existing employees who work abroad but need to be transferred to a UK branch of their company.
    • Tier 2 (Sportsperson), for internationally established athletes and qualified coaches.
    • Tier 2 (Minister of Religion), targeted at international religious workers.

    If you want to evaluate your options to enter the UK from Nigeria for working rationale, you can get in touch with IAS.

    Nigerian entrepreneurs travelling to the UK

    “High-value migrants” and Nigerian entrepreneurs interested in travelling to the UK can apply for a Tier 1 Visa. This category includes the following permits:

    • Global Talent Visa, for those who work in a specific field (such as science, medicine, or the arts) and are internationally recognised as leaders in their area of expertise
    • Tier 1 (Investor)To qualify for this permit, interested Nigerian investors must have access to at least £2,000,000 which can be invested in the UK.
    • Start-Up Visa,  for individuals who wish to set up their first business in the UK. There is no minimum investment required, but applicants must demonstrate their high potential.

    Get in touch with IAS’ immigration lawyers to learn more about the routes available for starting your business in the UK. We are based in the UK, with offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester, but our lawyers also offer all of their services remotely so can still assist you whilst you are in Nigeria.

    How Nigerians can apply for UK Permanent Residency

    You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and obtain UK permanent residency if you meet specific requirements. If your application is successful, you will be able to live in the UK free from any immigration restrictions. However, you won’t be able to vote or hold a UK passport until you apply for and obtain British citizenship.

    The following are the requirements to apply for UK residency for Nigerians:

    • You must have been living in the UK legally for at least 5 years
    • You must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12-month period
    • You must demonstrate your English proficiency and your knowledge of British customs
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              Frequently Asked Questions

              You can submit your UK visa application online. However, the majority of visa application processes include a face-to-face interview. Besides, you will need to book an appointment to have your biometric information (fingerprint and photos) taken.

              If you wish to visit the UK for business, leisure or to seek private medical treatment, you must apply for a Visitor Visa.

              A general UK visitor visa can be used for undertaking unpaid business appointments or artistic work, visit your family, traveling the country for leisure purposes, or receiving private medical treatment.

              Nigerian pupils who wish to study in the UK can apply for a Student Visa. This permit is available for all international students aged 18 or over who have been offered a place at a UK educational institution which holds a valid sponsor licence.