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UK Transit Visa for Nigerians

Nigerian nationals who wish to pass through the UK on their way to a third country may need a Transit Visa to do so.

If you would like to apply for a UK Transit Visa or simply want to learn more about which type of transit visa is suitable for you, contact us online today or on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929. Alternatively, you can visit us in person at our office in Lagos, Nigeria.

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    Need to Transit Through the UK?

    We are a team of qualified lawyers with lots of experience in guiding Nigerian citizens through every stage of obtaining a UK Transit Visa – from submitting the visa application to helping applicants have their biometric data recorded. Get in touch with us for support with your application.

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    Eligibility

    Overview

    As a Nigerian national, you will typically need to obtain a Transit Visa to pass through the UK on your way to another country.

    To be eligible for a transit visa you must:

    • Be in transit to another country with sufficient funds and the intention to travel to a third country
    • Have the necessary paperwork and documents that prove you can enter the third country
    • Be able to show that the sole purpose of your visit to the UK is to pass through the country on your way to your final destination

    Exemptions

    If you fall into one of the categories listed below, you will not need a UK Transit Visa and can pass through the UK without a visa on your way to a third country.

    • An EU Settlement Scheme family permit.
    • Home Office travel document; for example, if you’re a refugee or stateless person.
    • Standard Visitor visa.
    • Marriage Visitor visa.

    Other Exemptions

    Travellers with a valid visa for entry to one of the following countries can also pass through the UK visa-free:

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • New Zealand
    • USA

    You do not need to be travelling to or from one of these countries when you pass through the UK to be eligible for the visa exemption.

    Man waiting at Heathrow Airport

    Types of Transit Visa

    The type of visa you require to pass through the UK depends on whether you intend to pass through UK border control (immigration) when you arrive in the UK.

    If you are unsure whether you will be required to pass through an immigration checkpoint, you should consult your airline before you travel to the UK.

    The UK Transit Visa is issued in two different formats:

    • If you’re not going through UK border control, you should apply for a Direct Airside Transit visa. You will need to apply for this type of visa if, for example, you’ll be changing flights in the UK and will not be passing through UK border control.
    • If you are required to pass through UK border control when you enter the UK, you will need to apply for a Visitor in Transit visa. This type of visa is issued on the understanding the country agrees to leave the UK within 48 hours of landing.

    Stays Longer Than 48 Hours

    If you’re travelling from Nigeria and your trip involves your remaining in the UK for more than 48 hours, you cannot use a Transit Visa to pass through the country.

    Instead, you will be required to obtain a Standard Visitor visa, which allows you to remain in the UK for more than 48 hours.

    It is suggested that travellers who intend to pass frequently through the UK obtain this visa, as it allows the holder to transit several times through the country.

    British Airways plane ascending

    Direct Airside Transit Visa

    If you are changing flights at a UK airport but won’t be passing through UK border control, you will need to apply for a Direct Airside Transit Visa.

    Direct Airside Transit Visas are valid for up to 24 hours.

    If you need to pass through UK border control, this is not the visa for you as you cannot pass through an immigration control post with it.

    For example, if you need to pass through immigration to check in your luggage onto a connecting flight or if you need to change airports in the UK, you cannot use a Direct Airside Transit Visa to do so and must instead apply for a Visitor in Transit visa (see next section).

    Visitor in Transit Visa

    As a Nigerian national, you will need a Visitor in Transit visa to pass through the UK if you:

    • Intend to change flights in the UK on your way to your destination country
    • Expect to pass through UK border control, for example, to check in your luggage for a connecting flight
    • Intend to leave the UK within 48 hours of landing
    • Do not intend to work or study during your stay in the UK.

    If you need a UK transit visa, our lawyers are on hand to help with your application.

    Long-term Transit Visit Visa

    You can also apply for a long-term visit visa if you can prove you need to pass through the UK in transit regularly over a long period.

    This type of visa allows you to stay in the UK for a maximum of 48 hours on each visit and your visa can last for two, five or ten years.

    Requirements

    To be eligible for a Long-term Transit Visa, you must be able to demonstrate that:

    • You have an ongoing need to pass through the UK in transit regularly
    • The reason for your need to pass through the UK is unlikely to change significantly during the validity of the visa
    • You plan to leave the UK at the end of each transit within 48 hours of arriving in the country.

    Online Applications

    You can apply for a UK Transit Visa online using the government’s website.

    To start your application, you will be asked to confirm your visa type and you should select ‘visit or transit visa’.

    The application process is a simple, three-stage one. It involves:

    • Completing the application form and answering the questions when prompted (this should be done in English)
    • Paying the associated visa fee using your debit or credit card
    • Providing your biometric data (a copy of your fingerprints and a photograph of your face)

    You should bear in mind when submitting your application online that if you leave the application window inactive for 25 minutes, the system will log you out and you will have to start over.

    Biometric Requirements

    To complete your Transit Visa application, you must provide your biometric data (fingerprints and a facial photograph).

    To submit your biometric information, you will likely have to pay a visit to a visa application centre (VAC) that is operated by one of the British government’s commercial partners.

    Visa Centres in Nigeria

    To have your biometric information recorded, you must visit a visa centre in Nigeria.
    Nigeria hosts several UK visa centres, which can be found in the following locations:

    • Abuja
    • Lagos Ikeja
    • Lagos Victoria Island

    If you need help locating your nearest visa centre or want to learn more about how you should prepare before having your biometric data recorded, pay the IAS team a visit at our office in Lagos.

    As experts in immigration matters, speak to us to help acquire your transit visa as we’ve done for many Nigerians to date.

    Required Documents

    You must have a current passport or other valid travel document to apply for a UK Transit Visa.

    If you’re not a national of the country you’re travelling to, you will also need to provide evidence that you’re allowed to enter your destination country.

    Documents you can use to prove you are allowed to enter a third country include:

    • A valid residence permit
    • A green card
    • A valid visa

    If you’re not a resident or national of the country you’re travelling to, you may need to explain the purpose of your visit to the country and may also need to provide details of where you intend to reside during your stay.

    In addition, you may be asked to prove that your onward journey is booked or confirmed.

    Documents you can use to provide this information include:

    • A flight booking email or booking confirmation letter from the airline
    • A valid airline ticket or boarding pass, printed or in digital form on your smartphone
    • A document that confirms your travel information from a registered travel agency or airline.

    Cost

    A Direct Airside Transit Visa usually costs £35. A Visitor in Transit Visa costs £62.

    A Transit Visa for joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft (the fee is also applicable to the Isle of Man) is £83.

    Men waiting at airport

    Processing Times

    UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) or the Visa Application Centre will contact you when a decision has been made regarding your Transit Visa.

    This will typically take three weeks from the date you file your application.

    Fast-Track Processing

    You may be able to have your UK Transit Visa processed more speedily, but you should check with the UK immigration service.

    You can also check if you’re eligible to have your Transit Visa fast-tracked or expedited at your local visa application centre.

    How Can IAS Help?

    As a Nigerian citizen, if you wish to pass through the UK on your way to a third country you are likely to need a Transit Visa.

    If you need help applying for a UK Transit Visa or simply want to learn more about the application process or the different types of transit visas available, IAS is here to help.

    We are an experienced team of immigration lawyers with lots of expertise in guiding Nigerian citizens through every stage of the application process for a UK Transit Visa.

    To learn more about how IAS can help with your UK Transit Visa application give our team a call on +23413438882 or +44 (0) 3316300929. Alternatively, you can visit us online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    No. You are required to apply for a Transit Visa using the UK government website or visa application centre in Nigeria before you embark on your trip.

    Seafarers passing through the UK to join a ship in a port abroad must be dealt with as visitors in transit.

    This means a Transit Visa is required for transiting Nigerian seamen

    No. Holders of diplomatic or official passports may transit through the UK without a Transit Visa.

    At the same time, holders of non-diplomatic passports sometimes do not require a Transit Visa if they hold a valid electronic visa waiver (EVW) document.

    This is because each visa application is assessed on its merits and visas are refused where the applicant has failed to meet the requirements laid out by the UK immigration authorities.

    As a rule of thumb, you must have a genuine reason to visit the UK, be able to prove that you can fund your stay, and be able to demonstrate that you intend to leave the country once your visa has expired.

    If a visa national is permanently resident in the UK they do not need a visa, as long as they return to the UK within two years of their last departure.

    If a visa national has a ‘certificate of entitlement to the right of abode’ in the UK label in their valid passport they do not need a Transit Visa to pass through the UK.

    At the same time, holders of valid non-national and refugee travel documents do not need a Transit Visa to pass through the UK.

    We have an office in Lagos, Nigeria. Our team of highly qualified lawyers are ready to assist you with all aspects of your Transit Visa application.

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