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UK Visa Requirements for Nigerian Citizens

In order to live in the UK as a Nigerian citizen, you must qualify for a UK visa. This involves submitting an online application with the correct documents and personal information.

You can contact us online, on +44 (0) 3316300929 (UK) or +23413438882 (Nigeria) to find out more about the UK visa requirements for Nigerian citizens.

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    Get in touch with us to find out more how IAS can help support you applying for a UK visa. We are an accredited legal firm that can make the process stress-free and straightforward.
    Our immigration lawyers can help you to decide on the best UK visa route, as well as offering accredited advice as you begin your UK visa application. Save time and money by working with a company that is well-versed in Nigeria to UK immigration.

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    Requirements for UK Visa for Nigerian Citizens

    All Nigerian nationals need a visa to travel to the UK, whether they’re visiting the country or planning on living here.

    Some common visas are:

    Each of these visas has different requirements for Nigerian natives. However, it is always obligatory to possess a valid passport as well as the documents requested in the visa application.

    When choosing a visa from Nigeria, the applicant must consider their purpose of travel and the length of time they want to stay in the United Kingdom.

    If someone wants to live with their spouse in the UK, the Spouse Visa is likely to be the best option. Someone else may want to visit the UK temporarily, in which case the Visitor Visa would be appropriate.

    UK Standard Visitor Visa for Nigerian Citizens

    This type of visa is for citizens of Nigeria who want to visit the UK for no more than six months. They must be able to fund their journey to and from the UK as well as their time spent in the UK.

    As the trip must have a visiting purpose, Visitor Visa holders are not permitted to work while they are in the UK. However, they may attend business meetings if they have disclosed this as their purpose of travel in their UK visa application.

    It is also possible to study, volunteer, go on holiday and visit family on this visa. Prohibited activities include getting married and claiming state benefits.

    Nigerian citizens can apply for the Standard Visitor Visa from three months before their proposed date of travel. The application processing takes an average of three weeks.

    UK Spouse Visa for Nigerian Citizens

    Nigerian natives with spouses who are either British citizens or permanent residents of Britain can appl for a UK Spouse Visa. After submitting an application, it takes around 6 months to receive a final decision.

    The applicant must have a good level of English to be considered for the UK Spouse Visa. They must also provide evidence that they would be able to fund themselves and any dependants when they move to the United Kingdom.

    In terms of the relationship between the applicant and their spouse, they must have a genuine relationship based on a marriage or civil partnership that is legally recognised in the UK. They must have spent the past two years cohabiting and they must plan on continuing to live together in the UK.

    Successful applicants can stay in the United Kingdom for 2 years and 9 months on this visa. In this time, they are allowed to work and study.

    UK Work Visas for Nigerian Citizens

    There are different types of UK Work Visas with separate eligibility requirements. Some are general visas targeted at people who are seeking employment in the UK, such as the Graduate Visa.

    Most UK Work Visas are specific to a certain skill set, e.g., the Skilled Worker Visa, the Charity Worker Visa or the Religious Worker Visa.

    The majority of Work Visas have an average processing time of 3 weeks. However, there is often plenty of preparation required before the application can be submitted.

    This may involve gathering documents from current employers, providing a detailed history of employment and sometimes securing a job offer in the UK.

    UK Student Visa for Nigerian Citizens

    To apply for a UK Student Visa, over-16s in Nigeria must have proof of a study offer in the UK. They must also have a knowledge and understanding of the English language and the financial means to support themselves in the UK.

    Most Student Visas are processed within 3 weeks. When the visa is approved, the student can usually stay in the country for up to 5 years (degree-level studies) or 2 years (studies below degree level).

    It is not permissible for people on this visa to claim benefits, study at a local-authority funded school or be self-employed. In certain situations, working is allowed, but it is dependent on the type of study the individual is pursuing.

    Are you a Nigerian who wants to live in the UK? Talk to us about submitting the right visa application. Contact Us

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      Nigerian Entrepreneurs Travelling to the United Kingdom

      There are visas available to Nigerian entrepreneurs who want to explore working life in the United Kingdom. Examples of this are the Innovator Founder Visa (for setting up an innovative business) and the Global Talent Visa (for experts in specific fields such as the arts and STEM).

      Innovation Founder Visa holders can stay in the UK for up to 3 years, while Nigerian citizens on the Global Talent Visa are allowed to stay for up to 5 years. Neither visa type allows for UK settlement, but both allow temporary travel outside of the UK.

      As with most UK Work Visas, applications made by Nigerian entrepreneurs tend to take 3 weeks to process.

      Documents Required for a UK Visa Application in Nigeria

      Each visa application form is unique, which means a different range of documents is required. However, UK Visa supporting documents checklists can help you to identify the most common documents you will need:

      • Passport
      • Photographic identification
      • Bank statements
      • Utility bills
      • Proof of accommodation
      • Proof of employment
      • Tax information
      • Travel details
      • Biometric information
      • Driving licence
      • Educational certificates
      • Paid UK Visa fees
      • Certified translations of documents where the original language is not English/Welsh

      Documents Required By Nigerian Minors (Under-18s)

      Under-18s must provide additional documents as part of their UK visa application. This includes:

      • Proof of parental consent if travelling without a parent (a copy of their parent’s passport and a signed letter from the parent)
      • Birth certificate
      • Adoption papers (if the applicant is adopted)

      The Cost of UK Visas for Citizens of Nigeria

      Standard Visitor Visa fees are £103-£861. Short-term Visitor Visas tend to cost around £103 as the visiting period cannot exceed 6 months. For long-term visas of this type, the cost increases as the permitted length of stay increases. For example, a stay of up to 2 years may cost £387 whereas a Visitor Visa with 10-year validity could cost £861.

      UK Spouse Visas cost £1048 from inside the United Kingdom and £1538 from abroad. If dependant children are involved, the applicant must pay the same fee per child (£1048 or £1538).

      Working Visas are extremely varied in cost. Temporary Work Visas tend to cost around £267 yet Skilled Worker Visa fees are close to £644. If you are an entrepreneur in Nigeria, the cost of a visa will generally be between £390-£641.

      Nigerian nationals who apply for a UK Student Visa can expect to pay £206-£374. Short-term Student Visas are the most affordable if you will be spending a short period of time in the country, whereas long-term visas cost more.

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        How to Apply For UK Visa Online

        UK Visa applicants from Nigeria can submit an online application at gov.uk by following the link for the correct visa.

        Individuals may need to provide a detailed history of family life, employment, education and immigration status. There will be instructions to submit certain documents in order for the application to be considered.

        Before submitting the form, the applicant will need to pay the visa fee and book a biometrics appointment in their country of residence.

        Once the form is sent off, the applicant will receive a decision from the Home Office in line with the suggested processing times. They will either be offered a UK visa, invited to an interview for further questioning or rejected.

        When an immigration lawyer is used throughout the process, the first option is much more likely. Get in touch with IAS on +44 (0) 3316300929 (UK) or +23413438882 (Nigeria) if you want to know how we can improve your UK visa experience.

        Are There Language Requirements for the UK Visa?

        The idea that you need to speak English to apply for UK visas is a myth. Language requirements are a part of the visa application for some visas, but not all.

        Most Nigerian residents moving to the United Kingdom speak English as their primary language, so this is not a widespread issue. However, if you are not an English speaker, you can still move to the UK on the following visas:

        • Skilled Worker Visa
        • UK Ancestry Visa
        • Global Talent Visa
        • Minister of Religion Visa
        • Scale-Up Worker Visa
        • International Sportsperson Visa

        You do not need to speak English on the aforementioned visas if you are a Nigerian citizen over the age of 65 or you have a health condition that prevents you from achieving proficiency in the language.

        Other exemptions include being a refugee, a widow and having humanitarian protection in the UK.

        Do I Need a Tuberculosis Test If I am Moving to the UK From Nigeria?

        Yes, you need to get a Tuberculosis test before coming to the United Kingdom. This is only a requirement if the trip to the UK is expected to last longer than 6 months, so it does not apply if you will be visiting the UK for a short period of time.

        As well as taking the test at a clinic that is approved by the Home Office, evidence of your TB-free status must be presented. You can do this by obtaining an IOM medical certificate.

        If you are positive for TB, you will be asked to seek treatment before you are allowed to travel to the UK.

        Tips and Advice for Nigerian Citizens Applying for a UK Visa

        Applying for a UK Visa from Nigeria involves lots of preparation. We recommend making an application in advance of needing the visa. For example, if you have a job offer in the UK for a job starting in 8 months time, it is still recommended to apply for a visa 3 months before your start date (the earliest you can apply).

        Make sure you are applying to the right visa by checking the eligibility criteria multiple times. You need to research different visas to double check that the one you are applying for would be the most suitable for you.

        There is plenty of potential for errors to be made in the UK Visa application process. Language barriers, complex terminology and lengthy eligibility requirements can cause applicants to feel overwhelmed during the application process.

        Our tip is to work with an immigration lawyer who can explain the forms to you in a straightforward way. They will help you to submit a form that provides everything the Home Office is looking for.

        Speak to us for a tailored service and putting together a successful visa application. Contact Us

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          How to Apply for Permanent Residence as a Nigerian Citizen

          When Nigerian citizens have been living in the United Kingdom for 5 years, they can make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain status.

          To meet the eligibility criteria, they must be proficient in the English language and they must not have travelled outside of the UK for more than 180 days in any one year.

          The less common options are to apply for EU settlement status, to provide evidence of a fixed abode in the UK or to identify as a stateless person.

          UK permanent residency allows Nigerian citizens to have different rights in the UK. They can work and study in the country for as long as they desire, as well as applying for benefits if necessary.

          However, residency is not the same as British citizenship. This means permanent residents will not have a British passport and they will not be permitted to vote in the UK.

          How to Apply for British Citizenship as a Nigerian Citizen

          Nigerian citizens can get dual citizenship if they have Indefinite Leave to Remain status or settled status under the EU settlement scheme. To be eligible for citizenship, the applicant must have lived in the UK for 12 months with ILR or settled status.

          People with ILR or EU settled status, and a British citizen spouse, can get British citizenship if they have lived in the country for at least 3 years.

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          How Can IAS Help?

          We can introduce you to each UK visa, giving you a better understanding of the opportunities that are out there for you. We have an in-depth understanding of the rules of each visa, so we will prevent you from applying to a visa that is not appropriate for you.

          As we have worked with clients from all different backgrounds, we are acquainted with the various things that can go wrong in a UK visa application from Nigeria. This means we can advise you on how to submit an excellent application that is not lacking in detail or accuracy.

          If you would like some guidance and support as you tackle the complex issue of moving to the United Kingdom from Nigeria, you can get in touch with us online, on +44 (0) 3316300929 (UK office) or +23413438882 (Nigeria office).

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                    Related pages for your continued reading.

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    If you need to fast-track the UK Visa application process, you can apply for priority service. Certain visas do not come with this option, but here are some examples of ones that do:

                    • Global Talent Visa
                    • Skilled Worker Visa
                    • Start-Up Visa
                    • Student Visa
                    • Religious Worker Visa
                    • Global Business Mobility Visa

                    Priority service involves paying a fee for your UK visa application form to be processed faster. To get a decision on the visa within 5 working days, you must pay £500.

                    If you need to receive a decision sooner than this, you can pay £800 to be contacted by the end of the next working day.

                    Family visas are one type of UK visa available to citizens of Nigeria. However, it is not necessary to have family links to the UK to apply for a UK visa. You can pursue other visa routes such as student visas, work visas and tourist visas.

                    You will have to prove that you are eligible for your chosen visa. Instead of focusing on your connections in the UK, you will be expected to demonstrate other aspects of eligibility in your application form.

                    For example, if you are applying for a Work Visa, you must provide evidence of current and past employment. If your visa is related to your studies, you will need to prove that you are eligible to receive an education in the UK.

                    Yes, you can move to the UK with your children named as your dependants. Most visas allow you to do this with the condition that you pay an additional fee when submitting your application.

                    Additionally, you need to prove that you have the means to support yourself and your dependants financially.

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