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UK Visiting Visa Requirements for Nigerians

130,000 Nigerians visit the UK each year for business, leisure, and to meet with family members who immigrated to Britain. In nearly every case, these visitors need to get a Standard Visitor visa which has slightly different requirements depending on why you are coming to the UK.

Contact us online today or call our UK number at +44 (0) 3316300929 or our Nigerian number at +23413438882 to find out how the expert immigration lawyers and advisors at Immigration Advice Service can help you to come to the UK legally.


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We have helped many Nigerians with their Visitor visa application, so if the UK is on your bucket list, to contact us for immediate assistance. Our skilled team of lawyers is dedicated to ensuring your travel plans are smooth and will handle all aspects of your application process.

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Overview of the Standard Visitor Visa

As a Nigerian visitor to the UK, you are obliged to have a Standard Visitor visa to come to the UK legally. This visa will give you the right to remain in the UK for a maximum of six months for a range of different purposes. This includes both leisure and business trips so long as you aren’t being employed in the UK. In some cases you will be able to extend your visitor visa to last for a year, but it will not be a pathway to remaining in the UK permanently.

Make sure that you do not remain for longer than this period or that which is specified on your visa. Overstaying could lead to you getting in trouble with the Border Force and being detained and deported.

What Rights Does the Standard Visitor Visa Give to Nigerian Citizens?

As a Nigerian citizen that has come to the UK legally on a standard visitor visa, you have a range of rights for a maximum of six months. While in the UK, you can take part in the following:

  • Tourism
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Volunteering for a registered charity for up to 30 days
  • Transit through the United Kingdom
  • Business activities such as attending a meeting
  • Participating in a school exchange program
  • Participating in a recreational course lasting up to 30 days
  • To study, complete a placement, or take an exam
  • Complete academic or senior medical work
  • Travel for medical reasons

However, there are also a range of restricted activities that you will not be able to take part in, which include the following:

  • Paid or unpaid work for a company based in the UK or as a self-employed person
  • Claim benefits
  • Use successive visits to live in the UK for an extended period
  • Marry or register for a civil partnership

Basic Requirements for a Standard Visitor Visa

There are a range of basic UK Tourist visa requirements for Nigerian citizens for their application to be successful. These requirements prove that you are legitimately visiting and will keep the conditions of your visitor visa. UK visa requirements include:

  • Have plans to leave the UK at the end of your visit
  • You have enough money to support yourself and any dependents for the whole trip
  • You can finance your return trip

You will also need a tuberculosis (TB) test before coming to the UK, as Nigeria is considered a high-risk country for the disease.

If you fit these requirements to make a trip to the UK in less than six months, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa. You can apply online on the UK government website, which will allow you to provide all necessary documentation and complete the application form.

Additional Requirements for Certain Applicants

The UK visa requirements above apply to all Nigerian applicants. However, in certain cases, there will be additional requirements to wrestle with. This applies if you are coming to the UK for the following reasons:

  • To study
  • As an academic
  • For medical reasons

We cover each of these circumstances in the sub-sections below.

Tower bridge in London

Requirements for Visiting the UK to Study

There are a range of different types of study that you are allowed to undertake as a visitor from Nigeria. This includes the following:

  • Education at an officially accredited institution
  • Participation in an English language course
  • Undertaking research relevant to a course overseas
  • Complete an ‘elective’ module if you are studying in the medical field
  • Undertaking an entrance exam
  • Completing an unpaid clinical placement for medics
  • Completing a language course

In all of these cases, there are standard UK visa requirements. You must prove that you have been accepted onto the course and must be at least 16 years old. This can be proven with written confirmation from the institution you will be studying at.

If your educational commitment in the UK is due to last longer than 6 months, you will need to apply for a short-term study visa or a student visa. Our team of immigration advisors and researchers in Lagos can also help with completing these applications. Contact us at +23413438882 or visit us online to find out more. You can also call our UK office at +44 (0) 3316300929.

Do you wish to visit the UK from Nigeria? We can efficiently guide you through the process.

Requirements for Visiting the UK as an Academic

Medical and non-medical academics can visit the UK from Nigeria on a standard visitor visa. You are allowed to come from a Nigerian academic institution to participate in an exchange program or carry out your own research while on sabbatical.

Medical academics, such as Nigerian senior doctors and dentists, may also come to the UK on a standard visitor visa with slightly more expansive circumstances. This includes participating in research and teaching or undertaking clinical practice as long as it is not a permanent position.

Again, you will need a letter from your employer or the institution you will be working within the UK to prove that you are eligible for a standard visitor visa. This letter must outline the dates of your engagement, the research, teaching, or clinical practice you will undertake, and a confirmation of the arrangements made in the UK.

London underground subway symbol

Requirements for Visiting the UK for Medical Reasons

There are specific eligibility to be successful in the visa application if you are visiting for medical reasons. You can visit the UK from Nigeria for medical reasons, to get private medical treatment, or to donate an organ.

If you are donating an organ, it can only be for a close friend or family member who is legally allowed to be in the UK. You must provide a letter from the leader of the transplant team proving this relationship, stating that you are a donor match with the person who will receive your organ and the location where the transplant will take place. This letter cannot be older than three months when you enter the UK.

Alternatively, receiving private healthcare will require you to prove the following:

  • Your medical condition needs treatment in the UK
  • You have already made arrangements for the treatment
  • You can afford to pay for the treatment
  • You will leave the UK as soon as the treatment is completed
  • You do not carry an infectious disease

In some cases, you will be able to travel for NHS treatment. However, this can be a complex process as the Nigerian government must agree to pay for this treatment under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement. This will require an authorisation letter from a Nigerian government representative.

For any treatment you are receiving from the NHS or privately, you will need to have the doctor write a letter for you which confirms the following information:

  • The condition requires treatment
  • The cost and duration of the treatment
  • Where the treatment will take place.

Requirements for Nigerians Visiting the UK for Transit

Nigerian citizens who want to transit through the UK will be able to visit without requiring a Standard Visitor Visa. Instead, they can apply for two types of transit visas.

You will need a Direct Airside Transit Visa if you are changing flights in the UK and will not need to travel through UK border controls. Meanwhile, Nigerian citizens who need to go through border control to transit to another country will require a Visitor in Transit visa.

Whichever transit visa you have to apply for, you will need to pay an application fee of £64. Furthermore, you will need to provide evidence of the following requirements listed below to be successful in the visa application:

  • You are legally allowed to travel to your final destination. You can show a residence permit, green card, or valid visa to achieve this
  • You can explain why you are traveling to the final destination
  • You have a place to stay when you arrive
  • Your onward journey has been booked
  • Your final destination is not Nigeria.
Taxi in Oxford street, London

If you’re coming to the UK for business or leisure, enlist us to competently apply for the UK visitor visa on your behalf.

How Can IAS Help?

The UK government gives out a vast number of visitor visas, making out 49% of the total visas they approve yearly. However, even if you fit the requirements, the application process can be challenging, and some Nigerians will receive a refusal despite their hard work. It is crucial to avoid common mistakes and provide all elements of the application accurately and efficiently.

IAS is opening an office in Nigeria to help local people with their visa applications for a UK visa and much more. We will pair you with an expert lawyer or adviser who specialises in cases like yours and can drastically increase your application’s likelihood of success. To get help when applying for a UK visa, contact our Nigerian team at +23413438882 or visit us online. Alternatively, you can call our UK team at +44 (0) 3316300929.

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

You are required to submit your visa application from three months to 48 hours before your planned travel date. However, you should leave much more than the minimum amount of time, as it is normal for a UK visa to take three weeks to be processed.

You can use the account you created to submit your UK visa application to check the progress of your visa if you need reassurance that it will be ready before your planned travel date.

A Standard Visitor visa will cost £100, granting you up to six months in the UK. The earliest this fee will need to be paid, and the application submitted is three months before your planned visit.

Please note that the cost of your UK visa application will be higher if you decide to work with an immigration lawyer or advisor.

You can also apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, allowing you to make frequent trips to the UK. These are available as being valid for 2 years (£376), 5 years (£670), and 10 years (£837).

The Standard Visitor visa is limited to just six months, but you will be able to extend your stay by another six months in certain circumstances. This applies if you are still receiving ongoing medical treatment, your academic commitments in the UK have been extended, or if you are retaking a language test.

This application will be similar to your initial visitor visa application, except you will also be required to provide biometric information.

The fee for an extension is also substantially higher than for a six-month Standard Visitor visa. You will be required to pay £1000, which will increase a further £800 if you want to use the super priority service, which will fast-track your application.

Furthermore, the cost of a visitor visa for medical reasons and for academics is slightly higher at £200.

Getting a refusal for your UK Visitor visa can be devastating as it can be a setback in your personal or work life. However, there are some processes that could allow you to overturn a refusal if you believe that your application should have been successful.

Firstly, you can re-apply. Simply resubmit all of your documentation after carefully reviewing it to remove any mistakes. Remember, you will have to pay the application fee again.

Secondly, you can appeal on human rights grounds. This option will allow you to submit new evidence to explain the necessity of the trip for your human rights, but it will not work if no such necessity exists.

Finally, you can apply for a judicial review by taking your case to the UK courts. This will invoke a disproportionately high cost for a visitor visa, and you can only earn these legal fees back if you win.

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