UK halts visa for Nigerians as experts ask FG to reciprocate.
The British High Commission, yesterday, said it would “pause making decisions” on visitor visa applications from all red list countries, which includes Nigeria.
The decision was announced in a statement issued by the commission yesterday. The development comes hours after the United Kingdom (UK) added Nigeria to its travel red list.
“To support the UK government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern (VOC), UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted,” the statement reads.
Visit visas cover travel to UK for tourism, visiting family and friends, undertaking short-term business activities, undertaking short-term studies (under six months), taking part in research or exchange programmes as an academic and for medical reasons.
“If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK immigration rules, your application will be paused. You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. If you already hold a valid visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter,” the statement added.
The UK, earlier on Saturday night, had announced the imposition of a travel restriction on Nigerian citizens following an increase in the number of cases of the Omicron variant across the world. This was disclosed by UK’s Secretary of State for Health, Sajid Javid, via his official Twitter account.
BRITISH Airways, yesterday, cancelled its flight from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos into London Heathrow in the United Kingdom, citing operational reasons. The airline also did not operate its inbound flight from London into Lagos.
Sources at the airport linked it to the implementation of the travel ban imposed on countries considered red flags to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Many passengers who turned up at the airport for check-in procedures were disappointed with counters for British Airways scanty. Some workers who were at the counters informed the distraught passengers that the flight into the United Kingdom was rescheduled for early hours of Monday.
Some passengers, who sought clarifications for the sudden twist of events, were handed flyers signed by the Customer Service Duty Manager of the British Airways Nwanorue Alexander.
It reads: “We would like to inform you of a change to the departure time of your flight BA 074 on December 5, 2021 to London Heathrow. We have had to make this adjustment to our schedule due to operational reasons. Your flight will now depart Lagos next day. We are sorry for the change to your travel plans, please be rest assured that we will do everything we can to help.”