British High Commission resumes Priority Visa issuance in Nigeria

British Visa Office has resumed issuance of Priority Visa (PV) in all visa application centres in Nigeria, according to a statement by the UK Visa and immigration on the Twitter page of the British High Commissioner.

The news comes as the US Mission in Nigeria says those who have previously visited the United States have been reaccorded Drop Box service which allows them to renew their visa without attending an interview.

The US Mission in Nigeria announced the resumption of Drop Box service or interview waiver 20 months after it suspended it indefinitely at all its consulates in Africa’s most populous country.

The United Kingdom PV process resumed on 24 January but only priority visa services will be issued for the time being due to the continued impact of the pandemic on courier routes.

The UK government suspended visa applications for red list countries on 6 December 2021 because of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

UK Priority Visa process

Per Nairametrices, the notice says:

  • Prior to making your visa  application to the UK,  you should first check if you need a visa, and which one you are to apply for, at http://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa.
  • PV services are only available to persons applying for work and study routes at the Visa Application Centres in Nigeria.
  • These services will be available on the TLS website, and purchases can be made during Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointments.
  • Eligible applicants for work or study routes are to click this link for more information on how to apply: http://www.gov.uk/apply-to-come-to-the-uk
  • PV is not a visa type but a service offered that allows workers wanting to switch, extend or change employers to obtain a new visa in 10 working days of the application being submitted.
  • UK Visa and Immigration will not resume offering a Super Priority Visa (SPV) service yet.

The work and study visa application processing in Nigeria began on 24 January 2022 and eligible candidates are enjoined to visit UK visa application centres in Nigeria.

US embassy resumes visa renewal interview waiver in Nigeria

Nigerians who have previously visited the United States without violating visa and other rules have been reaccorded Drop Box service which allows them to renew their visa without attending an interview.

The US Mission in Nigeria announced the resumption of Drop Box service or interview waiver 20 months after it suspended it indefinitely at all its consulates in Africa’s most populous country.

Drop Box visa renewal scheme allows certain applicants to renew their previously issued visas without attending an interview.

This means that an applicant submits documents and gets a visa without personal interview by a US visa officer.

Qualification criteria

The lifting of the suspension was first reported by The Street Journal, quoting a statement issued by the US Mission in Nigeria.

To qualify for visa interview waiver:

  • An applicant must be applying to renew a visa in the categories of B1/B2, F, L, H.
  • An applicant must satisfy all of the criteria for their visa class.
  • If applying as a group or family, all members must fulfil each criterion.
  • Applicants aged 79 years and older automatically qualify for interview waiver but are still required to apply and print a copy of their interview waiver letter through the schedule platform.

Backstory

The US mission in Nigeria announced on 14 May 2019 the indefinite suspension of Drop Box process for visa renewals in all its consulates in Nigeria and stressed that applications through DHL courier would no longer be accepted, per Nairametrics.

The mission issued a statement at the time which said:

“All applicants in Nigeria seeking a non-immigrant visa to the United States must apply online, and will be required to appear in-person at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or U.S. Consulate General in Lagos to submit their application for review.

“Applicants must appear at the location they specified when applying for the visa renewal. Mission Nigeria’s processing procedures are regularly reviewed in order to assess our ability to quickly, efficiently, and securely process visa applications.

“The U.S. Mission is taking this step to provide more efficient customer service and promote legitimate travel, and will continue to facilitate applications of established travellers to the best of its ability.’’

The suspension of Drop Box visa application in Nigeria was one of the stringent policies of former US President Donald Trump which also restricted entry into the US by Nigerians and some other nationals based on visa type.

Washington reiterated in March 2021 that Drop Box was still in force in Nigeria after media reports suggested the ban had been lifted.

-TheNiche

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