Nigerians wanting to study or migrate to the United Kingdom (UK) will be delayed as the country’s immigration office has temporarily suspended priority and super-priority services for new study, work, and family applications.
In a statement on Tuesday, the embassy said UK’s Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is currently prioritising applications made under the Ukraine Family Scheme, following its launch and in response to the humanitarian crisis arising from the invasion of Ukraine.
“As a result, UKVI has temporarily suspended priority and super-priority services for new study, work, and family applications. Customers with standard applications in study, work, and family routes may experience some delays in the processing of their application,” it stated
“We are still currently unable to offer PV for visitor applications in Nigeria. Standard visitor visa applications are currently taking an average of six weeks to process,” it added.
Nigerians on twitter have expressed their displeasure as they fear that this might affect their enrolment in April.
“Wow. What of those who want to resume school by April and whose CAS isn’t yet out till now. How do they go about it, minding they’ve paid deposit and all,” @lexy-bdg twitter.
Similarly, @chocolateking questioned that people should not go to school or work because of Ukraine refugees.
Nigeria is a major priority market in terms of human talents. According to official data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the top five countries studying in UK’s universities for its 2020/21 academic session are China, India, Nigeria, U.S and Hong Kong with 143, 820, 84, 555 , 21,305, 19, 220 and 16, 655 respectively.
Similarly, in terms of visas issued to the UK, Nigeria recorded a rise of 234.7 percent to 18,580 in the first nine months of 2021 from 5,551 in the same period of 2019.
But Jennifer Oyelade, director of Transquisite Consulting, a UK and Nigerian registered Recruitment and Training Consultancy said it will not have a negative impact for Nigeria since it is a global thing.
“UK’s priority has just shifted. It is just a case of helping and sheltering its European Union neighbours which are Ukrainians,” Oyelade said. She added: “It is not going to have a negative impact for Nigeria in terms of talents since it is a global thing.”
Dotun Adelke, an official at Management Education and Training Limited said the suspension might have little impact but not in a huge way as they are other countries to study e.g. Ireland.