uk visa application in nigeria

Applying for a UK Visa in Nigeria

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Nigerian citizens need a visa to visit the United Kingdom. Therefore, in this post, I’ll show you how you can apply for a UK visa in Nigeria and some important things you need to know. If you’re applying for a visa for the first time, be sure to read my guide, detailing general rules about visa applications in Nigeria.

Applying for a UK Visa in Nigeria – The Process

how to apply for a uk visa in nigeria

The first step to applying for a visa is to fill the online application form at the Gov.UK website. Navigate to ‘Visas and Immigration’ and select the category of visa you wish to apply for. In my case, I selected ‘Visit the UK’. To clarify, this option can be used for short stays visit up to 6 months. Next, you should select the type of visa. I selected ‘Standard Visitor Visa’, for example. Lastly, click on the ‘Apply’ link and the ‘Apply Now’ button.

Choose your preferred language and country. This should be where you will live and will be providing your biometrics in. Go ahead and fill in the necessary information, then, pay the visa application fee after completion.

Note that the form may take some time to fill. Luckily, you can fill it in bits, returning to your application at a later time.

UK Visa application Nigeria

UK Standard Visitor Visa Fee (2020)

The costs of a UK visa may vary depending on the kind of visa you apply for. The duration and whether or not you pay for a priority visa will also affect the cost. A regular short stay 6-month visa costs £95 at the time of this writing. It could cost from $404 to $1,400 if you choose to expedite the process.

After paying the visa fees, you will be redirected to the TLScontact website to schedule an appointment. You will be required to pay an additional fee of £55. TLScontact also provides additional services at varying costs. I opted for a Prime Time appointment (7:00 – 8:30 am) and had to pay another ₦37,000 at the venue.

Big Ben London

Once you have confirmed your appointment, you should proceed to scan and upload ALL your supporting documents. I didn’t upload my bank statements. As a result, I had to pay an extra ₦10,000 at the TLScontact office to get this done.

It’s also important to note that TLScontact only accepts payments with a Nigerian (Naira) card. Previous visa application centres I have been to accept only cash, so, naturally, I went to this centre with a wad of cash. I tried to pay with a US bank card but they didn’t accept that either. I ended up asking other applicants to pay on my behalf, while I did a transfer back to them.

After the document pre-check, you will be asked to go in for your biometrics.

Visiting London

UK Visa Supporting Documents

The documents needed for your visa application include, but are not limited to the following;

  • Letter of Invitation from the UK
  • Letter of Introduction from employer
  • Evidence of employment (employment letters, promotion letters, etc)
  • Bank statements (I submitted 6months)
  • Payslips (I submitted 6months)
  • Photocopy of your international passport bio-data page
  • Hotel reservation ( if applicable )
  • Flight Itinerary
  • Documentation from Host in the UK ( passport copy, letter of invitation, bank statement )
  • Original Marriage Certificate if applying with a spouse
  • Original Birth Certificates of children if applying with children
  • Family Photographs
  • Evidence of assets

Where is TLScontact Located?

TLScontact has offices in Abuja, Lagos (Ikeja and Victoria Island)

Victoria Island: Ground Floor, Ivie House, 4/6 Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays at 08:30 – 15:00 – for submission. Prime Time Appointments are between 07:00 and 08:30 am
Passport Return 10:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday

Ikeja: Ground and First Floors, Etiebets Place, 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays at 08:30 – 15:00 – for submission. Prime Time Appointments are between 07:00 and 08:00 am
Passport Return 10:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday

Abuja: Third floor, Murkhtar El-Yakub Place beside Metro Plaza, on Plot 1129 Zakariya Maimalari Street, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria
Opening Hours: Mondays to Fridays at 08:30 – 15:00 – for submission. Prime Time Appointments are between 07:00 and 08:00 am
Passport Return 10:00 – 16:00 Monday to Friday

What Should You Do Before and During Your Appointment?

  • Fill out the online application form
  • Schedule your appointment date. Beware of additional costs associated with prime time appointments and special services.
  • Arrive on time. I can’t stress this enough. There is a steep penalty for showing up late.
  • Upload ALL your supporting documents online. If you miss even one document, officials will automatically sign you up for the ‘Assisted Service’. Consequently, you will pay an additional fee of ₦11,700 (updated 2020)
  • If you opt for the assisted service option, make sure all your documents are in A4 formats
  • Print out the visa supporting documents checklists. Even though they didn’t take this from me, they asked that I signed it.
  • Go with your passport biodata page
  • Remember that the centre only accepts (Nigerian) card payments
  • All other documents I went with were not collected but if it makes you feel comfortable, go with them.

UK Visa Nigeria Processing Time

It takes an average of 15-21 working days to get a response for a regular visa. However, this time may vary from one application to the next. Be sure to apply for your visa well ahead of time. You can also pay to get a priority visa in 5 days or 24 hours but be aware that these options could be quite costly.

What Next?

The TLScontact service will send regular emails to keep you updated on the status of the progress of your application. Alternatively, you can track the progress from the UK immigration website.

That’s it for the entire process of applying for a UK visa in Nigeria. I hope you find this guide useful. Feel free to share your visa experience with me or ask any questions you might have in the comment section.

UK Visa Application from Nigeria

Disclaimer: All information presented is correct at the time of writing. They are subject to change without notice. Always confirm travel details and necessary requirements with respective embassies & airlines before you travel.

Photos by Sabrina Mazzeo, Eva DangCharles Postiaux on Unsplash

15 Comments

  1. Hi Amarachi,
    Thank you for the very informative write up. Please I just want to confirm if TLS has changed address from churchgate to Ajose Adeogun?

    Thank you.

    • Hey Abidola, yes, they’ve moved from Churchgate and are now at the Ajose location – opposite Chicken Republic.

    • Amarachi thanks so very much for making it so explicit. Pls is it compulsory that i create a tls account and pls can i get an appointment at tlscontact visa center within this month?

      • Hello Bina, thanks for your message. You shouldn’t have to create a TLSContact account. It is automatically linked to your application on the Gov.UK site.

        Appointments are as per availability. After paying the visa fees, you can see what’s available.

      • Hi Amarachi, I hope my message meets you well. Please why are there no appointment dates without extra costs within this March and even April? And please what does Flexi self service mean?

        • Hi Bina, I’m not sure but you can just keep checking. Something might open up. I believe the Flexi Appointments mean you can walk in on any day and with the Self Service, you have to upload ALL your documents by yourself.

  2. Thank you for the info. I have been trying to book an appointment online but I noticed that it keeps compelling me to pick a primetime appointment and that is not what I want. I just want a regular self service appointment. What should I do?

    • Hi Julia, did you try checking other dates? That might be the only slot available for the date you chose.

      • Yes, I checked all the available dates from today till late March. there are no available dates for April yet and it seems they all contain primetime appointments, meaning that I must pay the extra 37,000 naira.This is quite strange I must say knowing fully well that it is stated that any additional service is optional, if so then why am I compelled tp pay the 37k. And also can I simply walk in at any time to the VAC that is not primetime without a prior booking?

        • It may be that all the other time slots are fully booked until March. I don’t think you can walk in without an appointment. The security at the gate asks for your proof before you are allowed in.

          • OK Then. Thanks for the response. Seems like I have no other choice but to pay. Also, is it advisable to do a self scan and upload on their site or just pay the extra fees and go for an assisted service?

          • To save costs, the self scan is the best option. It’s about 11,700 now for the assisted service. If you opt for the self scan, be sure to scan every single document you would need. If you get there and realize you forgot to scan one, you’ll pay the whole fee.

            Just make a checklist of all you want to submit and self scan them.

  3. Ifeanyi Micheal obidike

    How to apply online

  4. Thanks so much, Amarachi. This is so well detailed and informative, thanks for sharing.

I love to hear from you!