If you’ve ever visited the U.K, you certainly must have gone through the rigorous screening prior to obtaining a visa. Interestingly, the fact that you once scaled the visa hurdle doesn’t mean you can’t be declined on a second or third attempt.
The process of renewal is just as rigorous as applying the first time. The UK Government particularly ensures that stringent guidelines are in place when intending visitors apply for visas. This is especially due to the fact that the number of illegal immigrants that initially travelled through the visitor’s visa is increasing by the day.
This is why you have to properly fill the application form and avoid making mistakes that may cause the visa officials to become suspicious of your travel intentions. If you make any mistakes that lead to your application being declined, this would mean that you’ve wasted your time, money and other resources.
As a way of preventing any likelihood of your renewal visa being denied, we’ve have written this article to ensure you seamlessly scale through the procedure once again.
There are several categories of visitors’ visas and the first step in your application process is to identify your category. You can do this be correlating your travel intention with how each category is defined. It’s very likely you did this during your initial application however; we’ll still provide a quick recap.
If you’re just visiting a family member or a friend then the visa you’ll be applying is the general visitors’ visa. Also, if your intention for travelling to the U.K is for a personal vacation or for tourism, then you should also apply for this visa type.
As a general visitor, you must show that you can afford the flight, accomodation and other expenses associated with your trip. Alternately, you can indicate the details of your sponsorship if you won’t be funding your trip.
Also, if you’re employed, you should obtain a letter from your employer approving your leave and stating the specified period of absence. Family ties to home country, bank savings and your statement of account for the last 3 to 6 months are some of the other information you’ll need to provide.
You may also want to renew your visa as a business visitor. In this case you may be travelling to the U.K for a conference or an interview. This visa permit is also for 6 months and you’re not expected to exceed this time frame. There are several guidelines with the business visa and you must carefully read these rules before you apply.
Other visa categories under the visitors’ visa include the sports visitors, entertainment visitors and the special visitors. You could also apply for a visitors’ visa if you’re travelling for medical treatment; travelling to get married; or if you’re a parent visiting your child in a U.K school.
Generally, visitors visa irrespective of the type all have similar requirements. These include information showing you have adequate funds to finance your trip; a clear indication that you won’t be exceeding your stipulated 6 months; evidence of bank statement for 3 and 6 months; and evidence of ties to home country.
You could either apply for the 6 months visa or the 2 years visa. Since it’s a renewal you visa, you can apply for the 2 years option. This means you can travel multiple times within that time frame without having to go through the application process everytime you decide to travel.
After identifying your visa type, the next thing is the visa requirements. The list below gives you an idea of what you need prior to applying for the visa.
- A valid travel passport (ECOWAS Passport)
- Passport sized colour photo on a white background (45mmx35mm wide)
- Visa fees
- Letter of invitation
- Financial proof
- Birth certificate for children travelling with you if you’re a parent.
- Marriage certificate if applicable
Ideally, you should apply for a U.K visa at least 3 months to your travel date. The process of applying requires that you fill an online form. There are two ways of applying for your U.K visa from Nigeria. You can either apply through the Teleperformance called TLS Contact. TLS Contact is the private company that manages UK Visa application in Nigeria. Or you can apply directly through the U.K Visa and Immigration Office. This is the officially U.K Government website
After completing the form, the next step is to pay your fees. Payment of the stipulated visa fee enables you to book an appointment at any of the visa offices in the country. Once you book an appointment, you’ll receive an email confirming your appointment date and time. The visa offices are in Lagos and Abuja.
The addresses of the U.K Visa and Immigration offices in the country are listed below:
Victoria Island Centres
- 1st Floor, Churchgate Tower, 2 Plot PC31 Churchgate Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
- 11 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos
- Dangote House, Aguyi Ironsi Street Maitama District, Abuja
Also, the TLS Contact Processing Offices are in Lagos and Abuja. Their addresses are listed below.
TLS Contact Processing Services Ltd.
3rd floor El Yakub Plaza, Plot 1129
Zakariya Maimalari street, opp war college
Central Business Area, Abuja
TLS Contact Processing Services Ltd.
Etiebets Place, 21 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way
At the appointment centre, you’ll submit your application forms and your biometric information will be taken.
Usually, the processing of the UK visa takes between 3 to 5 working days. It may take longer if there are issues in your application that need to be clarified.
If you have any customer enquiries in the course of your visa application you can contact Sitel UK via email. This company handles all customer related enquiries for a fee of £5.48 (N2250).
All the best as you renew your visa. You can use the comment box if you have any further questions.