UK announces new immigration rules, welcomes legitimate applicants


Ray Kyles

THE United Kingdom (UK) yesterday expressed its readiness to welcome only travellers who have legitimate purposes and who will not cause harm or seek to abuse the country’s immigration system.

Speaking at a media interview on visa services in Nigeria yesterday in Lagos, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Lagos, Ray Kyles, said Nigeria is the fourth largest nationality in terms of total UK visa application and that six per cent of the global demand for a UK visa was from legitimate Nigerians.

He said that in the 2015 financial year, 95 per cent of Nigerian non-settlement visa applications were processed within UK visa and Migration global service standard target of fifteen working days.

Noting, however, that Nigeria and UK have a longstanding relationship, Kyles added that frequents visits between the two play an important role in maintaining those close people-to-people and economic ties.

Also, the Regional Manager UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) International Africa (based in Lagos), Mandy Ivemy, stated that the change in the visa rules, which was announced on July 13, primarily affect non-EEA students who wish to study at colleges in the UK.

Ivemy, who also cautioned all aspiring students applicants to be wary of unscrupulous agents who may promise them rosy offers, urged them to visit the website on (search for ‘students visas’) as all information they need can be found there. She also advised them to make their applications as soon as they can, always use accurate information, warning that any false information can disqualify any applicant’s form.

Kyles, however, stated that for quick and convenient online application process, applicants can visit any of the three Visa Application Centres (VAC) located in Victoria Island, Abuja and Ikeja, which are managed on their behalf their commercial partner, Teleperformances.

The British Deputy High Commissioner said that the UK government is committed to reducing net migration through controlling and reducing abuse in creating a ‘firm but fair migration system’, hence the recently announced changes to the Tier 4 route aims to tackle immigration abuse among students at publicly funded colleges and those in further education. He said the UK government wants to maintain highly competitive offer for students who wish to study in their world-class universities.

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