Top 5 Main Types of UK Visas for Nigerians In 2024

UK Visas types for Nigerians

Are you a Nigerian interested in living, working, or studying in the United Kingdom? With so many UK visa options available, it can be tricky to determine which one is right for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the 5 major types of UK visas that Nigerians commonly apply for – student, work, family, business, and tourist visas. You’ll learn about the specific requirements, documents, costs, and processing times for each visa category.

Whether you want to study at a British university, work for a UK-based company, join family members, invest in a business, or simply visit as a tourist, this guide has got you covered. Read on to learn everything you need to know to successfully apply for your ideal UK visa from Nigeria!

    1. UK Student Visa

If you want to study in the UK as an international student, you’ll need to obtain a student visa before you arrive. The Tier 4 (General) Student Visa is the most common type for those wishing to complete academic courses, English language training, and other studies.

To be eligible for a Tier 4 student visa in the UK, you must:

  • Have an unconditional offer of a place on a course from a licensed UK education provider.
  • Show evidence you can support yourself and pay for your course and accommodation.
  • Prove your English language proficiency.
  • Have consent from your parents or guardians if you’re under 18.
  • Pay the required application fees.

In terms of documentation, you’ll need to submit:

  • A valid passport.
  • Proof of financial support.
  • English language test results.
  • Academic qualifications and school transcripts.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter.
  • Tuberculosis test results if required.

The cost of a UK student visa from Nigeria varies depending on the length of your course:

  • Short term studies up to 6 months: ₦52,500
  • Course of 6-12 months: ₦75,300
  • 12 months or more: ₦140,000

Processing times for student visas are typically 3-4 weeks. You can also pay extra for priority services to get a decision faster.

   2. UK Work Visa

If you have a job offer from a UK-based company, you can apply for a work visa to relocate there. There are several categories of UK work visas, including:

  • Tier 2 (General) Skilled Worker Visa – For skilled professionals with a job offer in the UK. Requires sponsorship from the employer.
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa – For temporary workers on exchange programs, charity positions, etc.
  • UK Ancestry Visa – For Commonwealth citizens with a grandparent born in the UK.

To qualify for a skilled worker visa, you’ll need:

  • A confirmed job offer from a licensed UK sponsor.
  • To meet the salary and English language requirements.
  • To have adequate funds to support yourself.

Your employer will need to become a licensed sponsor to be able to hire you on a work visa. They’ll issue you a Certificate of Sponsorship number to include in your application.

For a Tier 2 visa, you must be offered a minimum salary of £25,600 or the going rate for your occupation, whichever is higher. You’ll also need to prove your English proficiency at Level B1 or above.

When applying for a UK work visa from Nigeria, you’ll need to submit:

  • Valid passport
  • Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Proof of maintenance funds
  • English test results
  • Educational credentials
  • Previous employment records
  • Biometric information

Work visa processing times range from 1-3 months typically. Priority services are available for faster decisions. The cost for a Tier 2 visa is ₦118,000.

     3. UK Family Visa

If you have close family members who are British citizens or lawful permanent residents of the UK, you may be eligible for a family visa. This allows you to join your family and live with them in the UK.

The main types of UK family visas are:

  • Spouse Visa – For partners of British citizens or settled residents.
  • Fiancé(e) Visa – For partners who intend to marry within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
  • Dependent Child Visa – For children under 18 who have a parent living in the UK.

To qualify for a UK spouse visa, you’ll need to prove:

  • You are legally married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or settled person.
  • Your relationship is genuine.
  • Your spouse can financially support you.

In terms of documentation, you’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of relationship – marriage certificate, photos, correspondences, etc.
  • Evidence your spouse meets the income threshold of £18,600.
  • Valid passport.
  • Previous visa records if applicable.
  • English test results in some cases.

Spouse visa processing times range from 12-24 weeks typically. The application fee is ₦118,000 plus an NHS healthcare surcharge.

     4. UK Business Visa

If you want to invest in or set up a business in the United Kingdom, you can apply for a UK business visa. The main options are:

  • UK Investor Visa – For high-net-worth individuals making substantial financial investments in the UK.
  • UK Innovator Visa – For entrepreneurs establishing innovative businesses in the UK.
  • UK Sole Representative Visa – For senior employees establishing a branch or subsidiary of an overseas company.

For an investor visa, you’ll need:

  • At least £2 million to invest in UK bonds, share capital, or companies.
  • Proof the funds are held in a regulated financial institution.
  • Evidence you can support yourself financially.

To qualify for an innovator visa, you must:

  • Obtain an endorsement from an approved body.
  • Show English language proficiency.
  • Have at least £50,000 investment funds available.

For a sole representative visa, you’ll need:

  • A Certificate of Sponsorship from your overseas employer.
  • Proof you’ll be the sole representative establishing the UK entity.

Business visa processing typically takes 8-12 weeks. You can get priority services for faster decisions.

When applying, you must submit:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of business investment funds
  • Documents about your business activities
  • Endorsement or sponsorship paperwork

The cost ranges from ₦151,000 to ₦561,000 depending on the type. Submit your online application and complete the required biometrics appointment.

     5. UK Tourist Visa

If you want to visit the UK for leisure, tourism, or to see family for up to 6 months, you can apply for a Standard Visitor visa.

With a UK tourist visa, you can engage in activities like:

  • Tourism and sightseeing
  • Visiting friends or family
  • Short-term studies or training
  • Business meetings, conferences, or events

To qualify for a Standard Visitor visa, you must prove:

  • You intend to leave the UK at the end of your authorized stay.
  • You have sufficient funds to cover your trip and return journey.
  • You do not plan to work, study, or access public funds.

When applying for a UK tourist visa from Nigeria, you’ll need:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of travel plans and accommodation
  • Bank statements showing available funds
  • Documentation of ties to Nigeria

Tourist visa processing times range from 1-4 weeks typically. You can pay extra fees for priority services. The cost for a single-entry 6 month visa is around ₦35,000.

Top 5 Main Types of UK Visas for Nigerians: At a glance!

Here is a table summarizing the 5 main types of UK visas:

Visa Type Purpose Key Requirements Processing Time Cost
Student Visa For studying at a UK university or academic institution Unconditional course offer, proof of funds, English test results 3-4 weeks ₦52,500 to ₦140,000
Work Visa For skilled workers with a UK job offer Sponsorship from employer, minimum salary requirements, English test 1-3 months ₦118,000
Family Visa For partners, spouses, and children of UK residents Proof of relationship, financial support, English test sometimes 12-24 weeks ₦118,000 + healthcare surcharge
Business Visa For investors, entrepreneurs, and sole representatives Business funds, endorsement, Certificate of Sponsorship 8-12 weeks ₦151,000 to ₦561,000
Tourist Visa For short-term leisure, tourism, and family visits Travel itinerary, proof of funds, ties to Nigeria 1-4 weeks ₦35,000


Whether you want to study, work, invest, or just visit the UK, there is likely a visa solution for you as a Nigerian citizen. The key is selecting the appropriate visa type based on your circumstances and thoroughly preparing your application.

While UK visa rules can be complex, this guide summarizes the key options. Planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of processing time is highly recommended before your intended travel date. Be sure to check the UK consulate website for the most up-to-date requirements.

With the right preparations, Nigerians can successfully obtain visas for their dream experiences studying, working, or just exploring all that the UK has to offer. The application process is very doable if you have the complete documents and meet the eligibility criteria.

FAQ on UK Visas for Nigerians

Q: How long does it take to get a UK visa in Nigeria?

A: Processing times range from 1 week to 24 weeks depending on the type of UK visa. Priority and super priority services are available for faster decisions in 1-5 working days.

Q: How can I track the status of my UK visa application?

A: You can track your visa application status online using the UK Visas and Immigration website. Just enter your application number and date of birth.

Q: What are the requirements for getting a UK visa as a Nigerian citizen?

A: The requirements depend on the visa type, but generally include having a valid passport, proof of funds, travel plans, qualifications, and meeting English language standards.

Q; What is the cost of a UK visa for Nigerians?

A; Costs range from ₦35,000 for a tourist visa to ₦140,000+ for a settlement visa. Priority service fees are also additional.

Q: What’s the best way to prepare a strong UK visa application?

A: Submit high-quality supporting documents, clearly demonstrate ties to Nigeria, meet all eligibility criteria, follow guidance from the UK consulate, and be concise in your answers.

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