How Long Does it Take to Get a UK Student Visa in Nigeria?

How Long Does it Take to Get a UK Student Visa in Nigeria

Applying for a student visa to study in the United Kingdom can be a daunting process, especially if you need to have things settled quickly to make it in time for the start of your program. One of the main questions asked by Nigerian applicants is “How long does it take to get a UK student visa?”

The standard processing time for a UK student visa application in Nigeria is approximately 15 working days. However, the exact time frame can vary depending on the completeness of your application, chosen processing method, and other factors. Using priority or super priority services can shorten the processing time to just 5 days or 24 hours.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn all about the process of obtaining a British student visa while in Nigeria. Plus, we answer some frequently asked questions about UK student visas in Nigeria.

Average Student Visa Processing Timeline

The standard processing time for a UK student visa application in Nigeria takes about 15 working days on average from the date you attend your biometric enrollment appointment until a decision is made.

The exact processing time can be influenced by:

  • Volume of applications received
  • Staffing levels at the processing center
  • Quality and completeness of your supporting documents

The timeline also depends on whether you choose standard processing or pay extra for priority/expedited services after submitting your biometrics which include:

  • Priority visa – decision made within 5 working days
  • Super priority – decision within 24 hours

So while the standard processing time clocks in at about two-three weeks, using priority services can cut that down to less than a week or even a single day if needed urgently!

The main steps in the student visa application timeline include:

  1. Book and complete biometric appointment
  2. Submit supporting documents
  3. Wait for application decision
  4. Collect passport with approved visa

Next, we’ll go through each phase of the process from start to finish.

Step-by-Step Application Process

Applying for a UK student visa from Nigeria involves a few key steps:

1. Book Biometric Appointment

The first step is to schedule your biometric enrollment appointment through a service provider like TLScontact. This is where your fingerprints and facial image will be digitally scanned. Bring your valid passport to the appointment.

2. Attend Biometric Appointment

Attend the biometric enrollment appointment as scheduled. Arrive on time at the visa application center. The agent will scan your fingerprints, take a facial photograph, and review your documents.

3. Await Visa Application Decision

After attending your appointment, the application will be submitted to UK Visas and Immigration for a decision. Standard processing takes about 15 working days. Use priority services to get a faster 5-day decision.

4. Collect Passport with Visa

Once your student visa is approved, your passport containing the visa will be ready for collection at the visa center. Check your application status online and wait for the ready for collection email before going to pick it up.

Priority and Super Priority Services

If you need to expedite the processing of your UK student visa application, the UK government offers priority and super priority services for a fee.

Priority Visa

  • Decision made within 5 working days instead of 15
  • Additional $676 priority service charge
  • Purchase priority after attending biometric appointment

Super Priority Visa

  • Incredibly fast decision within 24 hours
  • Additional $1,561 super priority charge
  • Also purchase after biometrics appointment

So if you need your student visa processed urgently to make it for the start of term or have a pressing timeline, using the priority or super priority service can majorly slash your wait time from potentially weeks down to less than a week or even 24 hours with super priority!

Application Tips to Avoid Delays

While the advertised processing times give you an idea of how long a UK student visa takes, errors or omissions can inadvertently add delays. Here are tips for avoiding setbacks:

Provide Complete Documents

Submitting incomplete applications with missing paperwork is the #1 source of processing delays. Use the documents checklist to ensure you have included every item needed to support your visa eligibility. Missing pieces lead to postponements.

Attend Appointment As Scheduled

Arrive on-time to your booked biometric appointment with valid ID documents. If you miss your enrollment slot, you’ll have to pay to book a new one which extends the timeline by days or weeks in some cases.

Use Priority If Needed Urgently

If faced with a short deadline to receive your approved visa, expedited priority services should achieve the 5 day or 24 hour fast track decision with fewer chances of delays.

Double checking you provide full and accurate application materials can prevent the most common delays out of your control. What documents will you need to submit?

Required Supporting Documents

When attending your biometric appointment, you must provide the following original documents:

Financial Statements

  • Bank statements or official financial letters proving you can support your tuition and living costs.

University Acceptance Letter

  • Original copy of your unconditional offer letter from the UK university.

English Language Test Scores

  • Official IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE scores meeting the university’s English level.

Valid Passport

  • Must have an expiration date 6+ months beyond course end date.

Passport Photos

  • 2 recent passport-sized photos for your visa application.

Previous UK Visas

  • Copies of any previous study or work visas for the UK, if applicable.

Having these documents readily available speeds up and streamlines the enrollment process. We’ll next cover some tips for your biometric appointment.

Biometric Appointment Tips

When attending your booked visa application center appointment for biometric enrollment, following these tips can save time and headaches:

Arrive On Time

Make sure to arrive promptly at the beginning of your designated appointment window. Late arrivals can mean needing to re-book which extends the process.

Bring Valid Passport

Have your actual current passport on hand for scanning and documents check. Without it, you won’t be able to complete enrollment.

Complete Digital Scans

During the appointment, the agent will digitally scan each of your fingerprints and take a facial photograph. This biometric data helps identify and verify visa holders.

Ask Questions

Don’t be shy to ask clarifying questions about next steps to prepare you for submitting your materials and tracking status updates.

Application Status Updates

After attending your biometric enrollment appointment, your visa application is formally submitted for consideration and decision processing.

You can check the status of your application and watch for updates in two ways:

Online Application Tracker

Use the online tracker tool to follow your application from submitted to processed. It may take 3 days post-appointment before the status appears.

Email and SMS Notifications

Opt-in to receive automatic email and text notifications at key status milestones like:

  • Application received
  • Opened and in progress
  • Decision made
  • Ready for document collection

Between the online tracker and text/email alerts, you’ll stay updated on your application’s advancement through the approvals process.

Extending Your UK Student Visa

International students may apply to extend their UK student visa if their program runs longer than the expiration date of their original visa.

Rules for extending include:

  • Must apply from inside the UK
  • New application and documents required
  • Priority services recommended for quick decision

Processing times for a student visa extension application in the UK are generally faster than initial applications:

  • 8 weeks via standard processing
  • 5 working days via priority service

So submitting your application for renewal at least 2 months prior to expiration using a priority 5-day service will assure minimal disruption to your studies.

In Summary

Whether you’re applying for the first time or looking to extend, understanding the processing timeline for UK student visas in Nigeria eliminates surprises. The standard visa application takes about 15 working days from biometrics to decision. Paying extra fees to expedite with 5-day priority or 24-hour super priority services speeds that up for urgent timelines.

Following the step-by-step process, providing complete documents, and avoiding common mistakes will help your application sail smoothly without unfair delays. The process involves booking your biometric appointment, attending the in-person verification scan, waiting for assessments, and collecting your approved visa. Checking online tracking and opting into status alerts keeps you looped in.

As you step on your academic adventures studying abroad in the United Kingdom, we hope this guide has illuminated what to expect with student visa wait times and procedures while applying from Nigeria. Let the countdown begin!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does priority visa processing take?

A: Priority visa processing takes around 5 working days for a decision on your UK student visa application.

Q: What’s the fastest way to get a student visa in the UK?

A: The fastest method is using the Super Priority service which guarantees a visa decision in 1 working day. But it has the highest fees.

Q: Does providing more supporting documents cause delays?

A: No, submitting more proof and materials to back up your eligibility will not cause delays. In fact, it often speeds up processing by providing fuller information.

Q: Can I start my course while waiting if enrolled?

A: Unfortunately no – for student visa holders, you cannot start your classes or term until the visa decision has been finalized and you’ve received the approval.

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