9,000 Nigerians get student visas in 2019, says official
The United Kingdom (UK) has disclosed that over 9,000 students from Nigeria were granted a UK student visa in 2019, making it a 27 per cent increase on the previous year.
Senior press and Public Affairs officer, British High Commission, Abuja, Christopher Olaolu Ogunmode in a statement said 93 per cent of Nigerian students were successful in their visa application.
The Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, has encouraged more Nigerian students to choose the UK as a place to study.
Foster used the annual celebration of international students to make it clear that the UK is open to students; highlighting visa flexibility around COVID-19, as well as the new student route, as reasons to continue choosing the UK for study.
“The UK’s new student route promises to make it even more streamlined and convenient for Nigerian students, with benefits such as applying up to six months in advance, and additional opportunities to extend student visas from within the UK.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK was among the first countries to introduce visa flexibility for students, including permitting remote study for the whole 2020/21 academic year, and replacing thousands of expired visas free of charge so Nigerian students could still travel.”
He added that by Summer 2021, the UK will be introducing the Graduate Route, a new post-study work visa that will allow eligible students two years (or three years for PhD students) to stay back after they graduate, to work, or look for work in the UK.
The minister said: “Nigerian students have always been a huge part of our community – and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to our world-leading universities. We want the best and brightest to study in the UK, which is why we have made it easier to apply.
“The UK will always value and welcome international students, and whether now or in the future, we want Nigerian students to choose the UK as the place to fulfill their potential.”
British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing said the fact that 93 per cent of Nigerian students who applied were successfully granted a visa is a testament to the strengthening of the links between the UK and Nigeria.
“But more than that, each successful visa means another student heading to the UK, to build his or her career, expand horizons and find out more about all that the UK has to offer.
“We hope that this continues and that many more students from Nigeria follow their fellow citizens on this journey.”
Lang explained that the Student and Graduate Routes are part of the UK’s new points-based system, the new system of visas and immigration that the country is opening in January 2021.
“This will create a fairer, clearer system, where what matters is the skills an individual has rather than the nationality.”