The United Kingdom (UK) has “temporarily suspended” its flexible appointment service for visa applicants in Nigeria.
The service allows applications to be submitted during the opening hours of the Visa Application Center (VAC) or before and after the applicant’s agreed appointment.
This emerges from a statement published on Monday.
The UK said the decision to suspend the service is in the interests of customer safety.
“To protect the safety of customers waiting outside of our Visa application centers, the Flexi appointment service (walk-in) has been temporarily suspended. You cannot book any of these appointments online or in the VAC, ”the message says.
“If you have already paid for this service (before January 10th), you can still benefit from it.
“You should not attend the VAC until it is your assigned appointment or you have been contacted by TLS to collect your passport.
“Visa customers who show up at the VAC well in advance of their appointment are asked to go and return at the correct date and time.
“In extremely compassionate or compelling circumstances (e.g. medical emergency), UKVI may consider accelerating certain cases.
“However, the bar for this is high and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If your request is exceptionally urgent, you can contact UK Visa and Immigration for assistance. Please note that this is a paid service for foreign customers.
“If you have not yet been contacted by TLS, it means that your application is still being processed by the UKVI team and the VAC cannot help you.
“The staff at the VACs are not involved in processing UK visa decisions and cannot update your application.”
The UK added that it was working to set more appointments to cope with the large number of student visa applications.
“We are aware that many prospective students line up in front of the Visa Application Center (VAC) to get a visa appointment,” the statement said.
“Student applications are processed within 15 working days according to customer service standards. In order to meet this demand, we are working closely with TLS to offer additional VAC appointments. “