Nairobi – The British High Commission in Kenya has urged Kenyans seeking visas to plan six weeks in advance to avoid the inconvenience of delays.
High Commissioner Jane Marriott said in a statement on Saturday that the backlog in visa processing was being felt around the world.
“So if you are looking to travel to the UK, whether for study, business or tourism, please seek to apply six weeks in advance,” Marriot said.
The British High Commissioner to Kenya pointed out that the six weeks start on the day the applicant goes to the visa application center but not when they complete the forms online.
She attributed the delay to the backlog of visa applications during the coronavirus that have not been processed, the various global crises experienced around the world and what she described as “unprecedented demand for visas”.
“It’s great that so many of you want to come to the UK. In 2019, for example, 300,000 students across the world wanted to come to the UK, this year it’s almost double to 600,000 “, she said.
The British High Commissioner to Kenya further pointed out that due to pressure on the service, the embassy is unable to offer the usual priority visa service.
“If you’re a businessman used to getting your visa in five days, I’m really sorry, but it’s going to take six weeks,” she added.
Marriott urged applicants to provide the correct documents to speed up the decision-making process.
She said anyone who wants their passport returned to them during the delay can do so for a fee.
“I understand that many will need their passports during this time, and they can collect it from the visa application center for a small fee,” she added.
Marriot noted that there were twice as many students wanting to study in the UK this year as in 2019.