UK student visa for Nigerians

The UK student visa is a legal authorization by the UK government to students already accepted to a certified educational institution for a short course study. If you are a citizen from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland then this visa is required before you set your foot into the UK. On the other hand if you are an academic visitor but not indeed coming to study you apply for standard visitor visa. The student visa entails 3 different categories:

nigerian uk students

  1. Short term study visa which includes students in short course study for either 6 months or 11 months without any extension of the visa.

  2. Tier 4 (child) student visa for those aged between 4 and 17 years and are to study in independent school in the UK.

  3. Tier 4 (general) student visa for those above 16

UK Short Term Study Visa for Nigerians.

This short term study visa is a legal authorization by the UK government to students already accepted to a certified educational institution for a short course study. On the other hand if you are an academic visitor but not indeed coming to study you apply for standard visitor visa.

What you can do as a holder for short term study visa.

With a short term study visa you can take a short course in the UK like a training course or an English language course. If you are studying abroad you can do a short period of research as part of your degree course.

What you cannot do with the short term study visa.

There are some restrictions set for this visa. You not allowed to extend this visa, study at a state school, carrying out a business, working, getting public funds, nor are you allowed to bring family members, instead they are supposed to apply separately for their own visa.

The period of stay in UK.

For any short course period or short period research for those 18 years and above it takes 6 months while 18 years and above who are taking an English course that can stay for 11 months.

Fees.

For a 6 month visa you have to pay £89 and an 11month visa you are supposed to pay £170 during application.

The application processing period.

You can start the application of your visa 3 months before the date of your travelling to the UK. Decision of your visa should be given within 3 weeks after application process is over to know whether you have got it or not. You can also check the guiding processing times for any type of visa to know the length of time it takes to apply for them.

Eligibility for the visa.

To be allowed to get the visa you must prove that you have met the set conditions. At first you must have been placed in an accepted place of study for a short term course. You should also identify relatives and friends who can support and house you or prove you either have enough financial capability to cater for your needs without working or getting public funds and you are able to pay for your onward and return journey.

If you are under 18 your travel and stay arrangements for UK should be ready and also have permission by your parents or guardians to study.

Where you can study.

The education provider of the course you are accepted in should hold a Tier 4 sponsor license.

If this is not the case the educational institution you are held in should be listed by the following:

Learning English as a foreign language.

If you are applying for an 11 month short term study visa to study English as a foreign language you must be at least 18 years old and accepted at the right institution. Mixed course when studying English does not count.

Visiting the UK as part of an overseas course.

When studying at an overseas higher education institution and part of the course is offered in the UK you can apply for a short term study visa as long as you are over 18 years. Your institution is supposed to have its own national accreditation, offer only part of its educational program in the UK and the programs it offers should be equivalent to a UK degree.

Researching in the UK for a short time.

If you are already enrolled on an overseas degree course you can come to the UK for a short period of research as long as you are over 18 years, your course is the same as a UK degree and the research is carried at a UK recognized body or a body that is funded as a Higher Education Institution.

The documentation required.

The original documents are the one needed to be provided and they are retuned back after the application. A certified translation for any documents that are not English or Welsh. The documents to be provided are:

  • A current passport or other valid identification. The passport should have a blank page on both sides for your visa.

  • A proof that you are financially able to support yourself during the period of stay like bank statements or pay slips for the last 6 months.

  • Information on where you are to reside, your travel plans. However you should not pay for these before you get your visa.

  • If you are under 18 years old you should give out either of you parents or guardian’s contacts in Nigeria.

  • Also a tuberculosis test results should be provided since those are the requirements for Nigerian citizens going to UK.

Documents about your course.

If you are on research or part of academic course offered in UK a proof of the course you are studying in the institution you are admitted should be provided. This can be a letter of acceptance from your institution on official headed paper stating the name of your course, duration and the cost including the accommodation.

Other documents may be required to provide incase of tour circumstance for evidence of your:

  • Previous study like academic certificates, references or transcripts.

  • English language qualifications like certificates or any awards.

  • Accommodation and travel plans.

  • Financial sponsor’s details like occupation, income savings or funds that will support you.

For the under 18 additional documents depend on:

  • If you are travelling on your own.

When travelling on your own you should have your parents or guardians written consent showing their agreement for you to travel to the UK. All the details about your parents or guardians should be availed. The parents should provide proof of where you will be living. The proof should show the name and date of birth of the individual you will be staying with the details of this person and also a consent in writing for them to take care of you during the stay. A letter from your school which confirms that the local authority has been notified of your trip and the details of the person taking care of you if you are under 16 or under 18 with a disability and also confirmation if you will be taken care of by a person who is not a close relative.

  • Travelling with an adult.

When travelling with an adult you they should be identified in your visa application. Since their name appears on your visa entry will be prohibited when they are not available during your journey. A maximum of 2 adults can be identified during visa application and you visa will still be valid at least when one of them is available during the journey. Separate applications are done for you and the adults though you can do it at the same time.

How to apply.

Before you apply you should get a tuberculosis test since it is required for those from Nigeria. Online application is used for this visa and during the application you are supposed to fill the application form in English, pay the visa fee online and then print out your form and book an appointment at a visa application center. Biometric information that is fingerprints and photograph are taken at a Visa application center either in Abuja or Lagos as part of your application.

Child student visa (tier 4)

This visa is applied by children between 4 and 17 years who want to study in the UK. To get this visa you should have a place in the independent school for the course you are taking. You have your parent or guardian’s approval, enough financial ability for your upkeep and also the fees for the course you are taking. Be from a country that is not from the European Economic Area (EAA) or the Switzerland.

The length of processing the child student visa.

You can start your visa application 3 months before you start your course. The visa processing takes about 3 weeks in Abuja and Lagos and thus you can get the results ion whether you have got the visa or you are not accepted. You can also check visa processing times online.

Fees.

Application of tier 4 (child) student visa cost £328 if you are applying from Nigeria. Immigration Healthcare surcharge should also be paid which depends on the length of period you will be studying in the UK. The details on the amount to pay can be checked before application in the UK government website. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.

The length of period you can study in UK.

This is affected by your age and the length of your course.

If you are under 16 years you can take a course of maximum 6 years and stay a further 4 months after you complete your course. If you are either 16 or 17 years you can take a course of 3 years at maximum at most and stay for a further 4 months after you complete your course.

Arrival to the UK depends on the course length. If your costs takes 6 months or less the earliest you can arrive in the UK is 1 week before the start of your course and if it takes more than 6 months the earliest you can arrive in the UK is 1 month before the start of your course.

What you can do with this child student visa:

With this visa you are can study at an independent school and also doing a short course to prepare you for your main course such as a pre-sessional study. If you are 16 and above you can work part time during the term for up to 10 hours per week, full time during vacations, on a work placement as part of your course but not for more than half of your course time and also you can work as a student union sabbatical officer for up to 2 years. When you are ready to extend this visa you can apply and wait to know whether you get a successful decision from the immigration department.

What you can’t do as a holder of this child student visa:

There are restrictions set for this visa and thus they should be followed for you to continue your studies. To start you are not allowed to take your course in an academy or a local authority funded school nor can you further your Education College with this visa. Also you cannot do a foundation course that will prepare you for direct entry to a higher education institution. Getting public funds, self-employment or full permanent jobs are not allowed. Working as a doctor or dentist in training, working as a professional sports person for instance a coach or an entertainer is not allowed. With this visa you cannot settle in the UK neither are you allowed to bring in family members and thus they are supposed to apply for parent of tire 4 (child) visa.

Eligibility.

To be successful to get this child student visa you must have an unconditional offer of a place on a course with a licensed tie 4 sponsor. You should also be financially stable to pay for your course and support yourself depending on your circumstances. There is also a guidance of the full list of documents and the money you will need during this study that you can read.

The course you are being taught should be in line with:

You also can take a course accepted to be in line with the same academic level by:

Confirmation of acceptance for studies.

A reference number known as confirmation of acceptance (CAS) is issued by the institution that has offered you a place for your course. This CAS number is used in your application and can cover both pre-sessional course and the main course of your study. When the CAS number is sent to you the latest you can take to apply is six months otherwise you won’t get the visa.

The type of documentation required during application.

  • Valid travel documentation or a current passport, the passport should have a blank page on both sides for your visa.

  • Proof that you can support yourself and pay for your course and this depends on your circumstances.

  • Parents and guardian consent should be provided in writing.

  • Tuberculosis test results should be provided since citizens from Nigeria are required to have the test before entering the UK.

Application for the UK visa while in Nigeria.

Before you apply you should get a tuberculosis test since it is required for those from Nigeria.

During your online application you are supposed to fill the application form in English, pay the visa fee online and then print out your form and book an appointment at a visa application center either in Lagos or Abuja. Your biometric information which is part of the application, your photographs and fingerprints data will be taken at the visa application centers. This is important as in order for you to get a biometric residence permit. The biometric residence permit is taken within 10 days of the date you indicated you would arrive in the UK even when you arrive at a later date.

Extending your student visa.

The Tier 4 (child) visa extension is allowed as long as you are already in the UK, sponsored by an independent school and meet all the requirements for this visa. You can stay in the UK until you get the decision from the immigration office. You should apply to extend before expiration of your current visa but not more than 3 months before the start date of your course on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. After getting your CAS number you should apply in 6 months since after the 6 months the CAS number expires.

Ways to apply.

You can apply the extension of your child student visa in any of the following modes of application. This depends on your availability and also the time you need to get the decision whether your extension was successful.

  • Standard service of which takes 8 weeks to get your decision.

  • Priority services whereby limited number of places is available each day and decision is given in 10 days.

  • You can also use a premium service center whereby you are required to go individually and the decision is given on the same day.

Application type

Time for a decision

Cost per person

Standard

8 weeks

£448

Priority

10 days

£823

Premium

Same day

£948

Other Information required during extension of visa is biometric information which is your fingerprints and photographs should be given. Paying for the healthcare surcharge is also done depending on the extended duration indicated.

How to apply:

Standard service- you can apply online for the service and pay the required fee at the same time

Premium service- you apply online to book an appointment at the premium service center while paying the appropriate fee at the same time.

Priority service-

  • You fill a request form before using this service and then send it to the email address on the form. Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30 am on working days are accepted and an email notification is send to tell you whether you are successful.

  • When accepted for this service you should apply online within 24 hours and pay fee at the same time.

  • Supporting documents should be sent by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email. Documents should reach the destinations latest in 2 days since your application.

  • Biometric information should be provided within 2 working days through:

  1. Some post office branches with a cost of £19.20

  2. If you have paid you can use one of the premium service center.

  • If your visa extension is successful you get the biometric residence permit.

  • You are also required to pay the healthcare surcharge. Check how much you pay before you apply for your extension.

  • If your application is complex you will be notified and the possible reasons could be:

  1. Verification of your supporting documents

  2. If you are supposed to attend an interview.

  3. Personal circumstance like criminal conviction.

Switching from Another Visa to a Tire 4 (Child) Visa.

You can stay in the UK until you get your decision whether your application is successful. Switching to tier 4 student category is only possible if you have or were last given permission to stay as a Tier 4 (general) student, a prospective student or a student under the immigration rules in place before 31 march 2009. You are supposed to apply for this visa before the expiration of your current visa but more than 3 months before the commencing date of your courses as shown by the CAS. After getting a CAS number you should apply in 6 months after which your CAS number expires.

Ways to apply.

You can apply to switch to a child student visa in any of the following modes of application. This depends on your availability and also the time you need to get the decision whether your switching was successful.

  • Standard service of which it takes 8 weeks.

  • Priority services- limited number of places is available each day and decision is given in 10 days.

  • To use a premium service center– you are required to go individually and the decision is given the same day.

Application type

Time for a decision

Cost per person

Standard

8 weeks

£448

Priority

10 days

£823

Premium

Same day

£948

Other Information required during extension of visa biometric information which is your fingerprints and photographs should be given. Paying for the healthcare surcharge is also done depending on the duration indicated.

How to apply:

Standard service- you can apply online for the service and pay the required fee at the same time

Premium service- you apply online to book an appointment at the premium service center while paying the appropriate fee at the same time.

Priority service-

  • You fill a request form before using this service and then send it to the email address on the form. Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30 am on working days are accepted and an email notification is send to tell you whether you are successful.

  • When accepted for this service you should apply online within 24 hours and pay fee at the same time.

  • Supporting documents should be sent by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email. Documents should reach the destinations latest in 2 days since your application.

  • Biometric information should be provided within 2 working days through:

  1. Some post office branches with a cost of £19.20

  2. If you have paid you can use one of the premium service center.

  • If your visa switch is successful you get the biometric residence permit.

  • You are also required to pay the healthcare surcharge. You can check how much you are supposed to pay for your extension.

  • If your application is complex you will be notified and the possible reasons could be:

  1. Verification of your supporting documents

  2. If you are supposed to attend an interview.

  3. Personal circumstance like criminal conviction.

TIER 4 (GENERAL) STUDENT VISA.

This is a legal authorization by the UK government for students who are 16 and over to study in an institution in UK. Since Nigeria is not a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) Nigerian citizens ready to study in the UK should get this visa. Application for this visa is allowed to those who have been offered a place on a course with a licensed tier 4 sponsor, those who are fluent, can read, write, understand and English. You must be financially able to pay the fees for the course and also support yourself during your residency in UK.

When to apply.

The period of application is the 3 months before start of your course. A decision on whether you were successful to get the visa is processed in 3 weeks.

Fees.

The cost is £328 to apply for this visa in Nigeria. And for any dependents £328 should be paid per each person. Healthcare surcharge should also be paid as part of your application.

The length of period you can stay with this visa in UK.

How long you can stay depends on the course you are doing and what study you have completed so far. Arrival to UK when your course takes 6 months or less should be up to 1 week before the course starts and if your course takes more than 6 months your arrival should be up to 1 month before the start of the course.

What you can do with this general student visa.

As a holder of the tire 4 (general) student visa you are allowed to study, work as a student union sabbatical officer, apply from inside and outside the UK, and apply to extend your stay. Working in most jobs depending on what level your course is and the king of sponsor you have is not restricted. You may be allowed to bring family members or dependents.

What you cannot do as a holder of general student visa.

With this visa you cannot study at an academy or local funded school. Getting public funds is restricted since you proved you can support yourself during your studies. You are also not allowed to work in certain jobs like professional sports person or sports coach. The full guidance on what you can do or not do and the length of time you can stay can also be read.

The type of course you can do with this visa.

You can do a full time course leading to a qualification that is at least level 6 on the Ofqual register. An overseas course of degree level study that’s equal to a UK higher education course and is being run by an overseas higher education institution can be done with this visa. On the other hand a fulltime course with minimum 15 hours per week of organized daytime learning leading to a qualification of at least level 3 in the Ofqual register is also offered. You can also take a part as a postgraduate doctor or dentist in a recognized foundation program.

Postgraduate doctors and dentists.

You can apply for this visa if you are sponsored to a recognized foundation program and you have finished a recognized UK degree in medicine or dentistry. The degree should be from a registered Tier 4 sponsor and you must have spent your final year and at least 1 other year of studies leading to that degree in UK.

Confirmation of acceptance of studies.

Your education provider will send you the confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) when they offer you a place on the course. This reference number of CAS will be entered during your visa application. Visa application should happen at the period of 6 months at most since the date you received the CAS otherwise this reference number expires after 6 months.

Further study in the UK.

As the saying goes education has no limits and thus furthering your studies is the best idea for anyone ready to develop themselves. To get a CAS for your new course you must have studied before in the UK. This extension of studies can be due to many reasons like repeating exams or modules. When applying for the first time to a new education provider to complete a course that you had started with another education provider who lost a tier 4 sponsorship you can get this CAS. This confirmation of acceptance for continued studies is given when applying to complete a PhD or other doctorate that you started studying under your last Tier 4 (General) student visa. Studying for a new qualification at a higher academic level or the same level and related to your previous course or career aspirations is the other case for getting a CAS. This must be a degree level or above at a Higher Education Institute (HEI). Finally when applying after working as a student union sabbatical officer to complete a qualification you started studying under your last tier 4 (General) student visa it is possible to get the CAS for furthering your studies.

Proving your knowledge of English.

To prove your English knowledge during application you have to pass the Secure English Language Test (SELT).

Where you are studying.

What you are studying.

English knowledge needed.

Level

Higher

Education

Institute. (HEI).

Degree level or above.

Reading,

Writing, listening and speaking.

Same as CEFR) (common European Framework for Languages level B2

Institute that is not HEI

Degree level or above.

SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

CEFR level B2

Any institution

Below degree

SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

CEFR level B1.

HEI can choose their mode of assessment of a student’s English knowledge. The student is mandated to be at:

  • CEFR level B2 when taking a degree or higher level course.

  • SELT in reading, writing, listening and speaking and CEFR level B1 if you are not studying at a degree level.

Approved test provider are the only ones you should visit for the test otherwise it is nullified. Exemptions to Nigerian citizens for not taking this test happen when you have studied in the UK before as a Tire 3 (Child) student.

Documents that are required during visa application.

  • Valid travel documentation or a current passport that is blank on both sides for your visa.

  • A proof that you are financially stable for your own upkeep and also pay for your course. This includes bank statements, pays lips or other documents depending on your circumstances.

  • For the under 18 there should be a writing consent approval by your parent or guardian that they agree with your stay in the UK.

  • Tuberculosis test results should be provided.

Original documents provided are send back within 14 days.

Application of the visa while in Nigeria.

Before you apply you should get a tuberculosis test since it is required for those from Nigeria.

During your online application you are supposed to fill the application form in English, pay the visa fee online and then print out your form and book an appointment at a visa application center. Biometric information that is fingerprints and photograph are taken at a Visa application center either in Abuja or Lagos as part of your application. Biometric residence permit should be taken within 10 days of the date you identified to arrive in UK even if you arrive at a later date. You also are supposed to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application depending on the period you will be studying in the UK and if you have any dependents or not.

Extending your general student visa.

For you to be allowed to extend your visa you must be in the UK, have a sponsor and be eligible in the requirements of visa. It is a mandatory to include your dependants in your application if they are on your current visa including children turned 18. Until you get your decision on whether your application was successful, you can stay in the UK.

Who can sponsor you.

Application to extend your leave to study is on possible when your new sponsor is a higher education institute, an overseas HEI, an embedded college offering pathway courses or an independent school.

When to apply.

When extending your visa you should apply before your current visa expires but not more than 3 months before the course start date on your CAS. Application should be within 6 months of receiving the CAS since the CAS number expires after 6 months of issue.

Ways to apply.

You can apply the extension of your general student visa in any of the following modes of application. This depends on your availability and also the time you need to get the decision whether your extension was successful.

  • Standard service of which it takes 8 weeks.

  • Priority services- limited number of places is available each day and decision is given in 10 days.

  • To use a premium service center– you are required to go individually and the decision is given the same day.

Application type

Time for a decision

Cost per person

Standard

8 weeks

£448

Priority

10 days

£823

Premium

Same day

£948

Other Information required during extension of visa is biometric information which is your fingerprints and photographs should be given. Paying for the healthcare surcharge is also done depending on the extended duration indicated.

How to apply.

You can apply the extending your general student visa in any of the following modes of application. This depends on your availability and also the time you need to get the decision whether your extension was successful.

Standard service- you can apply online for the service and pay the required fee at the same time

Premium service- you apply online to book an appointment at the premium service center while paying the appropriate fee at the same time.

Priority service.

  • You fill a request form before using this service and then send it to the email address on the form. Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30 am on working days are accepted and an email notification is send to tell you whether you are successful.

  • When accepted for this service you should apply online for yourself and any dependants within 24 hours and pay fee at the same time.

  • Supporting documents should be sent by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email. Your dependant’s documents should be sent in the same envelope. Documents should reach the destinations latest in 2 days since your application.

  • Biometric information for all applications should be provided within 2 working days through:

  1. Some post office branches with a cost of £19.20

  2. If you have paid you can use one of the premium service center.

  • If your visa extension is successful you get the biometric residence permit.

  • You are also required to pay the healthcare surcharge. Check how much you will have to pay before applying for extension.

  • If your application is complex you will be notified and the possible reasons could be:

  1. Verification of your supporting documents

  2. If you are supposed to attend an interview.

  3. Personal circumstance like criminal conviction.

Switching from Another Visa to a Tire 4 (General) Visa.

You can stay in the UK until you get your decision whether your application is successful. Children who have just turned 18 and other dependants on your current visa should be included in your application for the visa switch. You should apply to switch to this visa before the expiration of your current visa but more than 3 months before the commencing date of your courses as shown by the CAS. After getting the confirmation of acceptance of studies you can apply latest in 6 months since expiration of the CAS number in 6 months from day of issue. You are able to switch to this general student visa if you are in the UK under the following visa or schemes:

  • Tier 1 (Post-study work).

  • Tier 2 (General).

  • Tier 2 (Intra-company transfer)

  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion)

  • A Tier 4 (child) student.

  • Student re-sitting an examination.

  • A student under the immigration rules in place before 31 march 2009.

  • Student nurse.

  • Students writing up a thesis.

  • Student union sabbatical officer.

  • Work permit holder.

  • Postgraduate doctor or dentist.

  • Science and engineering graduate’s scheme.

  • International graduates scheme.

  • Fresh talent: working in Scotland.

.

Family members

Your family members are required to apply to join or remain in the UK since they are Nigerian citizens and not from the European Economic Area (EAA) or Switzerland. A dependent is either your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner. Your children under 18 years old including if they were born in the UK during your stay are considered as dependants.

You can apply to bring a dependent to the UK if you are sponsored by a higher education institute on a course at level 7 on the Ofqual register or above that lasts 1 year or more. Also this can happen when are a new government sponsored student on a course that last longer than 6 months or a doctorate Extension Scheme Student. As part of their application the dependants will have to pay healthcare surcharge depending on your period of stay. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.

You must show your dependents can be supported in the UK through savings in their account for each which is mandatory. This is in addition to the money you must have to support yourself. The amount of money you need depends on the length of your course and where you are studying in the UK. The money you have or that in either your bank account or your dependant’s bank account at least 28 days before you or them apply should be shown as a proof. A further information on guidance for dependents about the money and the full list of documents needed can be read.

Dependents applying for UK visa while they are in Nigeria.

Before your family members apply online they should get a tuberculosis test since it is required for those from Nigeria.

During their online application they are supposed to fill the application form in English, pay the visa fee online and then print out their form and book an appointment at a visa application center. At the application centers in Lagos and Abuja biometric information that is their photographs and fingerprints data will be taken. This biometric information is important while getting a biometric residence permit. The biometric residence permit is taken within 10 days of the date you indicated you would arrive in the UK even when you arrive at a later date.

Dependents applying in the UK.

Dependents visas should be applied at the same time you extend or switch your own visa but if it cannot happen at the same time they can do it later. The application takes the following modes which depend on your availability and also the time you need to get the decision whether your extension was successful. The way of applying are:

  • Standard service of which it takes 8 weeks.

  • Priority services- limited number of places is available each day and decision is given in 10 days.

  • To use a premium service center– you are required to go individually and the decision is given the same day.

Application type

Time for a decision

Cost per person

Standard

8 weeks

£448

Priority

10 days

£823

Premium

Same day

£948

Other Information required during application of this visa is biometric information which is your fingerprints and photographs should be given. Paying for the healthcare surcharge is also done depending on the duration indicated.

How to apply:

Standard service- the dependents can apply online for the service and pay the required fee at the same time

Premium service- the dependents can apply online to book an appointment at the premium service center while paying the appropriate fee at the same time.

Priority service-

  • They fill a request form before using this service and then send it to the email address on the form. Only the first 60 requests received each day after 8:30 am on working days are accepted and an email notification is send to tell them whether they are successful.

  • When accepted for this service they should apply online for themselves within 24 hours and pay fee at the same time.

  • Their documents should be sent by registered post or courier to the address given in the priority service acceptance email. Documents should reach the UK visas and immigration latest in 2 working days since your application.

  • Biometric information should be provided for all applications within 2 working days through:

  1. Some post office branches with a cost of £19.20

b. If they have applied in person they can use one of the premium service center.

  • If their visa switch is successful they get the biometric residence permit.

Children born in UK.

If you have children while staying in the UK you can apply online for their visa if you want to travel with them in and out of UK.

Paying UK Healthcare during Your Visa Application.

When applying for a UK visa from Nigeria the immigration health surcharge might be required depending on the type of visa you are applying for. During online application you pay the surcharge as part of the application or when applying through the premium service you pay when you book the appointment. Visa application through the post you must pay the healthcare surcharge online before the application and also you should include the IHS reference number on the application form. If your visa or immigration application is granted and you have paid the healthcare surcharge your details will be shared with the National Health Service in England. With this done already you are able to use the NHS but you have to pay for some types of services like prescriptions, dental treatment and eyes tests. When you have to access the Healthcare in Britain you should carry the biometric resident permit with you.

Visitor visas and short term visas

Any visa lasting for less than 6 months or a visitor does not include the payment for healthcare surcharge when applying from Nigeria and thus you do not get an HIS reference number for your visa application. Since you do not use this IHS service you have to pay for any healthcare availed by NHS at all the places you use it.

When to pay for healthcare surcharge.

When applying from Nigeria you will be required to pay for this service when applying for a visa to work, study or join your family in the UK for more than 6 months but not for a permanent residence. Nigerians living in UK will have to pay if they are applying visas for any duration including 6 months or less but not on permanent residence. Despite having a private medical insurance you are obligated to pay for this IHS service.

Those who can get the IHS reference number without paying for it.

In some cases it is possible to use the national service even if you are exempted from praying for it. The payment service informs you that you are excluded from paying and goes ahead to avail you with the healthcare surcharge reference number for your application. The cases when you use the payment service to get the HIS reference number without paying are:

  • When applying for a Tier 2 (Intra-company Transfer) visa or when you are their dependent.

  • When you are an under 18 taken into care by the local authority.

  • When you are dependent of a member of the UK’s armed forces.

  • You are the dependent of a member of another country’s forces exempted from immigration control.

  • When you are a relevant civilian employee of the NATO or the Australian Department of Defense in the UK or their dependent.

Circumstances under which you do not pay or get the IHS reference number.

When you are on a visitor visa or visas lasting for 6 months and less from Nigeria, you are exempt from paying for the surcharge but you will be mandated to pay for any healthcare service you get from the NHS. Anyone who has applied for indefinite leave to remain does not pay for this surcharge but if you are only given limited leave you will have to pay for it and the UK visas and immigration will inform you.

How much you have to pay.

Depending on how much leave you have been given so is the amount one pays. If your application is part of a year less than 6 months you will have to pay half the yearly amount and if your application is part of a year more than 6 months you will have to pay the yearly amount. You can calculate the amount you pay before you apply. Your dependants will also have to pay the same amount.

When you have to pay.

You will pay the surcharge as part of application or when booking the appointment when applying visa online or through the premium service center. When applying for a visa by post you must pay the healthcare surcharge online before sending your application and thus you should include the HIS reference number in your application form. If you did not pay or fully pay this surcharge the UK visas and immigration contacts you. Your visa application might be denied if the full payments are not paid within 10 working days if you are inside the UK or 7 working days if in Nigeria.

Paying for the healthcare surcharge.

During online application for your visa the surcharge is paid as a part of the application process and after completing the payment you can return online to finish the application. When you book an appointment is when you pay for the surcharge when applying for the visa at a premium center. If making the application by post you should pay the surcharge first before you complete application.

Details asked during online application or through premium service center are the start and end of your certificate of sponsorship while for a student your course dates. When applying by post you will be asked the type of visa you are applying, your passport or travel documents and your email address.

Family members.

The same information you used to pay will be needed for dependants applying for visa with you or any person who you will be applying to join you or remain in the UK as long as they are not UK or EEA citizens.

Finishing your visa application.

An email of your IHS reference number will be sent by email or shown on the screen when you have paid. This reference number has to be written on the cover of your visa application if you are applying by post. You are now able to finish your application form and pay your visa application fee.

Refunds.

The IHS refund is automatically repaid if you paid twice, your visa application is refused and when you withdraw your visa application. A partial refund occurs when your visa application is successful but you got a less time than you asked on your visa and when any dependents are denied on your visa. However if you leave the UK before your visa ends or you don’t go to UK there is no refund.

The length of period for refunding.

Within 90 days of getting a decision on your visa application you can get the refund. If you appeal or ask for an administrative review when your visa is denied you it can take longer for the refund. When you appealed or asked for the administrative review inside the UK you will be refunded in 90 days after the dismissal of the appeal or administrative review. If you applied from Nigeria you will be refunded in 90 days after your visa is refused.

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