Apply for UK visas six weeks before travel, British High Commission says

British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Individuals wishing to travel to the United Kingdom on business, tourism, or study will need to apply for visas six weeks prior.

The British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot in a statement Saturday, July 2, acknowledged visa applications are taking longer to process than is the norm.

Marriot cited a huge backlog of applications at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for visas, and various global issues as some causes for the delay.

“I know how inconvenienced many of you are. I am sorry. It is a global challenge, not a Kenyan problem only,” the diplomat said.

According to the High Commissioner, UK visas International is also not in a position to grant its priority visa service due to pressure on the service.

“I understand that many will need their passports back in this period, and they can get those back from the visa application center for a small fee,” she added.

Marriot noted that there was double the number of students wanting to study in the UK this year than in 2019.

“In 2019, 300,000 students from around the world wanted to come to the UK. This year, its nearly doubled.”

 Kenya was in September last year taken off Britain’s Covid-19 red list, after six months.

The UK issued a travel advisory for visitors originating from Kenya in April 2021.

In June last year, Kenya lifted the ban on flights from the United Kingdom, but on condition that all passengers and crew arriving in the country from whichever part of the UK must be in possession of a valid Covid-19 negative PCR certificate.