The UK announced that from 11 April 2005, the visa sections in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria, will not accept visa applications from first-time visitors to the UK between the ages of 18 and 30. This includes business visitors.
Therestriction was implemented due to high numbers of visa applications,which slowed down processing time. About 18,000 applications a year arereceived at the High Commission in Abuja, with a further 5,000 atLagos. The refusal rate is around 80%.Students who wish to travel to the UK to study are not affected, nor are Business Express customers. Visitorswhose spouses have traveled to the UK in the past five years are alsostill allowed to apply. Those who need to travel due to a legitimateemergency will be permitted to apply.
Thisrestriction does apply to children aged 18 – 30 of those who havetraveled before. They will have to qualify in their own right. Thosewho have traveled to the UK before will need to submit their passportto prove this when they make their visa application.
The restriction is in place until further notice, but most reports indicate the restriction will be in place until 2006.