Current realities in Nigeria, including high inflation, unemployment and fragile economic growth, are forcing some of its citizens to migrate to other countries in search of greener pastures.
One such country that has caught their attention is the United Kingdom, which has introduced immigration pathways and work opportunities for international students in an effort to create clearer immigration pathways.
For example, its post-study visa for graduates introduced in July 2021 helps holders of bachelor’s and master’s degrees to be able to live and work in the country for up to two years, while the doctorate. holders can live and work for up to three years.
According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the number of Nigerian students studying at UK universities increased year-on-year by 63.5% to 21,305 over the course of the year. academic year 2020/2021, the highest on record.
The number of students is also higher compared to other countries like Canada (13,745) and America (12,860).
Additionally, the number of sponsored study visas granted by the UK increased by 529.5% to 58,887 in the first quarter of 2022, from 9,355 in the same period of 2020, according to government data. British.
“There has been a sharp increase in the issuance of visas to Nigerians over the past two years,” said Toyyib Adelodun, a UK-based immigration consultant.
Adelodun said the UK has become more open to Commonwealth nations since Brexit and COVID-19. “They want 600,000 international students to come to their country every year.”
So, if you want to apply for a UK student visa, here are the things to note.
Search and apply to the university of your choice
Before applying for a university program, make sure you have the necessary qualifications.
A recent blog post from Study International indicates that once you have obtained a conditional offer from the university, you will need supporting documents to send to the school, such as a transcript of your university degrees, a curriculum vitae or curriculum vitae (postgraduate studies), a copy of your passport and a reference/recommendation letter.
Other documents are personal statement and English language qualification such as International English Language Testing System, West African Examinations Council and Test of English as a Foreign Language.
“Some schools will ask for a statement of purpose such as why you are studying there, the course, plans or objectives,” said Dotun Adeleke, an official with Management Education and Training Limited.
Adeleke added that once you send these documents to the school, they will assess and make an admissions decision based on your course. “If you are able to meet the requirements, they will let you know if they are considering you.”
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Letter of confirmation of acceptance to studies (CAS)
A CAS letter is a document issued by the institution that confirms that you have been accepted to study. It contains a unique 14-digit reference, which UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will use to confirm that you are a genuine student of the school you wish to study.
University College London, one of the top public universities in London, states that the CAS number is valid for six months from the date the student visa is issued. “It can only be used once for one application and you can only get it once you have an unconditional offer.”
proof of funds
According to the UK government, this is a bank statement, bank statement or certificate of deposit which shows that you have held enough money to cover your course fees and monthly living expenses until at nine months.
“You must show proof that you have held the required money for (at least) a period of 28 consecutive days which ends within 31 days of paying your visa fee online,” the UK government says on its website. of immigrants.
Some immigration consultants claim that most university tuition fees for international students are between £10,000 and £13,000 and some schools require between £2,000 and £5,000 as a deposit to issue the CAS.
“Let’s say your tuition is £10,000. Of this amount, you pay £2,000 to get your CAS. You now have a balance of £8,000, add your living expenses for nine months, put the naira equivalent in your account for about 30 days,” Adelodun said.
“Then print this statement and add it to your application. The amount the UK Embassy classifies as living expenses is £1,334 per month if you live in London, outside of London is £1,023,” he added.
Oludayo Sokunbi, Managing Director of Japaconsults, advised applicants to understand the tuition payment terms.
He said: “Some schools will allow you to pay a deposit fee and then pay the rest two, three or five times over.
“A person needs an average of 10-15 million naira to successfully pay school fees, apply for a visa and get settled for the first three months. For every other person traveling with you, add an additional five million naira on average.
Tuberculosis (TB) test results
You will need to be tested for tuberculosis (TB) if you are coming to the UK for longer than six months.
Study International recommends that you visit the International Organization for Migration’s Migrant Health Assessment Center to get your TB screened, as it is the only center recognized by the UKVI.
“It costs around 57,800 naira and you will get your test results the same day. There are currently two centers in Nigeria: one in Abuja and another in Lagos,” the platform added.
Academic Technology Approval Program (ATAS)
ATAS is a certificate applicable only to students and researchers outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects such as advanced conventional military technology, weapons of mass destruction or their vectors.
After submitting the necessary documents online, you will be redirected to a TLS webpage to make two payments: a health supplement (about $900) and a visa application fee (about $478), according to Study International.
“Once you have made your payments, you will need to make an appointment on the same website to visit a UK Visa Application Center to provide your biometric (fingerprint and photograph) information,” he said. .
There are three UK Visa Application Centers in Nigeria: Abuja, Lagos (Ikeja) and Lagos (Victoria Island).
“Once you submit your biometric information, it will take approximately 15 working days to process a standard student visa and five working days for a priority student visa. It is also beneficial to check relevant government websites for the latest travel details,” he added.