Africa-Press – Kenya. The British High Commission in Nairobi on Saturday, July 2, addressed the challenges Kenyans have recently faced when applying for visas to go to the United Kingdom.
In a statement, UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott admitted that her office was overwhelmed by the growing demand and the backlog created during the pandemic.
Marriott advised Kenyans to apply for their visas six weeks before the travel date to give the embassy ample time to process the visa.
Additionally, Kenyans were asked to have the relevant paperwork ready to speed up the visa application process.
The envoy noted that the backlog would take a few months before being straightened out.
In recent months, many Kenyans looking to travel to Britain for business, tourism or for studies have lamented about the pace of visa approvals – some getting interview dates many months after the dates they had planned to travel.
Marriott added that those who would need their passports back would have to go to the visa application center and get them for a small fee.
The UK had placed Kenya among other nations on the red list during the pandemic in 2021 but was taken off in September same year.
Marriott emphasized that Kenyans were not the only ones affected by the delayed process; it was noted that other parts of the world did not receive their visas in a timely manner.
“I know how inconvenienced many of you are. I am sorry. It is a global challenge, not a Kenyan problem only,” the envoy stated.
She encouraged others to continue applying for visas and noted an increase in the number of students applying to study in the UK from 300,000 students in 2019 to nearly double currently.
A few weeks ago, celebrated author Rasnah Warah complained in a viral post after she was given a visa interview in while she was seeking to attend a conference being held in 2023.
“So I finally applied for a US visa that set me back a whopping Ksh19,200 shillings. I have been given an interview date of March 2024!!!! The conference I am invited to is next year. This even though I have travelled to the US several times before,” Warah complained.