British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott has issued an apology for the delay in the issuance of visas to Kenyans seeking to travel to the United Kingdom.
Through social media on Saturday, Marriott said the delay has not only affected Kenya but also other countries, and urged Kenyans looking to travel to the UK to plan six weeks prior.
“I want to offer my huge apologies to Kenyans for the delays on UK visas. I know it’s a major inconvenience. It’s a global challenge not Kenya’s specific - please plan six weeks ahead and bear with us for the next few months,” Marriott said.
The diplomat attributed the delays to the backlog of applications during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic period, the ongoing global crisis brought about by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the increase in demand for travelers to the UK, among them students and business people.
“There is a huge backlog as a result of Visa applications during COVID-19, that weren’t processed, the current global issues and crisis that are going off at the moment, but also an unprecedented demand of Visas, and it’s great that many want to,” she said.
“In 2019, 300,000 students across the world wanted to come to the U.K. This year it has nearly doubled to 600,000.”
Marriott pointed out that the delay will persist for a few months, during which there will be no priority applications.
“If you are looking to go to the U.K whether to study, business or tourism, please you need to apply six weeks in advance. Due to the pressure on the service, we are not able to offer the usual priority Visa service.”
“If you were used to getting the Visa in five days, I'm sorry but it is going to take six weeks. It begins the day you go to the Visa application center, not when you fill the forms online. Please do provide the right paperwork because that will speed up the decision-making process,” she remarked.