Kenyans applying for a visa to the United Kingdom will now wait three weeks for it to be processed.
This will be done under new adjustments on visa processing duration announced on Wednesday.
United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott said the country has resolved backlog issues which have caused delays in visa processing since July last year, in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Six months ago, I promised we would get our visa service for Kenyans traveling to the UK back on track. I’m pleased we’re now at normal customer service standards – a decision should take just three weeks, with faster priority services available,” Marriott said on Wednesday.
Kenyans will wait three weeks to know whether their visas have been approved or denied, down from six weeks.
This includes those seeking a UK visa for a holiday or to see family or friends, a business trip or meeting, to get married and those going to study for six months or less.
Marriott said the revised waiting duration also includes persons applying for a visa to travel through the UK on their way to another country.
As for the priority services, applicants will wait for a decision to be made within five working days of a visa appointment.
The super priority service enables applicants to collect their visa by the end of the next working day from when one provides their biometric information.
“If you verify your identity at a visa application center and the service is available in the country you’re applying from you can choose the ‘super priority service’ when you apply. There will be an additional cost for this service,” the UK Visas and Immigration department says.
Those seeking a UK visa to join the family in the UK will wait 24 weeks to get a decision, and this includes those applying to settle in the UK as the spouse, partner, or family member of someone who has British citizenship or is settled in the UK.
“If you are applying as the dependent of another applicant, you will get your decision at the same time.”
“If you are applying for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit you will get a decision as soon as possible after proving your identity and providing your documents.”
In June last year, Marriott said the issue was affecting visa applications globally and not just in Kenya.
“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 – please plan six weeks ahead and bear with us for the next few months,” the High Commissioner said at the time.