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  • President William Ruto (left) meets UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during COP27 Conference on Monday, November 7, 2022.
  • The United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 25, announced developments in visa application for Kenyans wishing to travel to the Great Britain. 

    The United Kingdom explained that the waiting period for visa applicants was reduced from months to three weeks. 

    "Six months ago, I promised we would get our visa service for Kenyans travelling 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," explained British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott. 

    British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott giving a speech during the Kenya national elections conference held on Monday July 11, 2022
    British High Commissioner to Kenya, Jane Marriott giving a speech during the Kenya national elections conference held on Monday, July 11, 2022.  MARRIOTT'S TWITTER

    On July 2, 2022, Marriott apologised to Kenyans for the UK visa processing delay.  

    In a video, Marriott explained that there was a backlog of visas since the pandemic time and that the situation contributed to the delays.

    However, Kenyans willing to travel to the United Kingdom can now breathe a sigh of relief after Britain made a raft of changes to their Visa application process. 

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks once you attend your appointment at the visa application centre, if you are applying for a visa to travel through the UK on your way to another country.

    Ambassador Marriott noted that the process will be faster and more efficient for both student and child visa applicants. 

    "You may be able to get your visa faster or access other services depending on what country you’re in - check with your visa application centre.

    The qualification for a student visa is that one must be 16 years of age or older, and must have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor.  

    The student visa applicant must have enough money to support themselves and pay for their course - the amount will vary depending on their circumstances. 

    Additionally, student visa applicants should be able to speak, read, write and understand English.

    "It costs £363 (Ksh56,000) to apply for a student visa from outside the UK and £490 (Ksh75,000) to extend or switch to a Student visa from inside the UK," Britain explained. 

    Nairobi and London enjoy strong bilateral ties since Kenya's independence in 1963. 

    The UK and Kenya are members of the Commonwealth of Nations and engage with each other regularly on matters of military, economic and cultural importance.

    Kenyan visa ranking considerably changed on the global stage, but a number of countries have authorised citizens to enter their countries without the visa requirement. 

    Currently, Kenyans are allowed to visit South Africa without the visa requirements after Presidents William Ruto and Cyril Ramaphosa struck a deal.  By MARK OBAR,

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