17 January 2013

Kenya: UK to Fast-Track Visas for Kenyans

Nairobi — The United Kingdom Border Agency has launch a new 'fast-track' visa service as a quick option for Kenyans wishing to urgently travel to the UK.

Visa applicants under this category will now be required to pay an additional fee of Sh10,000 to have their visa applications processed at short notice.

UK Trade and Investment CEO Nick Baird however said only a number of priority visas will be available each day on a first come, first serve basis.

"There are very many investment opportunities, around oil and gas; huge opportunities related to infrastructure in this country. And that is why it is really important improving the flow of business people, in both directions," Baird told journalist during the launch.

The new service will only be available for business, student and visit categories.

Baird said the service was launched due to high demand by business travellers in particular, who on many occasions require urgent travel.

"We know businesses people need to make short notice travel applications and for us the business relationship between UK and Kenya is important and growing and we need to do what we can to continue with the trend," Baird added.

Currently, the cost of visas for the UK differs depending on the category applied for.

The current fee for a six month visa application is Sh11,300 while for two years is Sh39,200. If you seek one for five years you are required to part with Sh71,900 while a 10-year visa application fee is Sh103,800.

Last year, the agency received a total of over 38,379 applicants who wanted to travel to the UK under different categories compared to 38,356 in 2011.

The issue rate for Kenyans applying for UK Visas is 84 percent, against an overall global issue rate of 73 percent.

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