Kenyans wanting to travel to the UK in recent times have had to wait for months to obtain a visa but the UK Home Office has now announced that visas will be issued to successful applicants ‘within three weeks.’
Kenyans wishing to go to the UK to for a holiday, to visit friends or family, for business, to get married, or to study for six months or less, will benefit from the faster turnaround in the visa application process.
The announcement comes after a clearing of the backlog of unprocessed visa applications built up during the Covid-19 pandemic, a period which also saw a marked increase in demand, and other ‘global challenges.’
The number of Kenyan students seeking to study in the UK has doubled from 300,000 in 2019 to 600,000 in 2022.
UK High Commissioner Jane Marriott confirmed the shortened timescale for issuing visas in a Tweet in which she welcomed ‘the resumption of normality’.
UK-Kenya Business and Diaspora
The UK is an important destination of Kenyan businessmen and women, not just students and those wanting to meet relatives and friends in what is the second largest Kenyan Diaspora population (after the USA) in the world, totaling some 139,000 people.
Total UK imports from Kenya amounted to £578 million in the four quarters to the end of Q2 2022 (an increase of 6.1% or £33 million compared to the four quarters to the end of Q2 2021).
The UK was also the third in the list of main export partners for Kenya in 2020 by value of exports (after Uganda and Pakistan) with exports amounting to 49.9 billion shillings.
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