Enugu, (iexclusivenews) – One of the six economically viable states in Nigeria, Enugu State, has recently welcomed a new UK visa centre to facilitate visa applications by residents of the southeast region.
The UK visa centre, which was approved by the UK government, is expected to strengthen ties between Enugu State, Nigeria and the UK in various areas, such as trade, tourism, education and culture.
The Background of the Visa Centre
The UK visa centre was part of the requests made by Governor Peter Mbah during the visit of the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Richard Montgomery, to the Government House, Enugu, in June this year.
The governor also sought for more UK investments and partnerships in Enugu State, especially in the areas of agriculture, health, education and infrastructure.
Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, also made similar requests when the High Commissioner visited its national secretariat in Enugu last June.
The organisation appealed for more UK support for the development of the southeast region and the protection of the rights and interests of the Igbo people.
The Benefits of the Visa Centre
According to the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Chidiebere Onyia, who announced the news of the visa centre.
The government received it with delight and satisfaction.
He stated that it would further enhance economic partnership and cultural exchanges between Enugu State and the United Kingdom.
However, he also called on the people, especially those residing in the South-East, to avail themselves of the opportunity to file their visa applications in the state.
Prof. Onyia assured them that the government would ensure improved security both to residents and visitors carrying on business in the state.
He reiterated that the state was open for business and investment more than ever before.
Prof. Onyia said that Enugu State had a lot to offer to potential investors and tourists, such as its rich natural resources, favourable climate, hospitable people and cultural heritage.
The UK visa centre will enable people from Enugu State and other parts of the southeast region to apply for different types of UK visas, depending on their purpose and duration of stay.
For example, they can apply for a Standard Visitor visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months;
-A Short-term study visa to study an English language course for up to 11 months;
-A Student visa or a Child Student visa to study at a licensed college or university;
-A Work visa or an Innovator Founder visa to work or set up a business in the UK;
-A Family visa to join a spouse, partner or family member who has British citizenship or settlement in the UK.
The UK visa centre will also help those who need a visa to travel through the UK on their way to another country.
They can apply for a Transit visa or an Electronic Visa Waiver (for nationals of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates).
The Future of Enugu State-UK Relations
The opening of the UK visa centre in Enugu State is a positive step towards fostering closer relations between Enugu State and the UK.
It will also boost the image and profile of Enugu State as a destination for business and leisure.
The Enugu State Government has expressed its readiness to work with the UK Government and other stakeholders to make the most of this opportunity.
It has also thanked the UK Government for granting its request and fulfilling its promise.
The Enugu State Government therefore looks forward to a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the UK, as the visa centre would help cement the relationship.
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