…Receive 15,772 UK work visas in 30 months
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government would deny entry visas to Nigerians younger than the age of 40.
On Wednesday, a viral video of Nigerians reportedly stranded at the Dubai international airport surfaced on social media, with a Twitter user, @dunchichi, saying at least 20 Nigerians were stuck at the airport and their passports seized.
Reacting to the development, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said despite being warned about the new UAE visa rules for certain age categories, some Nigerians tried to ‘circumvent’ the regulations.
Speaking on the development, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in an issued statement by its spokesperson, Francisca Omayuli, said Nigerians who were stranded in Dubai were issued family visas but came into the country without any family member. “Consequently, they were denied entry and advised to return to their country and apply for the appropriate visas”, she stated.
“The general public is invited to note and be guided that the Government of the UAE has introduced a new visa regime and has stopped issuing tourist visas to persons under the age of 40 years, except for those applying for family visas. It is, therefore, instructive for prospective visa applicants to indicate clearly their visa preferences without any ambiguity and also respect the immigration laws of other countries so as to avoid unwarranted treatments”, the statement added.
The Federal Government said Nigerians need to respect the immigration laws of other countries to avoid ‘unwarranted treatment’.
In a related development, Nigerians were granted 15,772 United Kingdom work visas in the 30 months between January 2020 and June 2022, the second highest after India, according to a National Statistics report newly released by the United Kingdom (UK)’s Home Office.
The report said approvals for Nigerians jumped 303%, from 3,918 in December 2019 to 15,772 in June 2022; next to Indian workers who grew 80% from 57,087 in December 2019 to 102,981 in June 2022. The report explained the ‘Worker; visa’ category, previously known as the ‘Skilled worker’ visa, includes sponsored visas which typically lead to settlement.
The UK on 22 August opened applications for Nigerians and other foreign nationals to apply for the 2022 Scale-up Visa. A Scale-up Worker Visa (or Scale-up business) allows foreigners to come to the UK to do an eligible job for a fast-growing UK business.
Unlike other sponsored visas, Scale-up Visa allows businesses to employ high-skilled individuals who will receive two years’ leave to remain in the UK without requiring further sponsorship or permission beyond the first six months.