The United Kingdom government has lifted the pause on processing visitor visas in all countries previously on the red list, including Nigeria.
The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), which announced this in a statement on Wednesday, said it lifted the pause due to the removal of Nigeria and other countries from red list restrictions over the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
"From 4:00 am on 15th December, all countries currently on the red list will be removed. In line with the lifting of red list restrictions, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will lift the pause on processing visitor visas in all countries previously on the red list," the statement reads.
"Due to extremely high global demand, standard UK visitor visas are currently taking significantly longer than usual to be processed.
"UKVI are working hard to process visitor visa applications as soon as possible and sincerely apologise to all our customers affected.
"Non-visitor visa applications (including student and work visas) are still being processed within published service standards, and we are working hard to meet customer demand."
The statement added that applicants will be contacted by the Visa Application Centre (VAC) when their passports are ready for collection.
"They should not visit the VAC until they have been invited to do so," it added. Those with an urgent need to travel to the UK for compassionate reasons will still need to apply for a visa in the usual way, including submitting biometrics at a VAC.
"Applicants should clearly explain the compelling or compassionate reasons for the visit in their application form and must alert the VAC staff during biometric submission," the government added.
It, however, said the Priority Visa (PV) and Super Priority Visa (SPV) services remain temporarily suspended for all visa routes in all countries, coming off the red list.
This, according to the government, will allow UKVI to concentrate on assessing applications in date order for all visa customers and deal equitably with the increased demand.