All Filipinos need a valid entry visa to travel to the United Kingdom. The UK comprises four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Applying UK visa has not been difficult for us because we have applied Schengen Visa last 2015. We have an idea of documents needed. There’s no interview, you just have to prepare all the necessary required and supporting documents, completed application form and enough budget in the bank, because your bank must have good enough fund to sustain your trip and intentions.
As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Singapore, let me share with you the steps and our personal experience in applying for UK Visa.
Step 1 – Research and assess your needs
First, you need to check what kind of visa to apply for and what documents you’ll be needed. The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel and most applications are processed within 15 days.
We will be traveling to the UK on the first week of July so we processed our visa yesterday.
A tourist can stay in the UK for a maximum 6 months.
Step 2 – Create an account online and complete your application
You will need to register an account on Visa4UK before you begin. Simply fill in your details as needed.
– Personal information
– Travel information
– Passport details
– Spouse/partner, dependant and parent details
– Income and expenditure
– Family in the UK, accommodation details
We applied for the Standard Visitor visa and we completed our application in 3 days. It took us days to finished because we’re delaying it as we did our research in London in the same time. To save time, we advise that before you begin your application you must have all your documents with you.
It’s okay if you can’t finish it in one sitting, you can always save your progress. You can save your online application and come back to it at another time if you need to, just check your registered email and download the copy of your Partially Completed Application to review.
It depends on each individual how long it will take to complete the application. If you have all your supporting documents on hand, whether it is your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or any other original documentation required for your application this will be an easy process.
Step 3 – Pay the visa fee
A Standard Visitor visa costs £89. The fee for a long-term visit visa depends on its length, just pay the fee online and print it out with your form and visa fee receipt.
We paid $160 SGD or PHP 5,616.00, using current remittance rate of 1SGD = PHP35.10. You may check the remittance rate using Piso Remit app. The Visa Fee is only payable online through World pay/PayPal. Visa fees will not be accepted in the VFS Global Visa application centers.
You can purchase a range of optional additional services from the UK Visa Application Centre website. These include a priority visa processing service, use of the premium lounge and a courier service. These services are optional.
Step 4 – Make an appointment and prepare all the documents
Booking appointments are in high demand and subject to availability, schedule your appointment in advance to select best date and time that fits you.
Every applicant applying for a UK visa has to appear in person to hand in the application at the VFS Global Visa Application Centre. The visa application procedure usually takes approximately 30 minutes per application.
To avoid the stress and hassle, make sure you have all the original documents prior to your appointment and bring photocopies.
We submitted the following documents*:
– Our current and old passport (original and photocopy)
– Photocopy of passport and NRIC
– Our appointment confirmation and visa fee receipt
– Printed online application form, signed and dated
– 6 months bank statement of account and savings account
– Company pay slips
– Proof of address
– Marriage Certificate
– A letter from our employer on company headed paper, detailing our role, salary, and length of employment
– Flight bookings and our travel itinerary
– UK passport size photo ID
– Travel insurance
Travel insurance was not a requirement, we submitted it because we bought one already as it is a requirement in Schengen Visa.
You could do a flight reservation and hotel bookings, this is to make sure visa holders don’t exceed their allowed days of stay. The UK Visa only advice not to make any payments for accommodation, travel and so on until you have received your visa.
*Please note that documents vary to individuals
Step 5 – Submitting Your Visa Application
Print the appointment letter and carry it to the visa application centre on the scheduled date 10 minutes before your scheduled time along with your documents.
In Singapore, the address is at VFS Global, 135 Cecil Street, #08-01 MYP Plaza, Singapore 069536
You must check in at the welcome desk in person at the correct time and date. If you are late, you may have to rebook your schedule. At the appointment, your documents will be reviewed and you will be required to have your biometrics information, which includes a photograph and a digital scan of your fingerprints.
We arrived 10 minutes early and queue. The security checked our documents first before giving us our queue number. There are photocopy machine and photo booth inside.
When our queue number was called, we just submitted everything, signed and have our biometrics information taken. Kept the receipt and we also get a copy of the Authorisation Letter.
And, were done!
When submitting a visa application, you may choose to collect the passport in person at the end of the visa application process. Please ensure to bring your receipt with your tracking number when collecting your passport and wait for their email.
The application will then be sent to British Embassy in Manila for the decision making process.
If you are unable to collect in person, you may authorize another person to collect the passport on your behalf.
Some general tips and reminders:
- Please do double check all the details you enter on the online application form thoroughly since even if there is one mistake, it can lead to your application being rejected. You can always start again.
- You must print your supporting documents checklist & appointment details, and bring this to your appointment.
- During online submission you will get a choice for the date and time you wish to come for the appointment at visa centre. We chose the second slot at 8:15 am and we came 8:00 am because our work starts at 9 and 10AM.
- Once the applicant takes the appointment, you will not be able to initiate refund from the online application.
- There are different types of visitor visas, and you can get denied when you apply for the wrong one.
- The standard processing time for a UK visa is 15 working days from the time you lodged the application. Do not book a plane ticket until you get your visa to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses.
- Application, payment and appointment must be made online to attend the visa application center. They don’t accept walk-ins. The whole process will take 30 to 45 minutes.
- There is no interview for a UK visa.
- It it extremely important to make your visa application early in order to give the embassy enough time to process your application.
- Make sure your supporting documentation is complete with original and photocopies.
Easy direct links:
- To check if you need a visa to enter the UK and information on how to apply, visit: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
- To find details on regular processing times for your visa application, visit https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times
- To apply for a UK visa, visit: https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa
- VFS Global in Singapore, visit http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/singapore
- VFS Frequently Asked Questions, visit http://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/singapore/frequently_asked_questions.html
Disclaimer: The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as an information guide only, and should always contact the above sources for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time.