I can’t seem to contain my excitement. In just a week’s time, I will be saying hello to Big Ben! Tabs and I wanted to treat ourselves for our anniversary this year. We were thrilled when we got approved for visa. Who knows, US next year, maybe? 😉
We were just thinking of trying to apply for a UK Visa a few months back. The process seemed fairly easy, with no interviews. The only part that took me a tad long was the online application. I had to accomplish 3 applications (mine, tabs and sophie’s). We had to compute all the financials, our expenses here at home and what we have to spend in UK. Plus, it needed our previous passports informations. Good thing we were able to keep them.
Since its still fresh in my memory, below is the list of the requirements and the process we went through. (Standard Tourist Visa for Filipinos living in the PH)
1. Before starting on the online application, gather the information needed. This includes present and previous passports, previous travels, hotel/flight/trains/tour details and costs (no need to book yet), living costs here and in UK.
2. Apply online. Be ready with credit card details and cost. I was charged $136/person for the visa application (approx 6,316 at the time). The infant has same rate with adults, yes. After accomplishing the application, schedule an appointment date and time. For family application like us, I booked the same date and time. Print the online application and appointment letter.
3. Make sure that all supporting documents are ready before making an appointment. These are the documents that I submitted for the 3 of us.
• Mayor’s Permit • DTI • BIR COR • Business ITR • Bank Statement and Certificate • Marriage Certificate • Present and previous passports • Printed online application with appropriate ID Photo (check here for exact measurement)
• COE • ITR • Bank Statement and Certificate • Present and previous passports • Printed online application with appropriate ID Photo
• Birth Certificate • Printed online application with appropriate ID Photo
All documents must be submitted in original and photocopies. There are instances that originals are not returned when no photocopy is provided. No need to submit the same docs if you’re travelling as a family (eg. Marriage cert).
Tip I got somewhere:
The money in your bank must be greater than your overall UK trip.
4. Come to the appointment at *VFS Global at least 20 minutes earlier. Parking space is limited and valet is available if full. No charge for valet parking, just tip the driver.
5. Sort the documents beforehand. All originals and copies of docs for one person are checklisted at the counter. It saves time if docs are properly sorted.
6. All applicants must come to the appointment in person, even children and infants. This is for the picture taking and biometrics purposes (picture taking only for infants).
7. If you want to be notified of your application thru text message, pay an additional Php150 per person. I made a mistake of applying for sms notification for Tabs and I (Php300), since we didn’t really need them. We are always online and email notifications are provided for free. If you’re not always online, then sms notification is helpful.
8. You may opt to have your documents returned by courier, though I’m not exactly sure with the charge, around 300/person. We opted to return personally to claim the docs, as that time we kept our UK planning a secret and wouldn’t want anyone in the house snooping on docs mailed by UK embassy.
Just like any embassy in the world, all docs submitted must be true and authentic. They keep a record of all the docs and it could cause a problem (if not now maybe in the future) if fake docs are submitted.
In exactly 10 days, we received a text notifying us of the decision made and that our docs were for retrieval already. We were given multiple entry in 6 months. I think this is the standard visa they give to tourists.
I think we got approved because of our numerous travels in Asia, and with Japan visa valid for 5 years. The docs we passed all had originals and photocopies. But they were all returned to us, with them not keeping even the photocopies.
After our visa approval thats the time we finalized our flight and hotel bookings and tours tickets. UK be ready, we’re coming for ya! 😉
You may checkout the visa process here:
*VFS Manila Visa Application Centre, Mezzanine Floor, Unit M01 Ecoplaza Building, 2305 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City 1231, PH