Thursday, June 16, 2011

Visa Application to United Kingdom from the Philippines

I just learned that my HSBC card have been approved and I'll get my hands on it tomorrow.  I cannot believe what I was upto this evening... I scheduled an appointment and I'm filing up a visa application to United Kingdom (UK).  I don't know when exactly I'd be free to go, but I'm pushing my luck to squeeze a short trip very soon.

A. Online Application:
To apply for tourist Visa to UK from the Philippines, simply fill up the online application form at http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/applyonline.  Before you do, have the following information to hand:
  • Passport (for the past 10 years)
  • Address in the UK
  • Itinerary
  • E-mail Address 
  • Sources of Income

B. Schedule an appointment online: (no payment required):
https://www.vfs.firm.in/pl-apptsystem/appscheduling/appwelcome.aspx

C. Visa Application Fee:
When all is ready, you can pay your visa application fee in any of the following options:

  1. Bank receipt - cash over the counter at a Union Bank Pasong Tamo Branch (service charge free option)
  2. Bank receipt - cash over the counter at any other Union Bank branch (Php 150.00 service charge)
  3. Managers cheque (service charge applies) made payable to the British Embassy.



CATEGORY / Type / Description
Fee Pesos [PHP]
VISIT
General Visitor
Short term visit [up to six months, single or multiple entry] 5,700
Longer term visit - up to 2 years 19,875
Longer term visit - up to 5 years 36,450
Longer term visit - up to 10 years 52,650


D. Visit the visa application center for biometric information collection.
Personal appearance is required at the visa application centre for biometric information collection.


Address Opening hours Document collection
UK VFS Visa Application Centre
VFS Services Philippines Private Inc
6th Floor, Eco Plaza
Building Unit 606
Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines
Location Map


Application submission - with a prior appointment:
Monday-Friday
08:00 - 14:00

Application submission - without a prior appointment
Monday-Friday
07:00 - 08:00

Enquiries at visa application centre

Monday-Friday
13:00 - 15:00
Monday - Friday
14:00 - 15:00



Visa enquiries:

If you still have a visa enquiry after reading the information on this website you can contact the VFS visa enquiry service in English or Tagalog by email or telephone.

Email:info.ukph@vfshelpline.com . The email enquiry service is free of charge and all enquiries will be answered within 5 working days

Telephone:

For PLDT & Smart Subscribers 1-909-885-VISA (8472).

For Bayantel 1-903-VISAUK or 1-903-847285

The toll call charge for using this service is PHP 32.00 for each minute for landline calls (excluding VAT and applicable NDD charges for calls made outside Metro Manila). Additional rates may apply for calls made through prepaid phone cards or mobile phones using PLDT / Smart Subscribers / Bayantel only.

Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturdays: 08:00 -18:00

Important note: If your enquiry is about the status of your visa application, please use the Track your Application facility and see the Guide to Processing Times page on this website for information on processing times.


For more information on UK Visa Information in the Philippines, visit: http://www.vfs-uk-ph.com/

There are 8 steps to complete the visa application process.

Step 1 - Check if you need a visa

Filipino nationals: need a visa to enter or transit through the UK. You are advised to read through the visa application steps set out below before you make your application so you are clear about the procedure and requirements.

Non Filipino nationals: If you are not a Filipino national or if you are unsure if you need a visa to enter or transit through the UK please use the Do I need a visa guide on the UK Border Agency website. If you need a visa you should follow the steps outlined below. Please bear in mind that visa nationals (citizens of countries who always need a visa to enter the UK) who are not legally resident in the Philippines can only apply for a visit visa, European Economic Area family permit or a 'creative and sporting' points-based system Tier 5 visa. Visa nationals who apply for any of these visa categories may experience delays because their visa application will be referred to their country of origin, or country where they are legally resident. The UK Border Agency will not be able to process applications for any other visa categories from visa nationals who are not legally resident in the Philippines. Applicants should return to their country of origin or the country where they are legally resident and apply for a visa there.

Step 2 - Read the information on your visa category

Before you decide to apply for a visa please make sure you familiarise yourself with the information on the visa category you are applying for. Quick links to information on visa categories and other helpful information can be found on the Visa Information page on this website. You may also want to read the Immigration Rules as your visa application will need to meet these requirements.

Step 3 - Complete your online visa application form

You should submit 1 visa application for each individual applying for a visa, including children.

You must complete your visa application using the online application system. You will need access to a computer, a personal email address that you can use and have the ability to print your form and any other information.

Online visa application form

  • Please ensure that you select the correct visa application for the purpose of your visit. Ensure that you complete all the sections correctly.
  • Sections 1 and 2 are vital to considering your application. The information in this section must be completed accurately.
  • Please print all the pages of the visa application form and bring it to the visa application centre. You should print your completed visa application form on good quality paper and ensure that the information does extend beyond the margins on the paper.
  • Please make sure the bar code appears on the final page of your printed visa application form and remember to sign it.
  • After you have saved and submitted your online application, you will receive an email with a unique application ID number that starts with GWF. Keep your ID number for future reference.
  • We are unable to accept online payments in the Philippines. Please see the Visa Application Fee page on this website for information on paying your fees.
Step 4 - Schedule an appointment

All visa applicants (apart from exempt categories and children under 5 years) must apply in person to the visa application centre to submit their biometric information. Although exempt categories and children under 5 do not need to attend the visa application centre, they will need to complete a visa application form. Applications for children under 5 years-of-age must be submitted at the visa application centre by the child's parent, legal guardian or other authorised adult. If you refuse to submit your biometric information, your visa application cannot be processed.

How to book an appointment

We strongly advise you make a prior appointment to attend the visa application centre. You will particularly value your appointment during the peak season when there may be long queues. Students and seafarers must make a prior appointment to submit their visa application. You can book your appointment in the following ways:

Online: See the Schedule an Appointment page on this website where you will be guided through the appointment booking process.

Call centre: You can contact the VFS call centre and make your appointment - for PLDT / Smart Subscribers 1-909-885-VISA (8472); for Bayantel 1-903-VISAUK or 1-903-847285. PHP 32.00 for each minute for landline calls (excluding VAT and applicable NDD charges for calls made outside Metro Manila).

Important: If you are part of a family or group, each member of the family or group must make an individual appointment. For example, if you are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 children (under 5 year-of-age) you must make 4 individual appointments.

Please make sure you arrive at the UK visa application centre 10 minutes before your appointment time.

If you are unable to book any available dates it means that all the available appointments have been taken. In this case you can still attend the visa application centre without an appointment and submit your application on Monday to Friday from 07:00 to 08:00 (unless you are a student or seafarer). Applicants without an appointment are advised that the queues to submit their visa application may take anywhere from a few minutes up to 2 hours or more depending on the number of applicants on any particular day. Applicants with an appointment will be treated as a priority.

Please note: Visa applicants are not allowed to be accompanied inside the visa application centre. The only exceptions to this policy are those accompanying children under 18 years-of-age or applicants who need special assistance for health reasons or disability.

Step 5 - Prepare your documents

Supporting documents

Please see the UK Border Agency supporting documents guidance for information on the types of documents you might want to submit with your visa application.

Applicants must submit as much evidence as they can of their personal circumstances. This includes employment; studies; financial circumstances; any assets; details of travel outside the Philippines, details of family members in the Philippines and overseas. If someone else is paying for the trip, or sponsoring you in another way, there should be evidence relating to that person too. The absence of important documentary may result in your application not being successful.

Points-based system applications: If you are applying for a visa under the points-based system you should read the relevant policy document which will give specific document requirements. Links to points-based policy information can be found on the Visa Information

Original documents & photocopies

You must provide original documents with a photocopy of each original supporting document you are submitting. If you are not able to include original documents then you should submit certified copies from the issuing authority. Failure to submit original documents may mean your visa application is delayed or refused. Please ensure that the copies are good quality and can be read easily. Your original documents might not be returned to you if you do not provide photocopies. For your convenience there are photocopying services available at the visa application centre (fee payable). Please see the Additional Services page on this website for more information about the photocopying services.

Bank Certificate Verification System (BCVS)

Visa applicants who request bank certificates to support their visa application are advised to use the official BCVS request form. The bank will then confirm the information on the BCVS allowing UK Border Agency staff at the British Embassy to verify the certificates authenticity.

This system has been developed in conjunction with the Bankers Association of The Philippines and Philonline, under agreement of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Banks currently registered with the BCVS are: Allied Bank, Asian United Bank, Bank of Commerce, BDO, BPI, Chinabank, Export and Industry Bank, Landbank, Maybank, Metropolitan Bank, PNB, Phil.Veterans, RCBC, PBCom and Standard Chartered, Union Bank, Security Bank Corporation, United Coconut Planters Bank.

English language testing

Applicants for some visa categories are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. You can find quick links to information on visa categories and other helpful information can be found on the Visa Information page on this website. You may also want to read the Immigration Rules as your visa application will need to meet these requirements.

Any migrant who wants to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British Citizen or a person settled in the UK will need to take an English Language test with a UK Border Agency approved test provider. Further guidance and a full list of test providers can be found on the UK Border Agency website. Contact details of  'A1 level' test providers in the Philippines can be found by clicking here.

Translations

If you want the UK Border Agency visa officer to consider your visa application you should provide translations of any supporting documents that are not in English. This includes bank statements and payslips. Any translated documents need to be submitted with the original document for verification. All translated documents must include all of the following information:

page on this website.

  • Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • The date of the translation
  • The translator's full name and signature
  • The translator's contact details

You should also prepare the following:

  • A printed and signed copy of your online visa application form
  • Your current valid passport or your refugee travel document; which corresponds to the information given on your visa application form and contains at least 1 blank page (both sides) for the visa to be inserted. We recommend that your passport is valid for 6 months as some airlines do not accept passports without a 6 month validity period. Note: The UK Border Agency will retain your passport until they have reached a decision on your visa application. Please bear this in mind when you are making your travel arrangements, particularly if you plan to visit other countries before going to the UK.
  • Previous passports if relevant
  • Original supporting documents, with photocopies and translations
  • Printed copy of the relevant supporting document checklist which you have signed.
  • Proof that you have paid your visa application fee.
  • 1 recent photograph (not more than 6 months old). The photograph should be in colour and:
    • Taken against a light grey or cream background;
    • Clear and of good quality;
    • Printed on normal photographic paper;
    • 45 mm high x 35 mm wide in size
    • Taken with nothing covering the face, without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or a head covering unless worn for religious or medical reasons. The subject should have their mouth closed (no grinning, frowning or raised eyebrows) and the applicant should be facing forwarding, looking straight ahead.

Your visa application may be refused if your photograph does not meet these requirements. More information on photograph requirements can be found on the UK Border Agency website. The visa application centre offers a photograph service (fee payable).Please see the Additional Service page on this website for more information about the photocopying services.

Important information for visa applicants and sponsors: If your sponsor already has a visa and is established in the UK (in addition to the above) you will need to show evidence of their current status there. You should provide a certified copy of their passport showing all the pages.

Step 6 - Visit the visa application centre

The visa application centre contact details can be found on the Contact Us page of this website. You must apply in person to submit your biometric information (digital photograph and fingerscan - see the information below).

You should remember to bring the documents set out in step 6. You will be given a receipt when you submit your documents, which you should keep. In addition to your passport please bring a second valid ID as you will be required to deposit your identification at the security desk in the lobby of the Ecoplaza Building where the visa application centre is located.

Important note: You will not be able to submit further documents after you have submitted your application at the visa application. The documents you submit at the time you made your application are the only documents that can be considered.

Biometric information collection

Biometric information collection includes a digital fingerscan (all 10 digits) and a digital photograph. The fingerscan procedure uses an electronic scanner. No ink, liquid or chemical. You should ensure that your fingertips are free from any forms of decoration (for example, henna), cuts, abrasions or other markings as these may affect your ability to provide acceptable fingerscans. Your digital photograph must be taken with full face and without sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or head covering unless it is worn for religious or medical reasons. Your face should be clearly visible with no hair across the eyes. We cannot process your visa if you do not submit your biometric information.

Step 7 -Wait for a decision

You will need to regularly check the status of your visa application by using the free Track your ApplicationAdditional Service page on this website for more information about the photocopying services.

The Guide to Processing Times page on this website gives information on our processing times. You can use this information as a guide to our recent performance but it cannot be used as a guarantee of your individual visa application processing time. Visa applications are assessed individually and processing times may vary.

Interview procedures

Exceptionally, you may be asked to attend an interview. UK Border Agency staff reserve the right to make a decision based on the documents you submitted with your visa application. It is essential that you submit all relevant documents with your visa application.

Should an interview be required then you will be offered the first available interview date. Depending on workload, there may be a waiting period before the interview so bear please bear this in mind. Interviews will be carried out in English but, if told in advance, the UK Border Agency will be able to provide interpreters in Tagalog. If you need an interpreter, please say so when you are contacted.

Children under 10 years old, applying for a visa will not be interviewed. Where the child is travelling alone an interview may be carried out with a responsible adult (for example a parent or guardian). Children aged between 10 and 14 may be interviewed, but this would only be in the presence of a responsible adult. Children aged over 14 may be interviewed alone.

Step 8 - Collect the decision on your visa application

Once you have been informed through the online tracking service or SMS service that the decision on your visa application and documents (including passport) are ready for collection you can collect your documents in the following ways

  • To collect the decision on your visa application and documents from the visa application centre you will need the original visa submission receipt that you were given when you submitted your visa application and proof of your identity. A nominated person can also collect your documents on your behalf. Your nominated person will need to provide an authorised letter signed by you, your receipt and 2 sets of proof of their identity. A copy of your identity or that of your nominated person will need to be deposited at the security desk in the lobby of the Ecoplaza Building where the visa application centre is located.
  • For your convenience you may choose to have your documents delivered to your home or business address using the courier service (fee payable). Please see the Additional Services page on this website for more information about courier services are ask at the visa application centre.

If you are issued a visa, please check it. You should make sure that:

  • Your personal details are correct
  • It correctly states the purpose for which you want to come to the UK, and
  • It is valid for the date on which you want to travel. (You can ask for it to be post-dated for up to 3 months if you do not plan to travel immediately).

If you think there is anything wrong with your visa, please contact the visa application centre immediately.

3 comments:

dorothy said...

hello! how much income do you need for you to be approved?

marie said...

thank you so much for your shared experience it has helped me save time....like a lot..... more blessings from God to you....

james abram said...

Thank you so much! Very helpful article! I also found this article interesting, UK Visa Refusal.

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