Many Filipinos wish to visit the United Kingdom to see tourist attractions or visit friends and families who have settled in the country.
And while it is clearly stated that this is indeed a visit visa, many others might interpret it as a way to find jobs or opportunity to migrate to the UK. So let’s be clear with the restrictions. For United Kingdom, these restrictions include the following:
- Visit to UK cannot be for more than six (6) months;
- The tourist must leave UK at the end of visit;
- The tourist must have enough money to support himself or herself during his or her stay in the UK without working or needing help from UK’s public funds.
- The tourist must not take paid or unpaid employment.
- The tourist must not marry or register a civil partnership, or provide notice of marriage or civil partnership.
- The tourist cannot get private medical treatment
There are two types of visit visas: general visit visas and family visit visas. For the sake of clarity, this application procedure focuses on general visit visa.
United Kingdom tourist visas must be applied for a maximum of 3 months prior to intended entry. Application must first be done online to set an appointment, and then the applicant must appear during the appointment date to submit biometrics and supporting documents. The applicant must have a passport, a UK address which can be shown in a hotel booking or a friend’s address, email address before he or she can begin with the online application. In addition, he or she also has to prepare all supporting documents needed for the visa application and if they aren’t written in English then they need to be translated into English.
The online application goes through this process:
- Register for an account
- Fill in the application form in English
- Pay for the visa fee online (in most cases)
- Print out application form
- Book and attend an appointment at a visa application center
Visa Center Locations
There are two UK Visa Application Centers in the Philippines through its partner VFS Global located in Manila and Cebu. Applicants who wish to lodge their UK visa application at the visa application center in Cebu have to pay an additional service fee of P4, 425 in cash at the visa application center.
VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit M01, Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Pasong Tamo Extension Makati City, Metro Manila 1231
VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
9th Floor, Keppel Center, Unit 905, Samar Loop
cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue,
Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000
On the Appointment Date
An applicant must make sure to be on time during the scheduled appointment date and have in hand documents needed for the application. These documents include the following with specifications:
- A printed and signed copy of the applicant’s online visa application form.
- The applicant’s current valid passport.
- Previous passports
- Original and photocopy of supporting documents, to include translations if not written in English. These are documents that show evidence that the applicant has: (a.) ties in the Philippines and that he or she are coming back to the Philippines (properties, job, family ties, etc.); (b.) the capability of supporting himself or herself while in UK without the need to find employment. (Bank statements or certificates, employment payslip, debit and or credit cards, etc.); (c.) details of accommodation plans and trip itinerary. However, please don’t pay for these accommodations until visa is issued. On the other hand, if the applicant has friends or relatives in UK who will support him or her, the applicant should present the UK Border Agency with the following: (a.) Valid Citizen/Residence ID or Passport of the sponsor (b.) Bank Statement (c.) Address and contact details and (d.) Invitation letter stating their support.
- Supporting document checklist
- Proof of payment of visa application fee
- 1 recent photograph, not more than 6 months old. Photograph Strict Specification must be taken into consideration. The photograph must be (a.) Taken against a light grey or cream background; (b.) Clear and of good quality; (c.) Printed on normal photographic paper; (d.) 45 mm high x 35 mm wide in size (e.) Taken with nothing covering the face. No sunglasses, head coverings (unless worn for religious or medical reasons); (f.) one with the subject’s mouth closed; and (g.) one with the applicant facing forward and looking straight-ahead.
Visa Fees and Payment Methods
Application for tourist Visas cost £83 (check in Philippine peso). The payment can only be made online through WorldPay with the use of a Visa Card or Mastercard.
Waiting and Processing Times
If all the documents submitted are sufficient to prove eligibility of the applicant then he or she will get results within 4-5 working days. Application can be tracked through the Application Status Tool. The applicant can choose between personally getting the documents he or she submitted or opt to have it delivered at home for a fee of P450.00.
Additional Tips for UK Visit Visa Application
- There is no need to submit a photocopy the application form and passports.
- Paste the photo on to the application form.
- Print a copy of the supporting document checklist and check those supporting document that are being submitted.
- Arrange the documents in the order presented on the checklist.
- Bring original supporting documents and have a photocopy of them.
- All supporting documents including current passport will be left at the UK Border Agency until a decision on the application is made.
- You can only go in with your documents placed in an envelope. Other items at hand such as bags and gadgets will have to be left at their package counter.