How To Apply For A U.K. Tourist Visa in the Philippines

My first hand experience in applying for a U.K. tourist (C-Visit) visa

It wasn’t that easy but it was worth it!!!! Kaloka. Before we start, this post is meant to give tips for Filipino passport holders on how to get a U.K. tourist visa. I hope you find this guide useful and help you worry less :) You can do it! :)

Hey, I made it!

Emotionally. Draining. – these 2 words is what I THOUGHT would describe a usual visa-processing experience. Carrying a Filipino passport, you need to apply in MOST of the countries you’d like to visit. It’s a harsh reality but we can’t change that – so let’s talk about how the process really goes.

Before anything else, I’d like to share that I have an intense visa-trauma (Yes!! Visa trauma exists!) because I have been rejected a few years ago when I applied for a visa to South Korea. I was heart broken when I picked up my passport and inside was a tiny piece of paper stating the reason of why I was denied. It was indeed the worst feeling ever so since that day, I’ve always trusted a travel agency (Hi Vangie of Globetrotters!) to handle and help me out but nothing beats preparation and familiarizing to do things on your own.

When my boyfriend Nick and I were planning our Eurotrip, I couldn’t help but think of what visa I needed. Nick’s family is based in London and I was sooo excited to meet them so I had to get to work and go get a standard U.K. Tourist visa.

Before applying, I only had my Australia and Japan visas – so I was so nervous. Coming from someone who is SCARED when it comes to applying for visas, getting one for the U.K. is actually fast and less stressful. Here is how to do it!


Filling up the application form
Visa Application Process

WHERE TO APPLY FOR A UK VISA?

To apply, you head over and create an account on the Visa4UK website that can be found HERE. You fill out the application form section by section (if you have questions for your travel agency, you can SAVE your answers and go back to it). At the end, you choose a date for your VFS appointment and pay via credit card to finalize the transaction. It costs around 133USD.

Covent Garden

WHEN TO APPLY FOR A UK VISA?

The rule of thumb is actually applying 3 months BEFORE your intended date of departure to give allowance of ironing details and gathering additional documents. Our trip was end of Feb so Nick was reminding me to do it ASAP and I finally gathered courage (lol!) and started working on it last December.

 WHILE APPLYING ONLINE, WHAT TO EXPECT?

You will need to state the details of your travel history for the past 10 years (as shown in your passport). You have to remember to BE HONEST and if needed, state the name and address of anyone paying for your trip or if you have a sponsor. As I mentioned, Nick’s family is based in London so his brother was kind enough to write me a “Letter of Invitation.” – plus Nick too! In that letter, you must include the name, address and passport number of the person inviting you from the UK.  You should state that you’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit.

in Covent Garden

 Documents gathered (even BEFORE the online application)

  1. Original passport and expired passport
  2. Original authenticated birth certificate
  3. Two pcs. (2) pictures size 1.77×1.37 inches colored white background
  4. Original bank certificate
  5. Original bank statement for 6 months
  6. Original latest income tax
  7. If employed: Original certificate of employment, xerox copy of S.S.S. I.D. and company I.D.
  8. If self-employed: Original and xerox copy of Business Name, Mayors Permit and D.T.I.
  9. Printed out Application Form online

Other information you’ll need:

Exact dates you’re planning to travel to the UK, details of where you’ll be staying and how much you think the trip will cost.


Trafalgar Square

WHAT TO EXPECT on the day of your VFS appointment at VFS Global?

So at the end of your application, they make you choose a date of when you’ll bring in your requirements. On the day of your appointment, arrive 15 minutes early at the VFS Center. Bring your appointment letter and application pack, your passport and a second valid form of identification. I went and you’re apparently not allowed to bring a bag inside but they have a locker area for that for Php100. (Expensive, I know!)

Important note: You will not be able to submit further documents once your application has been submitted at the visa application centre. The documents that you submitted at the time you made your application will be the only documents that are considered. So submit everything!

ONCE YOU TURN IN YOUR APPLICATION FORM + REQUIREMENTS

They’ll call you for biometrics and get your fingerprints and photograph. Like a passport photo, your digital photograph must be taken with full face and should be clearly visible with no hair across the eyes. Although, this does not mean your visa has been granted. They’re just collecting your biometrics!

HOW TO COLLECT?

Once you’re done, you go back to the counter and choose whether you would prefer to collect your documents in person at the visa application centre or have them delivered to you by post. I picked a personal collection because I haaaate waiting!

With the grace of the Almighty, I went to the VFS and voila – it took 6 business days for my visa to arrive.

Hello, Landen! | My UK Tourist Visa

Enjoying London with my cheerleader, Nick Higson!

And we all lived happily ever after… for now. Thank you Nick for the much needed mental and emotional support when I was going through this entire process (He even physically went to the VFS with me and waited outside!) Now, all is well and you can do it too!:) For visa assistance or if you have any questions, comment down below or have it processed by Globetrotters Inc. Travel on Tours.

XO,

Style Cat

 

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