Traveling to the UK?
The only thing that’s standing in between you and your dream trip to the United Kingdom (UK) is a 15 hour flight – and a valid visa, of course. Most Filipinos would be immediately intimidated by the visa application for the UK, but it’s actually a lot simpler than it seems!
In this UK Visa guide, we’ll be easing the process for you by providing step-by-step instructions, and additional tips to enhance your application! That UK visa will be yours soon – and the first thing you need to do is keep on reading!
*Note: A Schengen Visa cannot be used to enter the United Kingdom
How to Apply for a UK Visa:
1. Identify your Visa Type
Before you proceed with the actual application, you will have to identify what kind of visa you’ll need to enter the UK. You can check here (Enter Nationality > Purpose of Visit) to find out what type of visa you’ll need.
For this UK Visa guide, we’ll be tackling the Short Term Standard Visitor Visa. This type of visa allows tourists to:
- Go on holiday
- Visit family and friends
- Study for up to 30 days
- Take part in sports or creative events
- Do academic research
- Receive private medical treatment
- Stay in the UK for up to 6 months
You are eligible for a Standard Visitor Visa if you can provide proof for the following:
- Temporary stay in the UK
- Financial capacity for the entire trip
- Proof of business or activities within the UK permitted by the Visitor Rules
Regarding business-related activities, you can check these Visitor Rules for a list of permitted activities under the Standard Visitor Visa. Make sure to read and fully understand the Standard Visitor Visa before proceeding with the rest of your application.
2. Accomplish the online application form
After you’ve determined the type of visa you’ll need, you can now register on this website to begin your online application. After verifying your email, you may start inputting all necessary information under the “Apply For Myself” page.
In applying for a Standard Visit Visa, you will need to select the following under “Select Visa Type”
- Reason for Visit: Visit
- Visa Type: Tourism
- Visa Sub Type: Visa – Tourism – 6 months
To give you an idea of the type of questions you’ll be asked, here’s a quick rundown:
- Intended travel dates
- Accommodations and contact information in the United Kingdom
- Estimated cost of the trip
- Present home address and years of residence
- Personal information about family, hometown, and birthdays
- Information on friends and family living in the UK
- Personal income and source of income
- Travel history for the past 10 years
- Employer details including address and telephone number
- Criminal, civil, or immigration offences that you may have committed
If you aren’t sure about a certain portion of the application, you are given the option to save your progress! Do note that once you submit your application, there’s no way to re-do this. That said, make sure all information is factual and valid before submission.
3. Book an appointment at VFS Global and Pay the application fee
Once you’ve successfully accomplished the online application form, you will be asked to choose an appointment date at the nearest visa application center. In the case of Filipino residents, you can drop by either one of these VFS Global centers:
VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit MO1, Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Chino Roces Avenue 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 6000F
After choosing your desired application date, you will now have to pay the application fee. The Standard Visitor visa costs £93 and can be paid with a credit card. If you’re applying for a long-term Standard Visitor visa, fees will vary depending on the amount of years. Refer to this page for the various visa fees.
4. Prepare the required documents
Documents that will be submitted to VFS Global will need to be original copies. In addition to this, you will also need to present one set of photocopies.
Here are the required documents you need to present for your application:
- Passports and other travel documents
- Current passport
- Must be valid 6 months from intended travel date
- Have at least two pages for the arrival and departure stamps
- Previous passports (if any) for travel history
- Front and back of current and previous visas
- Bio page of current visa
- Valid and expired visas
- Proof of income
- Certificate of Employment
- Income Tax Return
- Proof of Financial Capacity
- Bank Certificate
- Employee Contract
- Payslips from the last 6 months
- Sample Itinerary
- Flight ticket reservation
- If you’ve already booked both departure and return tickets, you may also include the reservation vouchers in your application
- Hotel reservation
- If you’ve already booked all accommodations for your trip, you may also include the reservation vouchers in your application
- You can also pre-book some of your accommodations visa booking.com. Just find a accommodation that offers free cancellation and temporarily book it to present as part of your application. After, you may choose another accommodation if you change your mind once you have your visa!
- Approved Leave Letter
- This will help prove that you are currently employed and have reason to return to the Philippines
- VFS Global Appointment Letter
- After confirming your appointment, you will be sent a confirmation email. Print this out and include this in your application
Just to be sure, consider including these supporting documents in your application:
- Details of travel history from the last 10 years
- Details of your current residence
- Parents: Name, Address, Birthday, Passport Number
- Partner: Name, Address, Passport Number
- Relative/Friend living in the UK: Name, Address, Passport Number
- Details of Criminal Record and Immigration offenses
5. Submission of requirements and biometrics on appointment day
Important reminders on the day of your appointment:
- Make sure to be at the VFS Global Center you’ve chosen on your select date at least 15 minutes beforehand. Entry is restricted and is done per interview time – so best be there early.
- Upon entrance, you will be asked to place your personal belonging inside a locker – including your cellular phone. All you need is your application documents and yourself.
- Have the original documents and one set of photocopies ready to submit during the day of your VFS Global appointment.
- You will be asked if you want to avail of the SMS Service (around P150-P200) which will provide you with a status of your application. Make sure to bring cash!
- Wait your turn for the biometrics (fingerprints and photo)
- Dress appropriately!
Take note: Do not hand in the supporting documents stated above unless you are asked to do so. However, feel free to mention the additional documents you have prepared, just in case.
6. Wait and collect your passport at VFS Global
Visa processing usually take 5 to 15 business days. However, you can also opt to avail of the Priority Visa Service, costing P10,000, for your visa to be processed within 3-5 business days.
If you availed of the SMS Service, you will receive a text if your passport is ready to be claimed at VFS Global.
Additional Tips for applying for a UK Visitors Visa:
1. Gather your requirements early on
It takes quite a while to gather the requirements needed for the UK Visa application. That said, we advise you start putting all of these together a couple weeks before starting the online application. Having these prepared beforehand will also be less of hassle as you wait for your appointment date. Instead of rushing to get all the requirements done before your appointment date, all you need to do is double check all of the documents!
2. Have as much supporting documents on hand
Although these supporting documents aren’t required, they’re good to have on hand. After submitting the required documents, some applicants are contacted and asked to send in additional requirements – which then prolong the process even further.
With that, we highly recommend you put together the supporting documents the same time you pull together the required ones. However, do not submit these together with the required documents on the day of your appointment. Put them in a separate folder and let the visa officer know that you have additional documents in the event they may need it.
3. Do not indicate false information
This one’s pretty obvious, but it’s still worth noting. Do not underestimate the people behind the visa process! They are very meticulous and will question all information that you submit. Give yourself time to accomplish your application and don’t rush it!
Klook your way to the United Kingdom!
Once you’ve got your UK Visa, it’s time to explore England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland! Whether you want to hit up the best sights and attractions in London, or go on a cultural excursion through Windsor and Bath, start your journey to London stress-free by pre-booking an airport transfer ride from any of the London airports! Check out our activities and make the most of your trip at a budget-friendly price.