Tuesday, 29 April 2014


London, Great Britain is a part of United Kingdom (along with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). This is one of my dream places! I've been given an opportunity to travel to London this year and this post documents my road to acquire a UK Visa.

A Filipino National needs to have a visa before setting foot to United Kingdom. Whether for business or pleasure, one needs to apply and secure a visa. 

The visa itself is more like that of Schengen Visa. However, having a Schengen Visa is of course not a guarantee that you'll be granted a UK visa, and vice versa. However, you may have a good chance of approval, since you have shown that you are in good faith in the past (provided that you went back here on your previous Schengen Visa arrangement). Anyways, below is a list of the UK Visa Requirements that I have prepared for my application.

♣ Current and previous passport
The more countries you have visited, the better. It's a good plus if you have obtained different kinds of visas too (i.e. Schengen, Korea, Japan, etc.) Note though that this is not a guarantee of approval.
♣ 2 passport size color photographs
It is originally, 1 passport size picture. However, to be sure, just have a buffer. In my case, when I went for personal appearance, I've been asked for another one. Good thing I have an extra in my wallet.
♣ Certificate of Employment
I gave them the original one, though I've heard from my friends that they also accept PDF documents that have been digitally signed.
♣ Letter of Invite / Guarantee Letter
I've also sent them the original letter. The letter should state that your sponsor will shoulder your expenses during your trip. It has to include the letterhead, address and contact number of the sponsor. 
♣ Evidence of Finance
This includes your Income Tax Return, bank certificate, photocopy of your bank book, stock certificates, pay slip, credit card statements, mutual fund certificates and the like. This is important specially if you're applying for a tourist visa. 
♣ Travel Details
You need to include your Flight Itinerary and Hotel Booking Confirmation. In my case, I'll be staying for 60 days in the UK. Initially, I've been booked for the first 3 weeks (since I gather it's not a norm for them to reserve for super long stays) - thank God, I didn't encounter any problems with that.
♣ Completed Visa Application Form
I have printed one and accomplished them in writing. This way, I can verify the accuracy of each information.
1. In my case, since time is of the essence, I have availed a service of a travel agent to assist me on the application process. As a first step, I have collated all the documents and went at their office (First United Travel, Inc. - near Greenbelt 1). I've been asked to pass all the documents original and photocopies. Since I've printed out a visa application form, it's more convenient for both the applicant (me) and the agent. Note that at this point, you need to pay for the visa fee (Php 6,600) and the travel agency fee (Php 1,500).

2. That same day, my online application has been submitted and I've received an email that I have a schedule with the embassy. I've passed on a Tuesday, my appointment was scheduled Thursday the same week. Note that I have availed of the priority visa application.

UK VFS Visa Application Centre
VFS Services Philippines Private Inc
6th Floor, Eco Plaza
Building Unit 606
Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City, Metro Manila

Application submission – with a prior appointment:
08:00 – 14:00

3.  My schedule is 12:40 pm. Note that I have availed of the VIP process to do away with the long lines. I've read from some reviews that the waiting game lasted for 3-5 hours. In my case, after checking in at UK VFS Visa Application Centre at around 12:30 pm, I've been accompanied by Sir Edgar (travel agent) in the VIP room.

4. After a few minutes, I've been asked to pay for the priority visa fee (Php 7,500) and VIP fee (Php 2,500). Since bags are not allowed inside the embassy proper, you need to pay a (Php 100) rental charge for their locker room.

5. Some few minutes and my name has been called, the lovely representative scanned my documents and asked me some few questions (i.e. Where will I stay? Kindly spell your middle name). I've been told that there's no interview, small questions, to me, is just a casual conversation, so I don't mind them asking why was it so.

6. After that, she asked for my digital finger print and snapped a photo of me. I've mentioned to her about my concern (okay, that time, I only have 3 working days to get my visa since my flight is so near and it's a Holy Week). She mentioned that there's no guarantee, but hopefully my visa will be released in time. That's it! I've been given a claim stub and ushered me to the locker room for me to get my things.

I have made my embassy appearance on Thursday. By Monday, I was expecting an email and SMS alert (perks of availing their VIP package), however - I haven't received any. I'll be flying on a Black Saturday and I only have one day to spare. So, imagine all the gasps and cross fingers that I was making the whole time.

Tuesday, while eating halo-halo at Razons with my mum, I got a text alert that my visa is ready for pick up that same day! I rushed to the VFS office with my slippers on (I managed to buy a leggings in a jiffy, since I was on shorts).

It was a Holy Tuesday that time. Claiming time lasted for an hour. I think the distribution process should be streamlined a bit more. I noticed that the numbers are in form of a white paper in a stabilo boss, there's no mic or monitoring board (encouraging someone to make singit, for lack of better term), the one who distributed the visa results was incidentally the one who answers all the ad hoc queries of the walk-in applicants. This made the distribution much slower.

Apart from this, all went well. I took a peek at my passport and surprise! UK Visa is on page 11! Note that they will return all your original documents along with your passport.
Thank you LORD! :) -CMK


  1. I'm going there in October, so this is a welcome read :) Ang saya, 60 days! :) Miss you!

    1. Hello Tara! Oh wow! Sayang - sana nag-abot tayo! I miss you too! London is such a lovely place! ♥ Catch up soon!

  2. Superb tips and advice. Thanks for this blog kristine!

    I myself also planning to visit UK by November. My bestfriend is inviting me to visit her in the UK for 1 week. She has residency and currently working. She will assume some docs to support my application such as invitation letter, bank statements, cert from work and her ID’s. On my part, I do have a job for 3 yrs now, i have properties, bank statements for 6 months and credit card statements, i’m also doing part time business as a consultant. For you, what are my chances of getting approved?

    1. Hello there. Thanks for dropping by. In my opinion, I think you have a good chance of visa approval. Though of course, this is not guaranteed. Best of luck in your application :)

  3. This a great post Kristine! Anyways, I am hoping that you'll also bother to write about UK Marriage Visa. :)

  4. Hi Kristine! Your blog is so wonderful! I too is a CPA going to London and laging blog mo yung nakabukas to guide me for the requirements and steps! One quick question though, anytime ba pwede magclaim ng passport? I also got a text and an email na nasa vfs na yung passport ko e but I'm not sure kung anong oras pupunta. Thank you in advance!


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