Thursday, 7 May 2015

UK VISA APPLICATION FOR PHILIPPINE PASSPORT HOLDERS (TIMELINE FOR 2015)

Applying any visa can be such a heart-stopping experience! And you lodging your application for the nth time is not an excuse to lay back and hope for a sure thing!

Long story short, I've been to London, United Kingdom twice last year. This 2015, I applied for a business visa and the process has not changed much. For detailed narrative and tips, feel free to look at HOW TO APPLY FOR UK VISA IN THE PHILIPPINES? (2014 EDITION)  

I have decided to publish a post specifically to detail my timelines. You see, when you apply for something, the hardest part is the WAITING GAME and it's no fun at all! You know that feeling when your food tastes bland and you can't be 100% relaxed because the idea is hanging over your head? That's me exactly the past week. I can pretend to have a good time, and self-talked "Okay, I'm calm, it's fine..." but sometimes, wahhh, it just gets the best out of me! So, here goes.

THE TIMELINE
  • Thursday, April 23 - I got the DHL documents from our London office
  • Friday, April 24 - Met with the Travel Agent (First United Travel, Inc.)
  • Tuesday, April 28 - Personal Appearance at VFS Global
  • Thursday, April 30 - Got an email saying A decision has been made... (more on this later)
  •  Monday, May 4 - Got a confirmation that I got my visa. THANK YOU LORD!
 *
Important Note: I availed for VFS Global priority and VIP services. So the schedule above is faster than normal. 

 *NOTES & TIPS
Okay guys, this is not an all-inclusive thing. What works for me, might not work for you and vice versa. However, I'd still want to write this just in case someone out there is lost and in a limbo. I hope this little post will shed some light.

  •  Original documents. It's always, always recommended that you give the UK embassy the original documents. They will be returned to you anyways. Tip: Make sure to enclose a photocopy of the same document.
  • Bank Certificate. Based on blogs and web forums, it's apparent (though not 100% proven) that significant points are granted when you have a fat bank account. Visas are granted via point system so it's a good thing to make a mental note on that.
  • Should I avail travel agent services? It depends on you entirely. As for me, I don't want to leave anything to chance and I don't know the best practices etc. To save my sanity - I availed one. Fee is Php 1,500, fair enough. 
*
THE EMAILS 
This is the tricky part. As mentioned before - I've applied for a visa last 2014. By the grace of God, both of which were approved. One was April 2014 and another on September 2014. For both applications, I got this auto-generated email: *
*
OFFICIAL: UK Visa Application: UKVI-Manila Visa Hub (Ref: XXXXXXX)

Your visa will be despatched shortly.  Passports can be collected from the Visa Application Centre after 3 working days unless advised, it will be returned by courier or have paid an additional courier fee. This is an automated "no reply" message. UKVI
 

This is an automated message. Please do not respond to this email address as incoming mail is not answered.

Come 2015. April 30, I got an email at around 2:08 pm. Here's the format:

Dear  (My complete name)

Application Reference :  GWFXXXXXXXXX     

A decision has been made on your application and your documents are being returned to the Visa Application Centre (VAC).  You will be contacted again by the VAC once these documents have been received and they are ready for you to collect. If you have chosen to have your documents couriered to you, these will be despatched by the VAC once they have been received.


AND I WAS LIKE... WHAT THE HECK! Is this a rejection notice? I was in a panic, I called the agent, I called mum (at this time, I'm crying and was shaking, so many things were popping over my head). 

Mum said, let's just pray and take the email as it is. A decision has been made. But the ultra-paranoid in me searched Mr. Google and to my horror, I read some blogs that say if there's no visa reference number  on the subject line, then it's a THANK YOU LETTER. I reconciled my 2014 mails, both have reference numbers. This 2015, it doesn't have one. OH MY GOSH!


Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Drink some water and search Mr. Google some more. Thank you LORD that I stumbled upon this blog from a girl named, Evangeline. To my delight, she got a verbatim email as mine and to top it all, it's dated MARCH 17, 2015.

Finally, I got my passport and my UK VISA for the 3rd time. You know what I reckon? These words captured it perfectly:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. - 2 Corinthians 12:9

When CHRIST is all you have, there's just this faith strengthening experience that words cannot aptly describe. I thank GOD for He is a thoughtful GOD. He not only granted me a visa, he also provided me comfort through Evangeline's blog. It's as if He's telling me, "Things are going to be okay, anak." Thank you Papa GOD! -CMK

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21 comments

  1. Hi Kristine I got the same email as yours and I like you Im losing my mind now. Ive been searching for an answer the whole day until I came to see your blog. Like you I also have previous visa application that was last 2014 and last 2015 both are family visit visa.Now we are switching to Tier 4 dependant as my husband is a student. We lodge our application last Sept 18 and we received an email same as yours today NO UKVI HUB REF unlike my previous approved visa. I hope and pray hard that everything goes well. Do they include any subject on your recent email or its just merely like this format
    Dear Name

    Application Reference : GWFXXXXXXXXX

    A decision has been made on your application and your documents are being returned to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will be contacted again by the VAC once these documents have been received and they are ready for you to collect. If you have chosen to have your documents couriered to you, these will be despatched by the VAC once they have been received.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Lime,

      This is the subject header that I got: Your Visa Application from UK Visas and Immigration. I know the feeling. God bless you and let me know :)

      Application Reference : GWFxxxxxxxxx

      A decision has been made on your application and your documents are being returned to the Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will be contacted again by the VAC once these documents have been received and they are ready for you to collect. If you have chosen to have your documents couriered to you, these will be despatched by the VAC once they have been received.

      Please do not attend the application centre until you have been contacted by the VAC. UKVI contact details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-outside-uk

      UK Visas and Immigration
      British Embassy Manila

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  2. Hi kristine do you have UKVI HUB REF in the subject of your email? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. This is the subject: Your Visa Application from UK Visas and Immigration

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  3. Yeah. It was the same subject I had in my email. I read your other blog did you received your Tier 2 visa as well? Did you receive the same email? Thanks. Somehow I feel relieve somehow after reading your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes same email :) No worries. Happy to help :-)

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  4. Thanks Kristine for answering all my queries. It really calms my soul. Praying for a positive result. I'll keep you posted. 😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristine how did they notify you regarding your processed visa is it thru sms or email?thanks

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    2. They'll notify you via SMS if you've availed their service (I think you have to pay Php 150) and email as well.

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  5. Ah ok because I only received an sms no email has been sent on me. I hope whatever notification they are using wont affect the result of my application. Praying everything would goes well. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristine we finally got our approved visa. Thank you for having time and posting this to your blog it was so helpful esp when I was in distress. God bless and thank you again

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  6. Hi Lime! CONGRATULATIONS! :) So happy for you! God bless you :)

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  7. hi i received same email today.. i was approved 4th time UK tourist visa with the same email saying "your visa will be depatched shortly" but today is different,,.. im so scared

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  8. Hi Kristine, thank you for making this blog, it really helped me a lot. I got my visa stamped within just a week! I never thought it would be that easy and fast!! I was also nervous because the only email I got was the one saying 'a decision has been made'. I was nervous when I received that email. Again, thank you so much ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I would like to know how long did you received the second email? I got an email last Friday (January 29, 2016) saying that a decision has been made and I will just have to wait if the VAC will send me an email when it's ready to be collected, the problem is that I still have not received an email from them if it's ready to be collected until now (February 1, 2016). I hope to hear from you as it is killing me.

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  10. Hi Kristine . Thanks to your blog Im feeling a little calmer and more positive now. Receive the same email as yours. Praying for positive result.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Kristine. Thanks for your blog. I believe that this is the answer that I need, for now. Will continue praying for my Visa.
    -Georgina

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  12. Hi Kristine, do you have an idea for the dependant visa? I just recv my VISA but the decision letter cannot be found on the package.. Do you have an idea if I can go direct to UK embassy for my concerns or vfs first? THank You..

    ReplyDelete

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