Tips for a UK Visa Application in the Philippines
A Filipino who wishes to travel or transit through the United Kingdom needs to secure a visa. The appropriate visa to be applied for depends on the purpose for travel. Here is an overview of the UK visa application process.
CHECK IF A VISA IS NECESSARY.
There are instances when a foreign national is not required to secure a visa in order to enter the UK. However, this is not applicable to a Filipino citizen. It is imperative that a Filipino should get a visa he/she wishes to go to the UK.
BE FAMILIAR WITH THE VISA TO BE APPLIED FOR.
It is important for a Filipino to learn about the eligibility, conditions and limitations of the visa he/she is applying for. Visa information and immigration rules are readily available in the internet. Of course, researching for these data may take up a lot of time and some of the policies or procedures are hard to understand, so immigration experts may be able to assist the applicant.
COMPLETE THE VISA APPLICATION FORM.
Every individual who wishes to go to the UK must apply for a visa. The application forms are available online, but these forms once completed, should be printed out and submitted together with other pertinent documents to the UK embassy. The information provided should not be fraudulent as this will cause delay in the processing of the visa or denial of the visa itself. Visa experts can provide guidance and support to the applicant so that the application will be completed properly. They can also assist the applicant on how to pay for the visa fees.
SCHEDULE OF APPOINTMENT.
After payment of the UK visa fees, the applicant may opt to schedule an appointment online. Instructions are given when the applicant chooses this option online. He/she may also contact the call center to schedule an appointment. Having a prescheduled appointment to appear at the UK embassy is strongly advised as there are a lot of applications lodged before the embassy. Each visa applicant, even if part of a group or family must have individual appointments.
Except for some minimal exemptions, all visa applicants must appear at the UK embassy for the submission of the biometric information. If the applicant fails to comply with this requirement, the visa application will not be processed.
PREPARE THE DOCUMENTS.
The visa applicant must make sure that all the mandatory and supporting documents are complete before submitting the visa application. Provide photocopies of the original documents as the VFS will not return original documents if no photocopies are available. If the original cannot be procured, secure a certified true copy form the issuing authority and include the same in the application. If the documents are not in the English language, translating the information is strongly advised.
If bank certificates or statements should be submitted, visa applicants should use the official Bank Certificate Verification System (BCVS). This creates uniformity and it will be easier for the Immigration officer to determine the authenticity of the certificates.
Some visa categories require English Language testing. A Filipino visa applicant must show proof of their English language ability. If he/she intends to become a permanent resident or a partner of a UK citizen, an English Language test should be administered.
VISIT THE UK EMBASSY IN MANILA.
A Filipino visa applicant must personally appear at the UK embassy for the submission of the biometric information and the visa application. Bring all the documents required for the application as no additional documents or supplemental data will be accepted once the application has already been lodged. Biometric Information includes fingerscan and taking of a digital photograph according to UK visa standards.
WAIT FOR THE DECISION.
When the application for visa has already been submitted, there’s nothing left to do but wait for the decision of the UK Border Agency. The applicant may constantly check the status of the application online or through SMS. The Immigration officer will convey to the visa applicant how long the visa will be processed. Processing time varies so applicants are suggested to keep track of their applications.
Requiring the visa applicant to appear before the consular officer in the UK embassy for an interview will depend upon the completeness and accuracy of the documents and information submitted by the applicant. Hence, present all the necessary documents to avoid delays in visa processing.
UK EMBASSY NOTIFIES APPLICANT OF DECISION.
The visa applicant will be notified online or through SMS of the decision whether a visa is granted or not and when to go to the Embassy to get the documents. If approved, the applicant should present a proof of identity and the visa submission receipt upon collection of the visa at the Embassy. If a representative will collect the documents, an authorization letter and 2 sets of proofs of identity is required. If the applicant does not wish to go to the Embassy, he/she can have the visa delivered to his/her mailing address through an accredited courier service.
Once the visa is received, the visa holder check the visa and make sure all details are accurate. The personal details, the purpose of travel to the UK, and the validity of the visa must be correct. Should there be any discrepancy, visa holder should immediately contact the UK Embassy to have it fixed.