How To Apply For A UK Tourist Visa For Philippine Passport Holders

United Kingdom: Birthplace of Shakespeare, The Beatles and J.K. Rowling, made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Also, my unlikely gateway to the continent of Europe. But before I was able to visit this island nation, I had to apply for a visa because my passport is ever so weak and I needed to prove my worthiness to the UK Embassy. In this article, I’m going to recount the ways on how to apply for a UK Tourist Visa for Philippine passport holders, plus some time and money-saving tips.

The Schengen Visa is different from the UK Visa; the Schengen Visa mostly covers the countries in continental Europe whereas the UK Visa is only valid in visiting the UK.

 

UK Tourist Visa for Phil Passport Holders


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Steps in Applying for a UK Tourist Visa for Philippine Passport Holders

According to the VFS Global website, there are three simple steps to follow when applying for a UK Tourist Visa for Philippine passport holders. 1.) Know your visa type, 2.) How to apply and 3.) After submission

But the following steps paint a better picture of the UK visa application process:

  1. Know your visa type
    1. Check if you need a UK visa here.
      1. Fill in your nationality
      2. Select your purpose for visiting the UK
  2. How to apply
    1. Read the Overview and keep in mind the following details:
      1. Purposes of travel that fall under the “Standard Visitor Visa”
      2. Things you can do in the UK while holding a “Standard Visitor Visa”
      3. Things you can’t do in the UK while holding a “Standard Visitor Visa”
      4. The earliest date you can apply for your UK “Standard Visitor Visa” (3 months prior to your travel date)
      5. How long you can stay with your UK “Standard Visitor Visa” (usually 6 months)
      6. “Standard Visitor Visa” fees (£87)
    2. Read the Eligibility document
    3. List the Documents you need
      1. Current passport (valid for your entire stay in the UK)
      2. Evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, examples: bank statements or payslips from the last 6 months
      3. Ticket reservation (to show the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK)
      4. Hotel reservations (to show the details of where you’ll be staying during your visit)
      5. Income Tax Return (to show how much you earn in a year)
      6. Previous passports (to show the details of your travel history for the past 10 years)
      7. Certificate of Employment (to show your employer’s address and telephone number)
    4. Start to Apply
      1. Fill in the online visa application form.
      2. Pay your visa application fee online.
      3. Schedule your document and biometrics submission.
      4. Print out your form and schedule confirmation letter.
  3. Submission
    1. Arrive at least 15 minutes early at VFS Global
    2. Decide if you want to avail the SMS update and courier service or if you would rather collect the documents in person




 


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Know your visa type

 

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Create an account

 

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Check your email and verify your account. Then click “Apply for myself” or otherwise.

 

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Fill in the applicant’s details. Select your visa type and answer the visa confirmation questions.

 

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Fill in the online visa application form

Summary of information that you need:

  • the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK
  • details of where you’ll be staying during your visit
  • how much you think your trip will cost
  • your current home address and how long you’ve lived there
  • your parents’ names and dates of birth
  • how much you earn in a year
  • details of your travel history for the past 10 years (as shown in your passport)
  • your employer’s address and telephone number
  • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number
  • the name and address of anyone paying for your trip
  • the name, address and passport number of any family members you have in the UK
  • details of any criminal, civil or immigration offenses you have committed

 

Part 1: Passport and Travel Information – This part contains basic information about yourself, your passport and travel plans to the UK, such as whether or not you are traveling alone, date of planned arrival, intended length of stay, main address and contact details of where you will be staying at the UK.

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Part 2: Personal Details and Travel History – The second part of the application form contains two portions, first is your personal details that mostly concern your residential address and the latter one is your travel history. There are a couple of questions here that might cause some concern:

1. Have you been refused a visa for any country including the UK in the last 10 years?
2. Have you ever travelled outside your country of residence, excluding the UK, in the last 10 years?

If you answer YES to any of these, then another field will pop up wherein you are supposed to add further details. For the visa refusal history, I would say that honesty is the best policy. I detailed my previous Schengen Visa refusals and they still granted me a UK Visa. For the travel history, I included all my previous international trips for the past 10 years, including those that only lasted for 1 day (like when I got stranded in Singapore back in 2015). So, it would be wise if you have all these details handy when you start filling out the application form.

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Part 3. Family Details – Just some basic details on your parents and dependents.

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Part 4: Employment and Income – Under the Employment tab, your current working status will be asked. Selecting anything that connotes employment will result into additional questions, the first of which would be What is your total monthly income from all sources of employment or occupation, after tax? I suggest converting your salary into GBP because in the Income and Expenditure portion, several questions (savings, property, cost of living, dependents allowances and trip costs like airfare, accommodations and pocket money) will be asked for in GBP.

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Part 5: Family and Friends in the UK – This is the part where you will enter details of what you plan to do whilst in the UK. Me, I did not give a day to day itinerary, just some very general information like the places I plan to visit. Since I was also visiting a friend who is taking up her Masters in Scotland under a scholarship, I also included that, emphasizing that she’s under a scholarship and could not possibly sponsor my trip. I then entered her details on the next question. I’m sure they did some checks to ensure that I wasn’t lying. So, be truthful in answering your application form.

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Part 6: Medical Treatment – This is for those who are seeking medical treatment in the UK.

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Part 7: Additional Information – If there is any other information that you would like to add that you feel could help your application. I think I left this blank.

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Document and Biometric Submission

After you have filled out the application form and confirmed your application, you will be asked to select a schedule for the submission of your documents and biometrics. This is the address of VFS Global:

VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit M01, Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension Makati City, Metro Manila 1231

For your documents, if you are not ready to depart with the original versions, prepare photocopies and show them to the VFS personnel together with the original copies. They will do the counter-checking. All the documents I submitted were original save for the ITR and they did not return a single one of them. I did not mind.

 

Photocopying service is available for applicants at VFS Global at a cost of PHP 5.00 per page (short or long bond size), so prepare your photocopies ahead of time.

 

For the biometrics, they will take your fingerprints and your photo. Because of this, save yourself some time and money and don’t bother printing or having a UK-sized photo taken. They will not ask for this and you do not need to affix this on the application form. As for the photo for the biometrics, note that the light they use is fluorescent/harsh/unflattering. So girls, put on your makeup accordingly. But stay on the safe side and avoid over-application. Also note that it could get cold at the VFS office so dress accordingly.

 

Read more: Saving money via the Explorer Pass in Scotland

 

On the day of your appointment, try to arrive 15 minutes earlier than your schedule. Me, I arrived 10 minutes late and got disapproving looks from the guard. But the counter people did not mind, probably because it was a slow day and the system was actually down. I had to wait longer than necessary because of it, too. But had it been a normal day, I would’ve finished the entire thing (document and biometrics submission) in about 15 minutes tops.




 

Charges, Fees and Other Notes

A Standard Visitor visa costs £87. You can pay for this online. For this amount, you can get a six-month multiple entry visa. That’s what I got. For visas with longer validity, click here for the updated list of prices.

Meanwhile, you can avail a variety of other services from VFS if you cannot do the normal basic visa application (that is, schedule online, pass documents and wait for your passport). But remember, there is a corresponding price for everything. For example, if you can’t wait out the entire 15 working days of processing, pay PHP 9990 for priority processing, or if you need you to use your passport during these 15 days, pay PHP 2990 for passport passback.

 


If you need to get your passport before the 15 days of visa processing is finished, you can avail the Passport Passback. With this service, you can hold on to your passport for a maximum of 10 days.

Two scenarios:

  1. If you need your passport within Day 1-10 of the 15 day UK visa processing period, inform the staff at the VFS Global that you cannot submit your passport yet as part of the requirements, for example, because you have a scheduled trip. You will fill out a form then pay the corresponding fee.
  2. If you need your passport after submitting your documents, i.e. within Day 5-15 of the UK visa processing period, you have to go back to VFS Global, file your request for passport passback, pay the fee and return the next day to retrieve your passport. Before the 10-day period is up, you need to return to VFS with your passport for processing.

 

There is also the SMS service which costs P157.50. I did not avail this because all they will ever text was 1.) they received your documents, 2.) your documents have been forwarded to the embassy and 3.) the processing is finished, please pick up or wait for your passport. They will email you this information for FREE. For the entire list of other services that VFS Global offers, check out this website.

Then after at least 15 working days, be ready to weep or whoop. I sincerely hope for the latter.

Good luck, everyone! 😊

Jayce UK Visa

Pin: How To Apply For A UK Tourist Visa For Philippine Passport Holders!

UK Tourist Visa for Phil Passport Holders

Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

53 Comments:

  1. After you submitted everything how many days before you rcvd the visa? Does it really take 15 working days?

  2. Hello, Do you have any recommended travel agency for flight certification??
    Do I have to finish the online application first before you can book a schedule at VFS?
    Thank you.

    • Hi, most airlines offer flight reservations that they hold for up to 72 hours. They send you flight reservations, but sometimes for a fee if you do it online. I recommended calling KLM though because flight reservation with them is free.
      Yes, you have to finish the online application form before being able to schedule your appointment.

  3. Thank you for posting this! It’s very helpful. May I know when you applied for a visa? Because I plan on applying this year and some information confuses me:
    – Do all documents have to be in A4 paper? I read that there is a dpcument scanning process, the one with document separators. Were you able to experience that?
    – Is it necessary to photocopy valid visa from other countries? Or is the passport enough for that?

    • Hi, JC. I applied October, 2016. No specific paper size was required because I submitted all original copies. And I did not photocopy my passport as it was not mentioned in the list of requirements.

    • I think docs should be in A4 sized paper if you are applying for Tier 1, 2, 4 and 5 visas. No need if you’re applying for the standard visitor visa. Have you applied already?

  4. Hello JC. We are applying as a family (me, husband and son who is a minor). Would u know if we could pass all our docs in one appointment or should we get seperate appointments? Because accdg. to the website, same documents need not to be submitted again. Thank you! 🙂

  5. Hi JC. I am planning to visit UK this december and my aunt and uncle will pay for my trip. I am just a fresh graduate I don’t have work yet. so I can’t have these needed documents:

    Evidence that you can support yourself during your trip, examples: bank statements or payslips from the last 6 months
    Ticket reservation (to show the dates you’re planning to travel to the UK)
    Hotel reservations (to show the details of where you’ll be staying during your visit)
    Income Tax Return (to show how much you earn in a year)
    Previous passports (to show the details of your travel history for the past 10 years)
    Certificate of Employment (to show your employer’s address and telephone number)

    Do you think I can still visit UK?

  6. do i need to get a TB test for short term visit visitor for uk visa?

  7. Hi, can you give an advise or idea on how much money we need to have on our bank accounts for our visa to get approved?

    • The amount would depend on the length of your stay and itinerary. I think the best amount would be one that shows your trip won’t leave you bankrupt.

  8. Hi..can i ask if is it possible for me and my baby to visit uk for a couple of months by sponsorship of my british partner? His family really wants to meet us in person. Any tip and advice po… Thanks much!

  9. Hi Jayce, thank you for this post. I noticed that at first you were on the gov.uk website, and next, for the application proper, you were on the visa4uk website. May I ask why you did not continue with the gov.uk (new) website application and instead used the visa4uk (old) one? I was thinking you might have experienced the same thing. I answered all of the questions for my sister before using the gov.uk website, and when I was finally finished, it was sooooo hard to pay for it using that gov.uk website, even though it was supposed to be the new one. Somehow, it rejects credit card payments or whatnot. In frustration, I decided to fill out the old one (visa4uk) all over again, and was able to pay for it successfully. Did you experience the same thing with the gov.uk website? I need to apply for my parents again (we used visa4uk in their previous applications and it was successful), and I am thinking if I should now apply using the new website (gov.uk) instead of the old one (visa4uk)? I just don’t want to waste time and effort on the new website again if it can be done on visa4uk anyway. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

    • Hi Vaney,

      I applied for my visa in October 2016 so I probably used the old website. Some friends have used the links I included on the blog for their visa application and they never notified me of any problem…

      Good luck on your visa application!

      • Thanks Jayce! Tomorrow is my mom and dad’s turn to go back to VFS. We decided to use the old website again. My sister from last time got approved as well, BTW. Maybe when I apply for my own UK visa next year, I’ll still use the old website. Thanks again for being so helpful! 🙂

        • Hi Vaney, just wanted to ask based on your experience if it’s still okay to use the Visa4UK website instead of the Access UK for online application. Also, is it possible to check the available appointment schedule prior to paying for the visa fee? Did your parents still bring passport-sized photos to the application center? And finally, how long did it take for the visa processing? Thanks in advance and apologies for the barrage of questions! I can’t seem to find the contact information for VFS Global for UK applications.

  10. Do you know if the sponsor can be a EU citizen ? I’m from Belgium, right across the channel and me and my gf (Filipina) would like to visit London.. BUT she needs a visa??? Which was so frustrating and annoying when we drove into the ferry port of Calais… why they use different visas anyway, we can travel all over Europe except UK doesn’t really make sense, well if you would know the answer to our problem we’d love to hear cause we love to visit London 🙂

    • Yes, she needs a different visa for the UK. And yes there is a part on the application where she can indicate that someone else would be sponsoring her trip. Good luck!

  11. Do i need to submit flight itinerary and travel insurance?

  12. Hi Jayce. do i really need to submit flight reservation and travel insurance?
    looking forward for your response. Thanks !

  13. What about hotel booking? Do need to submit a pre-hotel booking as well. Thanks

  14. hi help please. i have some few questions. my boyfriend would be sponsoring my trip to london. I am about to set an appointment this weekend and i’m wondering..
    1. if i need to provide my payslips/bank statements if he will cover all expenses?
    2. i am currently employed but only until this week since i’ve resigned but i was able to request for a COE and i do have my payslips and my ITR with me. would it be fine to still submit ky COE and these docs even so that i’d be unemployed on the time of appointment?
    3. do i have to be financially stable? or is it fine as long as i will indicate that he will cover all expenses?
    4. do i need show money?

    your response would be highly appreciated. thanks

  15. Did you print the application form (and all other supporting documents) in A4 paper? or is short bond size OK?

  16. Hi currently will apply for a standard family visa I will be travelling with my grandmother who is a dual citizen she cannot travel alone so I must apply a visa to take her back to uk but she will coming back with me after 6months

    My sponsor is my cousin who leaves in uk
    She sent me affidavit of sponsorship, invitation letter, mortgage plan, and letter from her company where shes currently working

    What i have is ITR but photocopy i dunno where to get the original yet, my COE and my payslip for 6 months printed copy but authenticated signature by our hr, my birth cert , passport my grand mothers passport my parents birth certificate, nbi and my government ids

    What other documents should You think i include??

  17. Hi Jayce, Id like to ask if the ticket im going to show is a confirmed ticket or a ticket on hold is fine.?thanks

    • They listed “flight reservations” so that should also mean a ticket on hold. Pls. note that I did not even submit any ticket during my application.

  18. Thanks for this a lot, its really helpful.
    Although I do have few questions I hope you dont mine answering it (nag GG na rin kc ako), what if I already book my flight roundtrip and im planning to travel on july 6 and will be staying probably for 25days, will my booking ticket can be the proof of my return? should I give it to the embassy?
    Also for my currrent work I dont have work as of now I just recently resigned what should i fill up on the income and expenditures? like for the income and properties I dont own anything but I do have bank statements with savings gift from my parents for my travel but my bf is also my sponsor. what should be your best advice would I fill up on the income and expenditure?

    Hope you could help with this. Thank you.

  19. Hi Jayce, I would like to ask what does it mean to “Register to Commercial Partner”in the online application form. Because I already booked the appointment, then paid the visa fee so when I clicked the Register to Commercial Partner button it directed me to VFS website, but I have already booked appointment and wala naman nakalagay na register here except if you are applying for Settlement visa. Hindi ko tuloy mafinish yung last step sa visa application ko. thanks

    • Hi ciara ask ko lang what payment did you use? You filled up ba sa gov.uk? Kasi ako di makapag bayad online hindi tinatanggap ung cards ko. Thanks for reply

  20. Good evening po. Ask ko lang po bat ang hirap magbayad online ng visa payment? Wala bang other sources of payments kundi credit cards lang? I tried my debit cards, visa and mastercard pero ayaw pa rin. Please help po. Thanks.

  21. Hi. Please confirm my understanding and expectation – I will still get an email confirmation even without the text message notification service from VFS right? VFS personnel were insisting I might not because I am not availing the service. Thank you.

    • Hi Kris, How was your application? My officemates did not avail the service in January but they got email notifications.

  22. Hi Jayce, the queation might be redundant and sorry in case. but, did you submit photo to VFS? thanks

  23. I Have a question for UK VISa: when is the start date of 3 months prior to the date of arrival when applying for visa application

    1. Is it the date start when confirming and submitting your application “online”?

    OR

    2.Is it a date start when submitting your documents “personally” to VFS (Philippines)?

    Thank you hope to hear from you.

  24. Hello, my uk visa was approved and I wonder do I need to bring anything else (like documents) to show at UK airport especially at the immigration?

    • Congratulations, Joy! I’ve only ever had to show my return tickets at the imimigration. Have a great trip!!

  25. Hi Jayce,

    I am planning to visit my GF in the UK sometime in October 2018 , she will be sponsoring everything for me. I wonder if i still need to prove to support myself like providing my bank statement or is there like fixed amount that i should bring?

  26. Hi,

    Do I need a confirmed ticket to show or submit? or just the planned travel dates?

    Thanks,

  27. Hi jayce, just read your blog and I have a question on how to answer the UK Visa form online. For the question: Do you have savings, properties or other income, for example from stocks and shares? If I tick yes There is an option: “Put total monthly income from savings and Investments”

    I am confused if i should tick NO here because i only have savings from my work which is in my payroll account and I “dont” get monthly income/interest from that salary/savings. Also, I do not have separate savings account. I have only 1 account which is my payroll account.

    Thank you. Hope to hear from you.

    Regards,
    Mike

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