How to Apply for UK Visa in the Philippines (Step-by-Step Guide!)

London is an amazing city that’s full of history, offering visitors thousands of things to do. Here, you’ll find some of the world’s best architecture, galleries and museums. It’s the land of Harry Potter, the Beatles, James Bond and Sherlock Holmes!

To help you plan for the perfect trip to London, I’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to go about the visa application process.

But before we get started, please note that a UK visa is not a Schengen visa and only covers England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you already have a Schengen visa, traveling to the UK will require a separate visa.

Read more: LONDON: Awesome 4-Day DIY Itinerary!

1. WHEN TO APPLY FOR A UK VISA

The rule of thumb is to apply 3 months before your intended date of departure to give allowance to iron out details, gather additional documents and, worst-case scenario, apply for another visa should you get rejected but still have time to apply a second time.


2. WHERE TO APPLY FOR A UK VISA 

After determining the type of visa you need, you can now apply and create an account on the Visa4UK website that can be found here.

For this UK Visa guide, we’ll be tackling the Short Term Standard Visitor Visa.

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 need to select the following under “Select Visa Type:”

Reason for Visit: Visit
Visa Type: Tourism
Visa Sub Type: Visa – Tourism – 6 months

If you aren’t sure about a certain portion of the application, you are given the option to save your progress. Note that once you submit your application, there’s no way to re-do this. I made a mistake in my application and had to do the whole long process from scratch again. 🙁

That said, make sure all information is valid before submission.

Tip: If you have questions or doubts, you can apply with the help of your preferred travel agency. (Thanks Baron Travel for answering my questions, double-checking my documents and assisting me on interview day.)

For the last part, you choose a date for your VFS appointment and pay via credit card to finalize the transaction. It costs around $126 (6,715.95).

Once you’ve successfully accomplished the online application form, you will be asked to choose an appointment date at the nearest visa application center. You can drop by either one of these VFS Global centers:

Manila
VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit MO1, Ecoplaza Building,
2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, 
Makati City,
Metro Manila 1231

Cebu
VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
9th Floor, Keppel Center, Unit 905, Samar Loop
 cor.
Cardinal Rosales Avenue,
 Cebu Business Park,
Cebu City 6000F


3. PREPARE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

Documents to be submitted to VFS Global need to be original copies. In addition, you will also need to present one set of photocopies.
Here are the required documents you need—for printing on A4 size bond paper—to present for your application:

(The hard part comes after creating an account and logging in because accomplishing the visa application form is painstakingly long. I suggest you gather the following information before you start typing the details.)

* Passports and other Travel Documents
Current passport (Must be valid 6 months from intended travel date)
Current passport must have at least two pages for the arrival and departure stamps
Previous passports (if any)
Photocopies of: Front and back of current and previous visas, bio page of current visa and valid and expired visas
Travel history (visas, countries you’ve visited, arrival and departure dates and reasons for visiting)

* Proof of Income & Financial Capacity
Certificate of Employment
Original Income Tax Return
Bank Certificate
Original bank statement for 6 months
If self-employed: Original and photocopy of Business Name, Mayor’s Permit and DTI Permit
International credit card (if any)

* Sample Itinerary
Trip expenses (plane tickets, accommodations and daily expenses) and detailed day-to-day itinerary

* Flight Ticket Reservation
Better book a flight but not necessarily buy the ticket.

* Hotel Reservation
Book accommodations for your trip. You can also pre-book some of your accommodations via agoda.com. Just find an accommodation that offers free cancellation and temporarily book it to present as part of your application as we did.

* 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.

*(If Applicable:)
Invitation letter from Sponsor.
For minor, bring a sponsorship letter, parent’s bank certificate and original bank statement for 6 months.

*Just to be sure, I included these supporting documents in my application (not necessary):
PSA (former NSO) Birth Certificate (original & photocopy)
Parent’s passport and approved UK visas
Travel Insurance
Other investments

*I didn’t use:
-Educational Evidence
-Tuberculosis Certificate


4. ORGANIZE THE DOCUMENTS USING THE BARCODE SEPARATORS

The UK Embassy has this new procedure that will no longer require them to hold on to your documents (original AND photocopy). Instead, scan it in an organized way with the use of these Barcode Separators. It’s your responsibility to separate the documents before your turn at the counter.
Print the Application Form & Application Confirmation from the UK website. (A4)
All documents must be A4 size. Do not staple them together. (Download HERE)

5. WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE DAY OF YOUR VFS APPOINTMENT AT VFS Global

*Important reminders on the day of your appointment:
Make sure to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time. Entry is strict; best to be early.
Have the original documents and one set of photocopies ready to submit during the day of your VFS Global appointment.
• Avail of the ₱150 SMS Service to know the status of your application.
Wait for your turn at the biometrics section (fingerprints and photo to be taken).
Bring Cash! Upon entrance, you may need to leave your personal belongings including your phone in a locker (locker rental starts at ₱75). All you need is your application form and yourself.

*Hacks:
-Because this was my second time at VSF, I was smart enough not to bring a bag anymore—just a folder and myself. I was allowed to bring my phone; so maybe ask the guard beforehand if you can bring it in. It can get boring while waiting for your turn.


6. WHEN TO COLLECT

Once you’re done, you will be given a receipt that you should keep for documents collection later. You can choose to collect the documents in person at the visa application center or have them delivered by courier. I picked the delivery option, an extra cost of 575 because I didn’t want the hassle of going back.

Visa processing usually takes 5 to 15 business days. However, you can also opt to avail of the Priority Visa Service that costs 10,000 for your visa to be processed within 3-5 business days.

The wait is always daunting! But, thankfully it took only 5 business days for our visas to arrive!

If you get your visa, congratulations!


To help you plan for that perfect London trip you might want to check out our  LONDON: Awesome 4-Day DIY Itinerary!

Live an Awesome Life,


ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: We paid for our own visa fees. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. If you are traveling in between or applying for another visa, avail of the option ‘Keep My Passport When Applying‘ service after the Biometrics section.

61 thoughts on “How to Apply for UK Visa in the Philippines (Step-by-Step Guide!)

  1. Hello there!! Thank you for this blog post. It will surely help a lot of Filipinos. I applied 3 times already and denied for 3times also. I hope you can help me in understanding about why i always get denied.

    1. Hi Ms. abi
      Hi po laking tulong po nito. i just want to ask po about sa addressee sa cover letter and sa bank if VFS po or British embassy/British consulate??? I’m planning to pass it in cebu po bci mas closer po kci sa akin.

  2. Hi Abi.

    I’m about to apply for a UK Visa this month and came accross your blog. I was just wondering if the barcode mentioned above needs to be placed in every page of the documents that you will submit? For example, bank certificate needs to have FINBS at the top of the page? as well as for the bank statements?

    Hoping for your response. It will be of great help. Cheers! 🙂

    1. Hi Ms. abi
      Hi po laking tulong po nito. i just want to ask po about sa addressee sa cover letter and sa bank if VFS po or British embassy/British consulate??? I’m planning to pass it in cebu po bci mas closer po kci sa akin.

  3. Hiya. You didn’t mention about the scanning method. I’m wondering how it works. Which is much better DIY or do it at the VFS Centre? Thank you

  4. Hi Abi
    I would like to ask if i select the option ‘Keep My Passport When Applying‘ service after the Biometrics section. So when have result i will bring my passport to VFS again to stick visa on it?

    Hoping for your response. Have a nice day. Thanks in advance!

  5. Hi,
    May I ask if you applied for a regular visa processing time (without priority) and got your visa after 5days? Thank you.

  6. Hi, I’m an online tutor. I’m independent contractor so I don’t have an employer. What documents can I provide as proof of income?

  7. Hi, this is very informative! Thank you! There’s something that I am confused of. I am applying for UK visa, submitted application online and paid USD128. Then I was required to create an account with VFS to make appointment so I did. But when I reached the payment page, there’s this fee of around 3800 pesos that I have to pay. I checked if there’s any service offered by VFS that I added but there was none. Is this fee different from visa fee?
    Thank you for helping me clarify this.

    1. You just need to pay the visa fee and use normal process. If you want to expedite there’s an additional handling fee.

      Anton

  8. Hi, so I’m having my application soon and I just realized that I made one careless mistake. I stated that I traveled previously to South Korea from April 12 – April 16 but in Reality I left South Korea a day later on the 17th of April. It’s shown as well in my visa that I left April 17th. Any tips you can give me? Do you think i should tell my mistake during my interview day?

      1. hi anton

        I have a question since visa4uk is not available for application, the new website is “gov.uk” na for filling an application then after that you’ll be directed to “vfsglobal.co.uk” for appointment schedule, is this right?

        and once your on” vfsglobal.co.uk” you’ll need to upload your required documents.. what I I’m having trouble is uploading all the documents… I’ve compressed everything total to 1.5mb from their required mb but I can’t still attach all my files. can I just skip the upload documents and just bring it there so I can book my appointment?

        I’ve been compressing and attaching documents but they’re saying its still too big.. if I compress it some more writing on the document won’t be legible anymore. pls help me with this. thanks!

        can I contact the embassy here in the philippines?

    1. Hi Rafael! there is no interview for UK visa. 🙂 Just give papers, watch them scan, photo taking and taking your finger prints.

  9. Hi may i know how long does it take for it to be delivered? Like when they texted you ba that a decision has been made regarding your visa they delivered it immediately? Thank you in advance for the response!

  10. Hello, may I know kung ano dapat ilagay under accomodation – permanent/temporary tska sa appendix II dun sa bar code separator?

  11. Hello,

    Tanong ko lang po sana kung i-ho-hold po ba nila yung passport after visa application or i mean during visa processing? Thanks po in advance

    1. Yes, but there’s an option where you hold on to your passport for a fee. Ibabalik na lang when the visa is ready.

      1. Sir di ba it was mentioned above particularly in the item No. 4 – “ORGANIZE THE DOCUMENTS USING THE BAR CODE SEPARATORS” , correct me if am wrong, the purpose of this procedure base on what I understand is that they will not hold your documents whether photocopied or original during visa processing, is that right?

      2. What makes this procedure significant is that once your documents are scanned using the bar code separator before turning at the counter for payment, then you can get your documents back with you because only scanned copies they will need for visa processing, am I right?

      3. Hi po Can anyone answer my question Curious lang,
        Sa mga naka apply and approved na ang visa pano po yung sample itinerary? Like sa flight tickets without paying pano makakuha ng itinerary?

  12. hello! this is so helpful.
    im planning to work in london and its gonna be my first time (if hired)

    I’d like to ask , is their gooing to be an interview if u apply for work visa?
    and, how much would be the show money?or how much money is need for bank deposit?

    your answers will be really helpful.. thank you so much!

  13. Hi, Good day! Thank you for your informative details. Ask ko lang po if really necessary to have travel history to grant uk visa? and if okay to change the no. days ng stay once na sakaling ma-grant ang visa? Thank you in advance. 🙂

    1. Travel history will of course be considered. On the number of days, as long as pasok sa visa duration that has been given to you.

  14. SIR pwede hingi ng email add may send ako sayo ipa confirm ko po yong eni email sa akin. kung legit pa bayon na work. kasi wala kasing INTerview sa akin agad akong na tanggap sa wOrk doon sa LONDON, at ang name ng company ay NE WAVE OIL INDUSTRIES LONDON, MAy pina fill up sa akin naka PDF appying visa at may babayaran na almost 28K pesOS . nag alala ako baka scam yon sir pa help po sir ..

  15. hi, if you will only stay in UK for a week or two, the Tuberculosis test is not required right? well just like to confirm.

  16. Hi Sir, Ano po yung tinatawag na barcode separator? and paano po makapagbook na appointment sa VFS. Kailangan ko po ba magcreate ng account sa VFS?

  17. Hi,

    I applied for a UK tourist visa about a week ago. This week, I received a call that I was not able to answer. I tried to dial the number again and lo and behold, it was the British Embassy. Unfortunately, there was no way for them to check on my application for the reason for the call, nor was there any way for them to trace who called.

    Any idea why they would have called? Can I expect to receive another call from them?

  18. Good evening. Just wanted to ask something po, since I completed and submitted the application form already and paid for the 5 days priority service. Next step is to set an appointment but we are planning to just walk-in and pay the fee as needed. Question is, when I set my appointment as the next step po ba, am I required to upload all the documents , main and supporting documents? Can I just pay the service for scanning para sila nadin maglagay nung barcode separators? Masyado madami supporting documents kasi and first time to apply for the UK VISA pero madami po kami travels pero within Asia lang. I did visit Europe way back in the 90s. Now I applied with my wife for a tourist visa sa UK because I have an invitation po from a Football Team sa Premier League and they are covering all the expenses, including airfare, hotel and VIP tickets to the event.

    Sila na po ba ang mag scan and separate ng documents nun?

      1. Good afternoon po sir. I just got the email and text that my visa application was processed na daw, pero wala nakalagay na decision. since I opted for pickup, bukas pickupin ko po. Nakaka kaba naman. Pero let me share lang po, may naka book kasi kami trip na biz class tickets direct to London sa Feb 27 and return flight tickets nadin. Also hotels booked nadin and itinerary set forth and invitations po from a football team sa premier league.

        Nakakatuwa at nakakapagtaka at the same time lang po kasi na binayaran namin ng misis ko was for priority service lang (5 business days processing). Submitted po all documents and application nung Monday (February 17) tapos now may decision agad February 19.

        Medyo nakaka excite na nakaka kaba. Pero I think positive results naman siguro kasi wala naman kami bad history or records.

  19. What if It’s my first time to travel there? And I don’t have any income and don’t have a bank account cause my boyfriend is just the one who will sponsor my visit in there? Is there a possibility I can’t get a visa?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *