UK Visa: How to Apply for a UK Tourist Visa from the Philippines

For UK Tourist Visa

I applied for my first UK Tourist visa online on the UK visa website and had to submit my documents to the VFS global service office in Keppel Building in Cebu, Philippines near Ayala Mall. If you are planning a holiday to the UK, the first thing you need to know is whether you need a visa or not. As a Filipino Philippine passport holder, I needed a visa by default when visiting another country apart from a few countries. My topic today focuses only on UK Tourist Visa applications (for leisure) based on my personal experience. As an applicant, I had to be based in the Philippines upon pursuing the application.

The beginning is always difficult. I didn’t even know where and how to start, what to gather and who to reach out to. To anyone who has gone through all these processes before, I am sure you can relate to the agony especially as I did the whole process myself, collecting and submitting the application without hiring an agent to do it for me. Thus, I created this blog in order to give insights to future Filipinos who wish to apply for a UK Standard Visitor Visa or a.k.a UK Tourist Visa. If I can do it myself, so can you. I started searching online for how to apply and know the “hows-and-what” to provide when applying for a UK Tourist Visa. Not long after, I found these 2 essential websites that helped start the process. The UK government website will provide you information on how to apply and the VFS Global service is their official partner.

UK government website for visas and immigration in the Philippines

VFS Global Service

The VFS Global Service also has an SMS service feature providing you feedback or update regarding your application and if when to collect your documents. At that time, I paid the extra service for Php150.00 inside the VFS premises, perhaps by the time I took my biometric. You may also avail of this service by downloading and filling up the SMS service form here.

So there you have it, you better prepare yourself for getting dizzy with the overwhelming information. However, I created an outline for you so you can get into the starting point. I hope this somehow ease your paper works. Other things you need to know apart from documents and the process is what you can do and cannot do while you are in the UK given you are granted for UK Tourist visa. You can study for up to 30 days as long as it’s not the main reason for your visit. For more information, please click here.

Restrictions:

  • You should not get any public funds
  • You cannot do any paid or unpaid work
  • Get married or even attempt to register to get married
  • Overstay or live in the UK for long period of time through frequent visits
  • Seeking private medical treatment

UK Tourist Visa- Things you need to Know:

  • Type of Visa
  • The Fees
  • Eligibility
  • When you can process your application
  • How to Apply and Where to submit the application
  • Maintenance and Accommodation
  • Documents you need to provide
  • Sorting Out Your Documents
  • Visa Processing Time

Type of Visa:

You will need a UK Standard Visitor Visa (previously known as UK Tourist Visa) if you plan to travel to the UK for a holiday or business trip. You may also visit the UK government website for visas and immigration in the Philippines to ensure you know the type of visa you need.

The Fees:

A UK Standard Visitor visa costs £89. Pay the visa fee online in most cases. For visa fee, click here.

Eligibility:

You will have to leave the UK at the end of your visit or before the end of (6) months. You should have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your visit without seeking public funds. However, funds provided by a third party/sponsor is acceptable either you are sponsored by your family, a friend, boyfriend or fiancee. So I would suggest you stick to the purpose of your visit, which is literally to enjoy your holiday, explore and have FUN!

When to Process your Application:

You need to plan your visit and apply for a UK Tourist visa 3 months before you travel.

How to Apply and Where to submit the Application:

How: You need to fill in the visa application online to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. Click here to create an account to give you access to the Visa4UK system and online application form. This will enable you to view, edit, save and go back to your application form and finish it later.

  • Fill in the application in English
  • Pay the visa fee online and have it printed out
  • Printed filled-up online form
  • Book an Appointment in Manila or Cebu
  • Attend the Appointment (you must bring the originals and photocopies of your supporting documents)

Where: In order to complete your application, you will need to book an appointment at the visa application centre prior to submission. Please be guided that they don’t accommodate walk-in applicants. To attend the appointment, locate the visa application centre here. VFS is very particular about time. You need to be at the venue 15 minutes early at the VFS application centre. What you need to bring by the time you attend your appointment are the following:

  • Two valid ID (To enter the Keppel Building, you need to surrender 1 valid ID to the guard at the ground floor)
  • The second ID will be needing when you deposit your belonging/s to the guard at the VFS premises
  • Your appointment letter and printed application form
  • Your latest passport size photos
  • Your supporting Documents (Originals and photocopies)
  • Your passport

Maintenance and Accommodation:

This is to ensure that you have enough funds to support your accommodation and your other expenses once you arrive in the UK. If in the event that someone is willing to shoulder your expenses for the trip, he/she must have to provide valid evidence as proof.

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32 thoughts on “UK Visa: How to Apply for a UK Tourist Visa from the Philippines

  • Hi
    We have just gone through the standard visitors visa application for our daughter & its not giving an option to go to Cebu for the interview (she lives in Butuan), just Manila? is this something we can change later do you know? The UK.gov site seems to indicate Cebu is still valid.

    Reply
    • Hi Lionel & Arlene,
      Perhaps there is an option in your account where you can click on ‘My Application’ link and either select re-schedule or cancel appointment option from the quick link menu. If not, you may also try lodging your application through VISA4UK website https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/home/welcome instead of the GOV.UK website (not the new service). Apparently, other applicants are experiencing similar issues but someone was able to book an appointment and choose the option to go to Cebu VAC/VFS using the old system or website. Sorry, I can’t be that much of help. When I lodged my appointment, the option to choose Cebu was there at that time. I hope this will work for you.

      Reply
  • Good day. What are the ways or strong reasons to convince them that I will return to the Philippines wherein I am not currently working, and don’t have kids too. My British bf will be sponsoring all my accommodations. Weve met twice in the Philippines and travelled abroad together. Your help is very much appreciated. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Karren,
      In my own personal opinion, the below suggestions possibly could be your strong points/reasons for convincing them.
      -Personal Savings in the Philippines
      -Assets or Property that is under your name in the Philippines
      -Personal Finances
      -Family Ties or Social Ties that may encourage your return
      Perhaps your family ties/circumstances could be considered as one of your strongest factors to convince them that you will definitely want to return to the Philippines at the end of your visit. For example, if you are looking after for an elderly relative or other family member or any other important matters that your presence is deemed necessary that would encourage you to go back to the Philippines. From that, you can express your thoughts in the letter/form in your account and persuade them why they should allow you entry to the United Kingdom. I hope this may help you.

      Reply
  • Thank you so much for replying on my query.
    How about hotel booking? Did you submit as well?

    Reply
    • Hi Janelle,
      No, I didn’t submit a hotel booking because I stayed at my boyfriend’s house and that serves as my accommodation here in the UK that time of my visit. However, I submitted pictures of his house. I believe you will need to present a hotel booking if you’re not staying with anyone here in the UK on your visit. Your welcome Jan

      Reply
  • Hi did you submit flight itinerary and travel insurance?

    Reply
    • Hi Janelle,
      No, I did not submit a travel insurance and flight itinerary. I did not bought a flight ticket yet when I process my application that time. However, in my application, I submitted an itinerary plan for my holiday as to which places I would like to visit and how I would like to spend my entire days in the UK.

      Reply
  • got my delivery now. approved!!!!!! sooo happy!!!!! thank you for the blog. it’s helpful 🙂

    Reply
    • Wow! Congrats Fritz . I am happy for you. Enjoy your holiday in the UK. God bless you and thank you din for reading my blog !

      Reply
  • hi,
    good day. i just want to ask if you have the contact number of VFS? i submitted my UK application for standard tourist last December 19. Excluding the holidays and weekends, today marks the 11th business day already. Just wanted to follow up on my application. Thank you.
    getting anxious with the long wait 🙂
    thanks.
    Fritz

    Reply
    • Hi Fritz,
      I can’t remember if I used to have one. However, did you avail their SMS service when you applied your application? They are helpful in tracking your application and they will also send you a message when you can pick up your documents for the result. If you live near VFS area, you can perhaps visit their office and inquire from the guard at the VFS lobby. That’s what I did before as I was also anxious at that time. I hope you will get a favorable response from them ☺️..

      Reply
      • Thanks for the response. Yun nga sayang i should have availed of the SMS para at least i keep track. i had mine sent to my residence. I suppose they’ll be sending an email that it’s been delivered? Thanks thanks 🙂

        Reply
        • Hi Fritz,
          I believe they’ll do that too for I also received an email notification from VFS at that time regarding my documents updates maliban din sa SMS alerts. Your welcome at salamat din☺️☺️.

          Reply
  • Hi, I find your vlog very helpful. I have lived and worked in the UK before because i was once married to a british national but unfortunately he passed away last Nov 2013. Can you pls help me, Im seeking for an advise. I have an indefinite leave visa but im away in the UK now, it will be 7years this coming April. Whom to go to or ask about it because i am planning to go back this year. Do you know someone that i can contact to in regards with this. Thank you

    Reply
  • Can my Philippine partner of 3 years apply here in Morocco for AUK tourist visa..?
    We are travelling Morocco in a motor home for 3 months then want to go touring UK. ..without having to go back to manila to apply…I’m a UK national.
    Thanks
    Ken and mrrcy

    Reply
    • Hi Ken and Mercy,
      As far as I know, you can apply for a UK Standard visitor visa from anywhere in the world and you do this online using the UK government visa website. During the application process, they will inform you what documentation needs to be submitted and where to send it. I’m not sure what you will do without a permanent address for the documents to be returned to if you are currently traveling. You may visit this link and choose the type of visa and select your location. https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa. Hope this helps. Thanks for dropping by.

      Reply
  • Hello, I just want to ask if you have any older visa before you applied for UK? I only have three, they’re from Saudi, Japan and Korea. Do you think it’s enough?

    Reply
    • Hello Dreamer,
      I think that is fine as previous visas are not a requirement to obtain a UK Visa anyway although, they may be useful ensuring you have complied previously with other countries immigration laws.

      Reply
  • hi,
    I have plan to visit London next month
    Can I ask if I Should book a ticket before applying to VSF or is it ok if I will just do a reservation? Thanks..

    Reply
    • Hi Linda,
      I would say it’s probably not good idea to buy the ticket until you get the visa. I made that mistake and it cost us lots of extra money of rescheduling the ticket. I hope it helps.

      Reply
  • Hi! tanong ko lang po sana kung required na A4 size nung mga documents for Standard VISA application? Thanks in advance! God bless!

    Reply
    • Hi Rose,
      Based on my experience po, most of my documents are in a Philippine standard size short bond paper(8.5″x11″) lots of them are photocopies/print which they accepted naman. As for the original documents, I leave it as it is. However, there was an update for a standard document size to A4. So I think it would be ideal to follow it. God bless po!

      Reply
  • Hello , how much Show money yung need for a 2 week Vacation sa UK? Any idea please..Thanks in Advance.

    Reply
    • Hi Vanessa,
      How I wish I could give you a hint but I’m afraid I may not be able to provide you the exact nor the estimated figures in general because the immigration/law does not set any minimum amount of show money you must present or have in your account. However, if you have a sponsor, it could be an advantage on your part. I believe that it will be based on your financial supporting documents for the officer to assess your application. The officer will consider your total monthly income that you stated in your application/documents and later decide whether you show that you have enough funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay.

      Reply
  • Hello Sir, so if I am going to visit UK on Feb or Mar 2018, I should start preparing my visa right now?

    Reply
    • Hi Don,
      By the way, I’m a girl :). Ideally speaking, yes. So you could have plenty of extra time to sort out your documents, plan your visit and process your papers.

      Reply
  • Hi, Jan! Your blog is really help. With regards to the bank statement you have presented to them, how many bank statements did you have? Also the maturity of the funds on it? How many months of visit were you able to have on your visa?

    Reply
    • Hi Cry,
      Thank you for dropping by. About the bank statement and disclosing of maturity of funds, it could be any type of savings account (regular savings account or time deposit account). In my case, I only presented one bank statement which is from my regular savings passbook account for additional support of my application but it’s not the passbook I supplied to the immigration. Instead, I formally requested to my bank to process me and acknowledge me a formal letter that I need a bank statement from them for visa application purposes. I assumed they know what to do and what they have to disclose inside that letter. Just make sure if you do yours, ensure that it has a stamp from the bank itself and signature from their head for authenticity. For this type of visa alone, you are only allowed to stay not exceeding 6 months. I hope I have helped you on this matter.

      Reply

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