UK VISA FOR FILIPINOS - Tourist, Marriage and Residency Visa Tips for Philippines Passport Holders

Do we still need a visa to visit the United Kingdom?

The simple answer is YES! Filipinos still need to apply for a visa if you want to visit the UK whether it's for marriage, long-term residency or a short-term tourist visit. I am just making this clear because while we were enjoying Switzerland last month (August), some 'attention - seekers satirical website' created a FAKE news entitled, 'Filipinos No Longer Need Visa To Enter The United Kingdom'.

Creating a FAKE news is bad. Using my photo is worse. Misleading our fellowmen is worst!

If you happen to see this website or similar articles, please report it. We do not want these kinds of news. Do we? So just to turn things right, I'm going to share how Filipinos can acquire their UK Visa.

General Steps on How to Apply for UK Tourist Visa

1. Apply Online

UK VISA FOR FILIPINOS - Tourist, Marriage and Residency

The first step is that you need to secure online application. From there you can book the appointment and pay the visa fee. Walk-in applicants are NOT accommodated, so you have to go through this. Click here for the online application.

2. Personal Appearance for document submission and biometric information

Make sure that you arrive 15 minutes early at the visa application center. Bring your appointment letter and requirements. Below are the addresses of the visa centers in the Philippines.

Manila

VFS Global Services Philippines Private Inc.,
Mezzanine Floor Unit M01, 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

For your information, the British Embassy in the Philippines is located at 120 Upper McKinley Rd, Taguig, Metro Manila. If you're based abroad, then check the details on the official website.

We summarized the basic information you need should you want to acquire a UK visa.  But first, it is essential that you identify your purpose of traveling. To check the detailed instructions, you may visit the UK government's website.

UK VISA FOR FILIPINOS - Tourist, Marriage and Residency

Another question that I usually received is if you're allowed to apply for your UK visa abroad? Yes, you can if you have residency in another country but if you're on a tourist visa in another country, then you have to prove why you're applying there and not in the Philippines.

In this post, let's talk about having a Standard Visitor Visa, Marriage Visa and Residence Card.

Standard UK Visitor Visa Application

If you are traveling to the UK for leisure, business or to receive medical attention, you will have to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa. Once approved, there are certain things which you should avoid (not allowed!) doing in the UK. Here are some of those:

  • paid or unpaid work (do not attempt to illegally work in the UK)

  • live in the UK for long periods of time through constant visits

  • request for public funds

  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership

When can you apply?

You can apply three months before your scheduled travel. The decision should be released within three weeks.

For how long can you stay in the UK?

You can stay in the UK for six months. However, there are few exemptions such us if you are traveling to receive medical treatment (11 months) or you need to visit and conduct a research and for academic purposes (12 months).

What if I want to frequently visit the UK?

You need to have valid reasons why there is a need to have a long-term visit visa to the UK. The visa can be valid for 2, 5 or 10 years and you can stay in the UK for a maximum of 6 months every time you visit. It is important to know that for travelers under 18 years old, the long-term visit visa will only be valid for up to 6 months after you turn 18.

Fees

Standard Visitor visa is at £87.

If you are applying for a long-term visit visa, the fees range from £330 - £752 depending on the years (2, 5 or 10) you wish to apply for.

What do you need to prove to secure a visa?

During the application process, make sure you can prove that you will leave the UK at the end of your trip and that you can support yourself while traveling. Also, please prepare other relevant documents that will support your claims.

Note that you may be approved for a shorter - term visit visa depending on the reasons and documents you have provided.  In such cases, you won't be able to get a refund.

What are the documents you need to provide?

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification

  • proof that you can support yourself such as bank statements or payslips from the last six months

Make sure that your passport has a page that is blank on both sides.

If you have documents written in languages other than English or Welsh, have these documents translated.

Additional documents might be required when you are traveling to the UK for the following purposes:

  • for private medical treatment

  • to apply as an organ donor

  • academic on sabbatical and want to stay for 12 months

  • as a prospective entrepreneur

  • to take the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

Be ready with the additional information

To further strengthen your claim that you will leave the UK after your trip, you must be able to provide the following details:

  • travel dates

  • accommodation

  • travel budget

  • your current residency

  • parents’ names and dates of birth

  • annual salary

  • travel history

  • (if employed) employer’s address and telephone number

  • your partner’s name, date of birth, and passport number

  • the name and address of your sponsor, if you have any

  • 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

You can apply for a standard visitor visa if you’re under 18 under certain conditions

Always remember to secure a written consent from your parent or guardian.

Marriage Visitor Visa

Do you want to get married or register a civil partnership in the UK? If yes, the visa you need to apply for is the Marriage Visitor Visa provided that you are not going to stay or settle in the UK for a long period after getting married. (This was the visa that I have when we decided to finally get married in the UK last July 12, 2016.)

When can you apply?

You can apply three months before your scheduled travel. The decision should be released within three weeks, or you can pay extra to get a faster decision, but it's not necessarily mean that your visa will be approved.

Fees

It costs £87 to apply.

For how long can you stay in the UK?

You can use the visa for not longer than six months.

What do you need to prove for a marriage visit visa?

You need to be 18 years old and above before you can have a marriage visa. Also, you have to prove that you are in a real relationship with your partner.

What are the documents you need to provide?

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification

  • proof that you can support yourself such as bank statements or payslips from the last six months

  • proof of your plans for the relationship,

  • details of where you intend to stay and your travel plans

It would help if you prepare the following as well:

  • details of the marriage or civil partnership and proof that you’ve paid money for some of its costs

  • proof that you have given notification of marriage to the register office in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland

If you are going to re-marry, here are the things you need to provide:

  • decree absolute

  • death certificate of a previous partner

UK Residence Card (5 years validity)

With a Residence Card, you can enjoy some benefits and services in the UK. Plus, you can easily re-enter the UK. Lastly, having a residence card is an advantage if you are looking for work.

What is the validity of your residence card?

A residence card can last up to 5 years and then you can apply for a permanent residence card.

Fees

£65 for each person included in an application.

Who can apply for a residence card?

You can apply for a residence card if you are:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

  • the family member, or extended family member, of an EEA national who is a permanent resident or ‘qualified person.’

Similarly, you can apply for a residence card if :

  • you have a 'retained right of residence' – This means you have a family member who was a permanent resident or is a qualified person

  • you are to apply as 'Surinder Singh' case – This means you must be a family member of a British citizen

To know if you are qualified, you can find more information from the UK Visa and Immigration website.

What are the documents you need to provide?

Each person in the application will need to provide the following:

  • a current passport

  • two passport size color photographs

  • one passport size color photograph of your European Economic Area(EEA) national (or British citizen) sponsor

  • your EEA family member’s valid passport or national identity card

  • proof of your relationship with your EEA family member - (unmarried couples should show that they have lived together for two years )

Other requirements might be required depending on your qualification or eligibility.

Fees

It costs £65 for each person to apply.

UK Spouse Visa (Settlement Visa)

You need to apply differently and the fees are much higher. For more details about your settlement visa, you can check it directly at the UK Immigration website here.

General tip: Be very honest with your visa application and do not risk doing the 'You Can't Dos' when in the UK. If you get caught, there is a huge chance that you won't be able to go back again.

Let's go back to that misleading news that Filipinos do not need a visa to go to the UK. You see, it would be great for Filipinos if we could enter the UK without a visa. I'm pretty sure a lot of our countrymen would be booking their flights right away. :) However, I think that such 'ruling' is yet to be seen shortly.

If you see similar news such as lifting visa not just in the UK, but in other parts of the world, do not hesitate to check more credible sources or go directly to the government's website. Do not be fooled!

Here's the UK's Visa and Immigration website.

Are you on Pinterest? Pin these!