Filipino citizens are required to obtain visas in order to travel to the United Kingdom for whatever purpose and for short- or long-term stays.
The UK Border Agency has a 5-tier points-based visa system in place. For more detailed information on the different kinds of visa and permits needed for different purposes of visit, Filipinos should consult the UKBA website.
Filipinos interested to apply for visas for the UK must apply at the visa application centre in Manila run by the British commercial partner, VFS Global. VFS Global only collects visa application forms and supporting documents, biometric finger scans and the visa application fees. They are not in any way involved in the decision-making process.
The visa applications submitted to VFS Global are sent by commercial courier to the UK Border Agency at the British Embassy in Manila and are then processed and decided by the UK Border Agency Staff.
Steps and Guides
There are steps to follow to complete the visa application process:
- Filipino citizens should read up on the visa information on their visa category and the immigration rules to ensure that their visa applications meet the requirements.
- Filipinos must then complete their visa application using the online visa application system. An application must be lodged for each individual applying for a visa, including children. VFS Global in the Philippines is unable to accept online payments. The Visa Application Fee page of their website can provide more information on paying fees.
- After completing the online visa application process, Filipinos must then schedule an appointment. All visa applicants are required to apply in person to the visa application centre to submit their biometric information. There are exemptions to this rule, such as children under 5 years. Applicants are advised to arrive at least 10 minutes before their appointment time.
- Filipino applicants must then prepare their supporting documents. Please refer to the UK Border Agency supporting documents guidance for further information on the types of documents that are needed to be submitted with visa applications. Aside from the supporting documents on the relevant checklist, the following should be prepared:
- Printed and signed copy of the online visa application form.
- Current valid Philippine passport containing at least 1 blank page (both sides). The passport should have a validity of at least 6 months. NOTE: The UKBA will retain the applicant’s passport until a decision has been made concerning the visa application.
- Previous passports, if relevant
- Original supporting documents with photocopies and translations (for non-English documents)
- Printed copy of the relevant supporting document checklist, signed by the applicant.
- Proof of visa application fee payment.
- 1 recent photograph, taken within the last 6 months (must meet all photograph requirements), should be in colour and: – Taken against a light grey or cream background, Clear and of good quality, Printed on normal photographic paper, 45mm high x 35mm wide and the face should not be covered by sunglasses or tinted spectacles, or a head covering unless for religious or medical reasons. The subject should have their mouth closed (no smiling, frowning or raised eyebrows), facing forward, looking straight ahead.
- The applicant must then visit the visa application centre to submit their biometric information in person (digital photograph and finger scan). The supporting documents mentioned above should be submitted and a receipt will be issued to the applicant which should be kept safe. In addition, a second valid ID is required to be deposited at the security desk in the lobby of the Eco Plaza Building where the visa application centre is located.
UK VFS Application Centre
VFS Services Philippines Private Inc.
6th Floor Eco Plaza Building
Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City, Manila
Application submission without prior appointment: Mon-Fri, 7am-8am
Application submission with prior appointment: Mon-Fri, 8am-2pm
Inquiries: Mon-Fri, 1pm-3pm
- After submission of the application and supporting documents, applicants will need to check the status of their visa application by using the free Track Your Application facility on the VFS Global website. Processing times may vary, but applicants may check the Guide to Processing Times to get a general idea of the waiting period. Alternately, an applicant may also utilize the SMS status tracking service (for a fee) to receive updates on the progress of their visa applications on their mobile phones.
In special cases, an applicant may be required to attend an interview. Please bear in mind that there may be a waiting period before the interview depending on the workload. Children under 10 years old applying for a visa will not be interviewed. However, where a child is traveling alone, an interview may be performed with a responsible adult, such as a parent or guardian. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 may be interviewed in the presence of a responsible adult. Children over the age of 14 may be interviewed alone.
- Once the applicant has confirmation that a decision has been made on their visa application, the documents can be collected a number of ways:
- The applicant can collect the decision on the visa application and the documents by visiting the visa application centre with the original visa submission receipt that was issued when the visa application was submitted and proof of their identity.
- A nominated person can also collect the documents on behalf of the applicant. They will need to provide an authorization letter signed by the applicant as well as the receipt and 2 sets of proof of identity. A copy of the applicant’s identity or that of the nominated person must be deposited at the security desk of the Eco Plaza Building.
- Applicants may also choose to have their documents delivered to their home or office address using the courier service, for an additional fee.
Those who have been issued visas for the UK should ensure that:
- The personal details are correct
- The visa correctly states the purpose of visit to the UK
- It is valid for the date on which they want to travel (a request can be made to post-date the visa for up to 3 months if the applicant does not plan to travel immediately)
Please contact the visa application centre immediately if there is anything wrong with the issued visa.
The UKBA advises customers of the various email and website visa scams that are in progress, claiming that a customer’s UK visa has been approved and that the customer must then send money in order to obtain the approved visa. It is strongly advised that all interested visa applicants in the Philippines to only use the official VFS Global website (http://www.vfs-uk-ph.com/) and the UK Border Agency Visa Services website (http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/).
Additionally, the information provided here is subject to change without prior notice. Filipinos are advised to obtain the most current visa information well in advance of planned travel.
120 Upper McKinley Road
Telephone: (+632) 858-2200
Fax: (+632) 858-2305 (Visa) / 858-2342 (Consular)
120 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill
1634 Taguig City
Telephone: +63 2 858 2200
Fax: +63 2 858 2342
Monday to Friday – 8:30am to 11:30am* *By appointment
Department for International Trade Manila
120 Upper McKinley Road
McKinley Hill National Capital Region
1634 Taguig City
Trunkline: +63 (2) 858 2200
Department for International Trade (DIT) helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy.