Applying for a UK Visitor Visa in 5 Easy Steps

My husband and I invited my mum to visit UK once again on a standard visit visa that will be valid for 6 months. Since I am also working here permanently, both of us sponsored her hoping that it would strengthen the chance of the visa being approved. To my surprise, my mum’s visa application took a total of 36 calendar days before she got her passport back.

I have summarized the application process for a Standard UK Visit Visa in 5 easy steps.

  1. Register a user account at the UKGOV website https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/apply .

Once done, you will receive a unique link to let you log back in to your application at a later point, if needed. If you are applying on behalf of the applicant, make sure you have his/her passport and contact details with you. You may also need their birth certificate because there will be required parents’ details section.

  1. Fill out the application form online and pay for the visa fee.

Your application details cannot be changed. If you need to change any of your information, you must submit a new application. You can change your appointment date until 24 hours before your booking. You can get a refund if you decide to cancel your application before you have attended your appointment.

Once you have made your application and chosen an appointment time, you need to pay for your visa application fee.  For this, we paid $130. Once done, you will receive an email that confirms your appointment and the application’s reference number. You must print your application and your supporting document checklist and bring with you to your appointment along with your supporting documents. For this sponsored visit visa, most documents were provided by me and my husband (sponsors). Below is the list of documents we have submitted. Apart from the applicant’s passport, all of these have been provided by the sponsors.

  • Documents checklist
  • Payment confirmation
  • Receipt of VFS’ SMS & Courier Services Fees
  • Mum’s passport
  • Applicant’s Cover Letter
  • Letter of invitation from Us
  • Evidence of sponsor’s immigration status in the UK (Hubby’s British Passport & My BRP – photocopies)
  • 6 months Bank statements
  • 6 months most recent pay slips
  • P60
  • Certificate of Employment
  • Itinerary
  • Photos of the Applicant with the Sponsor
  • Evidence of family members remaining in your home country whilst you travel.
  • My birth certificate – to prove that she’s my mother
  • Mortgage Statement
  • House Floor Plan & Dimensions with Photos (to show that we have enough rooms to accommodate a visitor)

In the recent visa application, we spent the next day collecting all the supporting documents for the application and sent it over to Manila via DHL that costed us roughly £40. The documents were received within 3 working days.

  1. Register on the visa application service provider.

For the Philippines, it is the VFS Global services and you can choose to go to Manila or Cebu. Once you have that GFW number, you can tailor your upcoming visit to the visa application centre with VFS Global’s range of services. For the application, we opted for the SMS and Courier services where we paid 160 and 500 pesos respectively.

  1. Attend your appointment and submit your biometrics 

VFS Global is the official partner of UK Visas and Immigration. On the day of your appointment, remember to arrive 15 minutes early at the visa application centre. Bring your appointment letter and application pack, and your passport. Your passport or travel document needs to be valid, and have at least 1 page that is blank on both sides. You will provide your fingerprints and a photo of your face at your appointment. This is known as biometric information collection. Without biometrics information, your visa will not be processed.

  1. Wait for the e-mail or text message (if you paid for this service) that a decision has been made.

If you opted for courier service, your passport and the documents will be returned to you in the next few days. Alternatively, you may collect your passport at the Visa Application Centre from Monday-Friday 14:00-16:00 except on declared holidays.


Disclaimer: The information stated above are all based on my personal research, understanding and experience. For more information about UK Visit Visas, visit https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa or https://www.vfsglobal.co.uk/ph/en/how-to-apply.

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