This time, I finally realized my dream of traveling to the United Kingdom. I’ve delayed this trip for a year, and finally here I am, writing about the requirements to get that one hurdle to setting foot in my travel destination topnotcher: the VISA.
For this trip, I will be traveling with my Mom, and we were invited and will be supported by my Aunt who is a British Citizen. You can get information online about the requirements when you do visit the country on your own. But since there’s only a few who write information about trips that are sponsored, here’s my contribution to that lot.
Employed for 5 years, no other income apart from employment, traveled to Japan (1), Korea (3), Singapore (2), and Malaysia (1) for the last 10 years.
My Mom’s profile:
Government employee for _ years, owns a few stocks from a local hospital, traveled to Singapore (1) in the last 10 years.
In my opinion, our strongest points were that we have stable employment in the Philippines, and that we have a concrete place that we will be staying in when we arrive in the UK.
Next, let’s discuss about the documents we submitted. I will enumerate below what were my requirements based on the application that I have submitted and how did I interpret those.
The Passport is a standard requirement in applying for Visas. Make sure you have your passport on hand, and that this is valid for at least 6 months.
Other Passports or Travel Document
I indicated in my application that I have a previous passport, that’s why they required me to submit it. It also has my trip stamps to Singapore and Malaysia.
My Mom submitted 2 previous passports, the first one has stamps to Singapore, the second one, empty.
Information about your visit
I booked a reservation for a direct flight from Manila to London via PAL. I paid for the reservation and they gave me a booking that I submitted to VFS. I didn’t actually book the flight yet, and we had no strings attached – meaning I don’t need to buy the ticket in the event that we do get our visas approved. I needed the ticket also to compute for the projected expense for my travel – this is required in the application form.
I also attached the signed invitation letter my Aunt sent me via email and a copy of her passport to show her status in the UK. Her invitation indicated that she will be financing our visit and that she will be responsible for the place we will stay at, and the recreation we will be doing in the UK. Here, I also attached a print out of our itinerary. I indicated in my application that on days we will not be touring, we will be staying at my Aunt’s house, so my itinerary reflected that. I also sent an information sheet that contains details (address, opening hours, ticket prices, etc) of the tourist places we plan on visiting, just to give them an idea of how much my Aunt will be spending for our trip. The amount that my Aunt will shell out for our trip is also indicated in the application form.
Its the same for my Mom.
I sent in my certificate of employment with my annual basic pay and annual allowances. It also included my hiring date, and the position I am currently employed as. I also indicated the dates I will be in the UK, and declared that my head of department has approved my leave on those days. I sent this in original and photocopy.
I also attached the original and photocopy of my payslips for the last 6 months; and included a photocopy of my ITR for 2015.
It’s the same for my Mom, except she didn’t have an approved leave submitted at this time. It’s a separate application as she’s a government employee.
I don’t have millions in the bank. But I’ve been working for more than five years, so my account has an easy 6-digit figure. I submitted the original bank certificate from one bank where part of my savings are. It also included the Mutual Fund I have from a couple of years ago. I also submitted bank statements from the last 6 months, all original.
Since we will be sponsored by my Aunt, I submitted photocopies of her bank statement, and payslips for February, April and May.
My Mom submitted a joint account with Dad, in peso and in dollars. Same submission for my Aunt’s supporting documents.
I live with my parents, as indicated in my application form. For this part, I submitted a photocopy of the land title that’s owned by my parents, and then submitted a Barangay certificate that includes the proof of my home address.
My Mom submitted a photocopy of the land title under her and Dad’s name, and a photocopy of Barangay certificate.
I’ve been dilly-dallying in buying land while I am still single (lol), so I attached copies related to my car: Deed of sale, OR and CR, and insurance contract.
Mom submitted photocopy again of the land title of our house, one additional land title, photocopy of certificates for her shares in a local hospital, and one photocopy of shares under my Dad’s name from a local F&B. This is to show that my Dad also has assets to prove how he still has money in the bank even though he is retired. I’ve indicated in our application that he is already retired, but that he receives state pension and he still has assets under his name.
Accommodation in the UK
Since we will be staying with my Aunt, we submitted copies of the property deed of their house.
I indicated in my application that I will be travelling with my Mom, but there’s no indication of any dependents I’ll be leaving behind while I travel since I don’t have one. For this I submitted a copy of my birth certificate. Why? My Mom indicated that she is married, and she will not be travelling with her husband. She also has one dependent daughter, my sister. So, to show that I am part of that family, and that they’re the family I’m leaving behind, I submitted a copy of my birth certificate, indicating the name of my Mom and Dad; and a photocopy of my sister’s birth certificate, which also includes the same name for mother and father – to show that we are siblings (this is one trick I learned when I submitted documents for my second South Korean visa application – more of that here).
For Mom, we submitted her marriage contract and the birth certificate of my sister as she’s the one name indicated in her application as dependent.
We were blessed to get the visas in only 9 working days. We lodged our application on July 15, and we received a message from VFS on July 28. We could have collected it the next day but I got confused about the dates. I got the email confirmation on July 29, and we picked up our passports on August 1.
That’s it for now! I’ll post up about our adventures by location, because I didn’t really prepare a detailed itinerary for this trip similar to what I do for Korea and Japan. Also, majority of our visit was spent in my Aunt’s residence. 🙂