Here is my application checklist when I was applying for UK tourist visa from Philippines. There were quite a number of things that were required but don’t be overwhelmed. All it takes is a bit of organization and thoroughness when compiling them.
This is the list of documents you will need to submit when applying for a UK visa. I’ve put some notes in based on my experience of. If applying for the visa for the first time or if you are a freelancer/ business owner like me, you may find this useful. However, please be aware that THIS IS NOT OFFICIAL ADVICE, THIS IS JUST A MEANS FOR ME TO SHARE MY EXPERIENCES, SO PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AND TRUST YOUR OWN INSTINCTS.
Let me just say – compiling your documents thoroughly and meticulously is VERY important. In my other post: Q&A: Applying for UK Tourist Visa from Philippines, I mentioned that there is NO INTERVIEW. That means that your visa approval will rely on how well you’ve established your intentions to visit the UK and come back to the Philippines through your documents.
Current passport and Two (2) passport size colored photographs. – Read the UK Visa photo guidelines to be sure that you have the right dimensions. When I was looking to get mine taken, I went to mall photo studios and they didn’t know what a UK visa photo size is. Best to bring your notes!
Documents showing that you can support yourself during the trip. You can submit as many as you can of the following:
- Bank statements or bank books covering the past six (6) months
- Bank letter or balance certificate
- Payslips covering up to the previous six months
- Tax returns (business or personal)
- Business bank account statements
- Evidence of income from property or land (I passed property deeds, mortgage statements, and tenancy agreements.)
- Sponsor’s bank statements up to previous six months
Documents providing details of accommodation and itinerary. Paying for your accommodations and flights are highly discouraged, seeing as there is still a screening process that you need to get through. The documents you may submit include:
- Planned itinerary including bookings or tickets for any events or activities that you wish to attend. I highly suggest that you include the cost of each activity to show that your plans are within your budget.
- Airline booking confirmation from a travel agent or from the airline
- Hotel Booking confirmation (sites like Hotel.com have a no-fee booking cancellation policy. You just need to confirm or cancel your accommodation before a given period of time.)
- Previous passports to show your travel history
- Letters from friends/sponsors whom you will be staying with, detailing complete addresses and contact information. If renting or sharing a flat, it also helps to have tenancy letters confirming that you are able to stay with them.
You have to present documents proving ties to the Philippines. This will guarantee the consulate that you do not intend to up and leave the country.
- If married, you can show evidence of your marital status such as a marriage certificate, a civil partnership certificate, etc)
- If employed, you can present your contract of employment and a letter from employer on company letterhead detailing your salary, length of employment, and a confirmation that you are taking paid or unpaid leave from work. This works the same for students.
- If you are a freelancer or a business owner, you will need to submit business registration documents confirming yourself as the business owner and date when the business started trading. This can be your DTI, BIR, or Mayor’s permit registration.
Print out of completed UK tourist visa online application form.
It is not required, but it also helped that I printed my checklist and used it as a cover page for reference. I organized everything in the order that they appeared on my checklist, and it helped when I got there and I needed to arrange my papers as required.
To copy or not to copy? Some people say you should, some people say not to. You can pay at the VFS to have your documents copied, but I had mine copied anyway. They will be taking your original documents and a copy (or a payment for copies). The visa officer took the entire lot and sent back the original documents when they sent me my visa.
Paper size? Try to keep them as uniform as you can, but I don’t think it mattered. Different documents came in different sizes.
Envelope/Folder? You can’t big your bag in or a solid colored folder. Everything will be checked into lockers at the security area. Put everything in ONE folder or a simple clear envelope.
Good luck! If I missed anything or if you have a question, let me know!