It’s been three years this month since I last set foot in the Philippines. The pandemic has been mainly the reason for this. My husband and I wanted to go on a holiday in the Philippines but decided against it and invited my mum instead to come and visit us here in the UK. It was a touch and go situation at first as we were quite unsure if this was the right decision to make. My mum has mobility issues and a long-haul flight on her own was quite daunting, so we decided for her to be accompanied by one of my siblings. It was funny and at the same time silly because my siblings were having a friendly squabble over who’s going with mum. Eventually, my sister Fermae won the bid. 😂
When the plan was finalised, I started putting together a list of supporting documents needed for the visa application. It took about a couple of weeks to collate everything. My mum had been collecting/preparing some of her non-date-sensitive supporting documents even before we had a date for the travel. Originally, the visit should be in the summertime so they could at least cope with the weather, but things happen plus the fact that I was procrastinating so the travel date was extended. I thought, and I am saying this with remorse, the application process was still the same 4-5 years ago when I applied for my visit visas. I was so wrong. I wish I checked the visit visa processing time right away as soon as the invitation was set. To make matters worse, the priority service was still cancelled that time. Anyway, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. I am just going to be proactive though- prepare winter garbs for them and crank up the house heating! 😂☃️🌨️🥶
As soon as my sister was able to collate all the necessary documents needed to support their applications, I booked an appointment for them by clicking on this link https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/philippines. After such, I paid online for the application fee and the bronze premium package services. The bronze premium package consisted of the following services: document checking/scanning, sms, and courier. I know getting the bronze premium package wasn’t really necessary as I or my sister could have just uploaded the supporting documents online, but I didn’t want to take the chance and at the same time didn’t want my mum and sister to get anxious over their biometric appointment.
You can access the link for the vfs premium services by clicking the link below: https://visa.vfsglobal.com/phl/en/nld/premium-services .
I booked their biometric appointment on the 12th of July 2022 at 10:15 AM. My mum and my sister decided to be there earlier than usual so to get the feel of the place and to settle their nerves before the biometric appointment. My sister prepared their documents by putting each section in a clear document pouch for easy handling during the scanning. Everything went smoothly as expected. It took them more or less 30 minutes for the whole process. There and then I could breathe as they did it without a hitch. On the other end, the waiting game also commenced. The waiting time just made all of us feel jittery and on edge as we were kind of like in a limbo – not knowing what was going to be the result. It was a nail-biting moment!
Check the link here for the location of VFS Global in Makati City, Philippines. https://vymaps.com/PH/VFS-Global-Visa-Application-Center–71706/
As expected, the decision was made, and their passports were dispatched exactly 6 weeks after their biometric appointment. They received their passports the next day and I am quite pleased to say that they were both approved to come and visit us here in the cold, damp and very breezy Autumnal Britain. 👌😍❤️
Here’s the lists of supporting documents both my sister and my mum submitted for their visa application. Here’s the link for the sponsorship undertaking form for you to download and fill out: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsor-a-visa-applicant-form-su07
Here are the payments I made for the visit visa applications:
Notifications from VFS regarding the visa applications:
And here are their passports with the visa stamped on them. ✈️🛂
We are all excited now. We are hoping that there won’t be any issues with the immigration/border control on their way here. 🙏😊