If you’re following me in social media, you’d know that I’m currently under the gloomy London sky!
A month prior to this trip, I was very anxious about getting a UK visa. It should just be like any other visa applications I’ve done before but why feel nervous? Well, my residence visa will expire in September so that means it is valid for less than 6 months. We tried to reach VFS (UK’s visa processing partner) but ended up getting connected to some UK immigration trunk line, that never picks up the phone. I searched online and found this article in Gulf News that says “residency visas should be valid for at least 90 days from the intended date of return” I got pretty relieved but it’s not until I have that stamp in my passport would I be able to breathe easy. Long story short, I was granted a multiple entry visa valid for 6 months. What are the requirements and process, you can find them below. :)
- Go to this page which leads to the application process. It links to a visa application form which you, obviously, need to fill out. The form was quite tedious to answer with items like your parents’ details, travel history, etc.
- Once the application form is completely filled out, you proceed to payment. The visa fee is 123 USD, paid online.
- With an application form and receipt, you can now proceed to booking an appointment for the biometrics and submission of the required documents.
- Gather all necessary documents. For a tourist visa, we prepared the following:
- 1 recent photograph following UKBA guidelines
- passport valid for at least 6 months
- accommodation booking
- flight tickets TIP: we flew direct via Royal Brunei Airlines – competitive fares and ample leg room
- supporting docs
- employment certificate stating your salary, tenure in the company and position)
- 6 months bank statement
- residence visa
- Go to VFS in Wafi on the day of your appointment and take with you the above documents and a print out of your duly filled application form. TIP: Prior to your appointment, print this sheet and see to it you have everything in this checklist. Otherwise, you could get VFS’ service of checking your docs for 75AED (which I actually find a rip-off since they do checking of docs in Schengen visa application for free)
That’s it! You just gotta wait for the courier to deliver your passport with the UK visa stamped on it, which takes about 15 business days according to VFS but we got ours in 5 days. NOTE: The above procedure/fees are correct at the time of our application, which was last March 2016.
Finally, plan your trip and enjoy the UK! :)