In order to reassure first time visitors to the United Kingdom that the visa process is straightforward, UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) has launched a new video explaining each step of the process – from filling out the form online, giving fingerprints at the visa application center, to receiving the visa.
"Our visa system is designed to make it as straightforward as possible for visitors to apply for their visas," British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad said in a statement Monday. "The launch of this video is a further example of the improvements we are making to the visa service to make it quicker and easier for Filipino visitors to apply for a UK visa."
As of June 2015, the UKVI has issued 34,381 visit visas to Filipino nationals, a 15-percent increase on the previous 12 months, British Embassy records show.
Meanwhile, as of June 2015, the UK issued 57,275 visas to Filipino nationals, a 14-percent increase on the previous year.
"We already get around 34,000 Filipino visitors to the UK every year. And we want to see even more," Ahmad said.
The UK has two Visa Application Centers in the Philippines located in Makati City and Cebu. The British Embassy said it continues to make improvements to make the service more user-friendly, the embassy said.
In February, UKVI introduced an optional 24-hour super priority visa service for customers who want a decision within a single working day.
Other options for interested applicants are as follows:
-- An optional priority visa service which places an application to the front of the queue. The British Embassy said it aims to process priority applications within three to five working days.
-- A prime time service in Manila for customers who require an appointment outside of usual business hours.
-- A passport pass-back service which enables customers to retain their passport while their visa is being processed.
The British Embassy noted that 90 percent of visa applications were successful.
"During the same period the average processing time for a non-settlement visa was seven days," it said. —KBK, GMA News