2013 is a memorable year for me because I was able to stay longer in United Kingdom compared to my first trip. My mom and younger brother are now based somewhere in England and getting to spend more time with them is the highlight of my year. It feels good to finally do some errands for them and be involved in some of their daily routines.
As a Philippine passport holder, it isn’t easy to just fly to the UK in a snap. One must apply for a visa and I would like to share some tips to those who have families residing in the UK.
Requirements to be a Family VisitorÂ Â Â Â Â
There are several categories for visitors applying for visa. Here are the requirements before getting a UK visa as a family visitor:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Your visit to the UK must not be more than six months
- You must be able to support your expenses without working or getting help from the UK government.
- You can pay for your own travel expenses
- You must prove that you have a family member in the UK
That family member must be:
- A citizen of UK
- Residing in UK
- Has Humanitarian Protection Status
- Has been granted asylum in the country.
Documents Required for Visa Application
Applying for a UK visa as a family visitor requires you to provide any documents that contain:
- Your personal information
- Information regarding your finances and employment (bank statements, ITR, letter of employment etc)
- Information about your accommodation and trip
- Details about your visit in UK
- If your family member is the one shouldering your expenses, ask them to send you a letter of invitation, bank statement (past three months) and a letter of employment).
- If the family member is just renting, ask the landlord to provide a letter allowing you to stay in the house.
Here’s how to apply for a UK visa as a family visitor:
- Download the VAF1B application form from the UK visa application website, print it then fill it out.
- Bring your passport. Make sure that it’s valid.
- Bring one passport-sized photo of you. Make sure that the photo is recent so they will recognize you.
- Go to a UK visa application center and submit the required documents together with the VAF1B form.
- Pay your visa application fee
- Give them your biometric information. That means you will have your photo taken and your fingerprints scanned.
When to apply
The best time to apply for a visa is two months before your actual flight. So it is recommended not to confirm your flight until you have your visa.
Rejection of Visa Application as a Family Visitor
After applying, UK immigration authorities will review your documents. If they accept your application, you’re good to go. But in some cases, they might require you to undergo an interview.
They will send you a notice of refusal if your application got rejected. For those who applied for a UK visa as a family visitor on or after June 25, 2013, you are not allowed to apply for an appeal because of the new law. Under Section 52 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, they removed the full right to appeal for family visitors.
* This post is applicable for Philippine Passport holders.