As I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, visiting London would be a definite dream!
Therefore, when I was residing in the Netherlands, I took the chance.
If any of you happen to search from blogs or articles about applying a UK Visa, probably you will get an impression that it seems quite complicated.
To be honest, it is true.
However, if you are really careful READING all the requirements, plus add little bit patience in filling the application form, then you might tackle it.
First thing first, go to this following website, to check whether you need a UK VISA, or not. In that website, you will be asked two (2) questions: 1) country of which issuing your passport, and 2) the purpose of your visit to UK. Once you completed the questions, it may appear the options like the following figure:
As my purpose to come to UK was for a trip (tourism activity), therefore I applied for General Visitor Visa type. In this section, you’ll find every description that you need to know. They explain about the 1) definition of General Visitor Visa, 2) eligibility, 3) document you must provide, 4) apply, and 5) extend your visa. Please do read carefully. Every required document is stated very clearly.
Here I uploaded the pdf file for guide to supporting documents:
Visitor Visa_Guide to Supporting Documents
Next, prepare yourself to plan the itinerary. Including:
- How long you plan to stay in UK? Check your agenda.
- Once you found the date, then think about what kind of transportation you’d like to choose. My advise would be, first to find the tickets from your place to UK, and back to your country again. Book the flights/train/bus tickets if you find a good offer. Don’t wait too long, as the price will always follow the season. Low-season, low-price. High-season, high-price. The return tickets will be very important for your UK VISA, means that you are a permanent resident in a certain country outside UK and not willing to stay or find a job in UK. In my case, I took flights from EasyJet company. The return tickets for The Netherlands (Amsterdam Schiphol) – UK (Gatwick Airport) was 79€. Another helpful website is SkyScanner. This website will show the ticket prices from all airline companies, thus you can easily choose which time and date and of course the price that suit you best.
- Where do you stay in UK? Find the Hotel/Hostel that has a good reputation and you can track their address. You can check them through Hostelbookers, Hostelworld, or airbnb if you like to rent an apartment.
- Which places in UK are you going to visit? Make details for each time and date. In case, you don’t have the fixed plans, it is okay, at least you make it trustworthy.
After you finished with ticket and hotel bookings, then it is time to fill the application form online.
This is how the front page looks like.
Next, you need to make an account.
Make sure you type/select the right data and don’t forget to check your e-mail to confirm the registration. Also, at this section you have to select which place you would like to do the biometric or where to submit your visa application.
For the Netherlands’ residents, you have two options; either to go to Amsterdam Biometric Center or Düsseldorf Biometric Center (Germany). To me, I chose Germany. Because based on some reviews, the biometric in Germany is less crowded than Amsterdam, thus your files might be processed quicker.
So, here I summarize some tips in applying UK VISA:
1) The process of UK VISA might take 3 weeks. Be wise on planning your trip. Make sure your booked flights is more than 3 weeks in advance. To avoid if the process takes more than it is supposed to be.
2) Make sure your documents (passport, residence permit and/or student card) are valid and has the expiration date (at least) more than 6 months.
3) Make sure you completed ALL the steps of application form. There are 9 steps, by the way.
4) The UK VISA application fee is 101.00€ and you can pay it via MasterCard or Visa credit card, or moneybookers (It works like a credit card, but it is based on debit card).
5) Don’t forget to print your bank statement up to the last six months.
6) When you need to fill in the income and expenditure, as in my case was a student and I got funding from scholarship, I stated 520€ for the amount I spend each month on living costs, and I mentioned 1,000€ for 6 days trip (apart from the flights ticket, tour, etc). To add the consideration, I have more than 1,000€ in my bank account.
7) Write down your plan to do whilst in the UK in detail. As an example (this is my submission), “From 25-27 January 2014, stay in London to visit Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Sherlock Holmes museum and London Eye. On 27 January 2014 in the afternoon, flight to Iceland and stay in Reykjavik for 2 days to join the Northern Lights Tour. On 29 January 2014, flight back to London and continue the city tour. On 30 January 2014 in the evening, flight back to the Netherlands, the country where I am currently residing in. All flights have been booked (documents enclosed), as well as the hostels”.
8) When you need to fill the other information you wish to be considered, I stated “due to my full name is quite long, therefore it did not fit with the space on the first page of my passport. Therefore, you can find my complete name on page 3”.
9) Make an appointment with Düsseldorf Biometric Germany. Do not forget to print the appointment as well. Next, you also have to find the train ticket from NL to Düsseldorf.
10) I made a photograph via photograph box, which you can easily find it in the train station. The size is perfect and the price is only 5€!
11) Print all the required documents and put it in order as it is stated in the Guide to Supporting Documents.
12) I also enclosed my scholarship letter from my funding and the acceptance letter from my university (although they are not asked). This is to make it more trustworthy that I will not stay in UK.
13) Go to Düsseldorf on the mentioned date! Get the biometric recorded. Go home and fingers crossed that the UK border embassy approve your application. You can also check your application through WorldBridge website by mentioning your Visa application number.
14) Please take it into your consideration, as the application form (or maybe the UK VISA procedure or application fee) prior to change periodically. Be sure that you have checked all of them before submission. For your information, I applied UK VISA last January 2014.
Btw I was so lucky, as my UK VISA was processed within one week! Including the passport transfer back to NL!
By having the General Visitor Visa type, I am granted to visit UK for multitrip activity and valid for 6 months!
Well, good luck readers!!