Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Travel

How to Apply for UK Visa (from my experience)

This post is especially for Indonesian Passport owner who wants to apply for UK Visa. For other country please check the requirement on their website.

Before you apply for visa, check if you need a visa to visit UK. Since I’m an Indonesian, I need to apply. To apply, you need to go to this link. For tourist and short stay visa, you can use their new service here.

Select your language, then click Next. Select your visa type, click Next. And so on. Follow the instruction and fill in all the field provided.

You will need to make an account for login. The good thing about their visa application is they can be saved and continue later. This is why you need to make an account, because all of your data will be stored there.

To apply for UK Visa, you will need to provide your travel history during last 10 years. Therefore, you need to provide your old passport as well if any. You are also required to have a travel data (dates of travel in UK and hotel information) before applying for visa.

After you filled out the entire form, you will need to choose how long your visa expiration period will. Then you have to choose which service you will take, is it standard service or express one. The costs are varies, depends on how long the period you chose and which service. Standard Service means they will process my visa within 15 working days.While Express Service is only in 3 days. Since I still have time and no plan to visit other country so far, I chose Standard Service.

Lastly, you will need to pick date to submit the supporting documents. You can pick the convenient time for you. After all done, you will have to download (and print) 2 files given from your account. The first one is a checklist, on which will help remind you every documents you need. The second file is your full visa application consisting all of your data that you’ve filled in earlier.

On the day of appointment, I came to Resco Tower, 5th Floor, 94-96, Nguyen Du Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, 70000, VIETNAM. Greeted by reception on 5th floor, I told them that I have appointment, then they checked on my data and gave me a token number. I left my bag on deposit box, took only wallet, phone and documents to submit. The guy at the entrance ran a metal detector on me and let me in.

I waited in the room until they called my number and mentioned which counter I should go. This place is not UK embassy, they are just a visa application agency for Australia, New Zealand and UK. That day must be not so busy because I didn’t wait long until they called my number. I went straight to appointed counter.

These are the documents I submitted at the counter to apply for UK visa :

  • Original passport and old passport
  • Copy of residence card
  • Copy of letter of invitation (from my husband’s work).–> If you don’t have this one, I think you better provide them your tour details and flight details.
  • Copy of bank statements of the person paying for my visit
  • Copy of tenancy agreements
  • Hotel booking confirmation
  • Copy of sponsor accommodation details
  • Copy of marriage certificate

The staff made some notes on paper and asked me to check if everything is correct. If so, I needed to sign on that checklist paper. She asked me do I want the passport to be delivered or I come to take it. I preferred to take it myself since it’s not that far from my house. Then she asked me if I want an SMS service for information update during the process of applying. I took it. The SMS service cost is 63.000 vnd. Paid at the counter directly. Then she told me to wait outside until they call me for biometrics recording.

There are several rooms for biometrics and they called me in into one of the room. The officer asked me for my details for confirmation. Then she started taking finger prints and photo of me. After all done, she gave me a receipt to use for collecting my passport.

6 days later, I got an SMS saying that my passport has returned and the application has finished. Not long after that, I got a phone call from the visa company saying that I can collect my passport on working days from 1 pm to 4 pm.

I went there directly that day, got an token number, put my bad in deposit box and waited until they called my number. This time I really needed to monitor the screen because they didn’t call it out loud, only put your number on screen with counter number next to it. The officer gave me a big envelope and she told me to check it outside (in waiting room). If I have question, I can ask her later. Or if nothing else, then I can go home.

I was very nervous when I opened the envelope. What if I didn’t get the visa. What if I lack of documents again. Ignoring all other documents, I went straight to my passport and looked for visa sticker. And it’s there!!! I got the visa!! 😀

From my experience, I can tell that you don’t really need an SMS service. They will call you anyway if the passport ready.

Hope this helps to apply for UK visa. Good luck for you!

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