Saturday, November 10, 2018

KEEP MY PASSPORT Service When Applying for a UK Tourist Visa

My husband availed the Keep My Passport service when we applied for a UK Tourist Visa. The thing is, it's so hard for him to apply for any visa since he's always traveling for work. So when we saw that they had this option, we definitely took advantage of it.

The other option was to avail the Priority Visa service which allows your passport to be released within 5 working days from when you submit your biometric information. But this costs P14,204 (as of writing) on top of the visa fee of $124 which was a bit too much for us. There's even a Super Priority Visa service which will give eligible customers a visa decision within 1 business day for a whopping P64,052!

Anyway, these services are definitely for those that need to travel urgently. Good thing the Keep My Passport option was much cheaper at just P3,000 which is also something you can avail of if you're pressed for time and need to apply for multiple visas (like Schengen).

When we were asking how the service goes in the VFS Center, the staff didn't seem so sure as well which was weird. So here's our experience, since I couldn't find that much information about the process online when I was doing my research.

September 7 (Friday)
- initial VFS appointment to submit documents
- availed the Keep My Passport service for P3,000 which we paid for in cash at the VFS Center
- we provided a copy of hubby's ENTIRE passport which I scanned and printed from home in A4 sized paper (you can also have it copied at VFS for a fee). Just make sure it meets these requirements:

A copy of the entire passport in either colour or black and white, on white paper min 60 gsm, photocopied 600 dpi minimum, actual size without any reduction or magnification, and orientated in landscape.

September 18 (Tuesday)
- received email that a decision was now ready to be made on his application (so obviously it was approved because why would they need the passport back if denied right? lol!)
- passport must be returned to VFS Center within 4 WEEKS from date of email

October 2 (Tuesday)
- hubby was able to return his passport after exactly 2 weeks from notification email (since he had to travel for work)
- no need for a new appointment, he just walked in and was allowed entry at once since he just needed to submit his passport
- we included a letter that asked if the passport could be released by Friday since hubby had another trip the following week

October 10 (Wednesday)
- received email and text that passport was now ready for pick-up at the VFS Center (so walang effect ang letter lol)

So, it took a while din for the passport to be released after submission considering a decision had already been made. We were thinking it would just take a day or two since they were just going to put the visa on the passport, but it took 6 working days din. Maybe it's peak season or something since an acquaintance said his took only 2 days before.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Visas were approved and we can now enjoy our vacation in London!

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