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Philippines Gets Priority Visa Service Extension For UK Travel

30 Jan 2013

UK extends Priority Visa Service to business travelers and seafarers

All business visitors and seafarers, plus an enlarged group of general and family visitors are now eligible to use the priority visa service in the Philippines with an estimated turnaround time 3 working days or less for applicants applying at UK Visa Application Centres in Manila and Cebu.

These premium services are part of a suite of enhancements, to the UK visa service, which aim to provide customers with a greater choice and flexibility. The priority service, first launched in May 2012, has proven extremely successful with over 1300 applicants taking up the service to date.

British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said, “We’re committed to providing an excellent visa service in the Philippines and will continue to look for ways to make the process as fast, fair and efficient as possible. The priority visa service has been especially welcomed by those travelling on business and we are pleased to be able to extend the service to even more applicants.”

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The following are the details taken directly from the UKBA's Philippines page

This page describes the additional services that are available to visa applicants in the Philippines.

These services are optional, and are available for an additional fee. If you want to use them, you must pay the fee when you attend your appointment at the visa application centre.You can find more information about these services on the VFS Global in the Philippines website.

Priority visa service

From May 1 2012 you can use our priority visa service to have your visa application processed ahead of others. Under normal circumstances, a priority service visa application will be processed within 3 working days.

The service costs 4,200 Philippine Pesos for each applicant (including sales tax), which must be paid when you submit your visa application.

You can apply for your visa using this service if you are:

  • a business visitor who has travelled in the previous 3 years to the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or a country in the schengen area. Your spouse and children accompanying you will also be accepted, regardless of their previous travel, if they also pay the priority service fee. When travelling to the above countries, you must have complied with the terms of their entry conditions - if you have been refused by any of these countries following your most recent travel, you will not qualify for the priority service;
  • a general visitor or a family visitor who has travelled in the previous 3 years to the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or a country in the schengen area. Your spouse and children accompanying you will also be accepted, regardless of their previous travel, if they also pay the priority service fee. When travelling to the above countries, you must have complied with the terms of their entry conditions - if you have been refused by any of these countries following your most recent travel, you will not qualify for the priority service;
  • a seafarer applying to join a ship in the UK, if you have travelled to the UK for the same reason in the previous 3 years. You must hold a seafarers identity document (seaman's book);


We strongly recommend that you do not use this service if you have any form of adverse immigration history.

Using the priority service does not imply or guarantee that you will be successful in your visa application. All visa applicants must meet the requirements of the UK Immigration Rules. We will not refund the fee for the priority service, or the visa application fee, if we refuse your visa application or if, in exceptional cases, it takes longer than 3 working days to process your application.

Please note that the number of applicants who will be able to make use of the priority visa service will be limited each day and you will be advised at the visa application centre whether or not the service is still available on the day you submit your application.

Prime time appointments

If you are unable to attend an appointment at the visa application centre during the regular opening hours of Monday to Friday 08:00 - 15:00, from May 12 2012, you can schedule a prime time appointment on a Saturday for an additional charge of 2,100 Philippine pesos.

To access these appointments please select the prime time option when scheduling an appointment online and pay the 2,100 Philippine pesos fee in cash when you attend the visa application centre.

SMS service

VFS Global offers an SMS service which updates you on the progress of your UK visa application. It will send an automated message to your mobile phone at various stages of the visa application process. This is followed up by an automated message to your email address, telling you about your visa application's status.

The SMS service is available in English.

Courier Facility

The visa application centre will courier your documents back to you by Aboitiz 2GO. Please ask for this service when you visit the visa application centre.

Photocopying Service

VFS staff will take photocopies for you for a fee.

Photograph Service

The visa application centre offers photography service that meet UK Border Agency requirements.

Premium lounge Service

For those applicants who wish to pay extra for that personal touch and enhanced customer service. 

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