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Monday, August 18, 2014

British Embassy Makes It Easier For Filipinos To Apply For A Visa

After having approved over 90 percent of visa applications from the Philippines, the British Embassy announced on Monday a number of "enhancements" to its visa processing procedures in the country.
The British embassy said that these included an improved application center in Manila and a new one in Cebu City.

In a news release, the embassy said the improvements, meant "to cater [to] the growing demand" for UK visa services, also included a new international visa enquiry center, an optional priority visa service that returns visa decisions within three to five working days, and a Prime Time service for those who couldn't attend appointments within the usual office hours.

More than 49,000 tourist and business visit visas were issued to Filipinos from March 2013 to March 2014, the embassy said.  It said this "[dispelled] misconceptions that it [was] difficult for Filipino travellers to get a UK visa."

Asif Ahmad, British ambassador to the Philippines, said the embassy "[wanted] to welcome even more Filipino visitors in the coming 12 months."

For frequent visitors to the UK, the British embassy announced that it was also offering long-term visit visas, which would be valid for one to 10 years. 

The embassy said such a long-term visa runs under "the same conditions as a regular six months visit visa," but may be more convenient for those travelling in and out of the UK since "you will only need to make one application and provide biometrics once for the entire duration of the visa."

Ahmad said the embassy was encouraging those who wish to apply for a tourist or business visit visa "to apply early and have with you all the necessary documents when you go for your appointment."

Applicants should also "be clear about the purpose" of their visit, he added.

The growth in the number of visitors may be attributed to "a wider range of flight options" between London and Manila, the news release said.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) began its five-times-a-week flights to London in late 2013.

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