Saturday, 31 October 2009

UK Entry Visa

Okay, I should have talked about this at the beginning but I didn't think it was originally going to be part of this blog because I meant only to write about "Life in the UK". Then I realized it's actually an integral part of it because without a visa, I couldn't come here.

Applying for UK visa, one needs to go to Visa Facilitating Services (VFS) where enquiries, applications and submissions take place. Applicants don't get to go to the British embassy unless they need to answer some queries.

When I was in Bangkok the VFS staff told me that the application was free for me because my proposed husband is an EEA national. However, this wasn't clear to me because the website says "Family member of an EEA National -- Free of charge" and we were not married yet so technically, I wasn't a family member yet. Interestingly, there was a visa agency next to the VFS in Bangkok so I went in and enquired of their service. The visa agent confirmed that it was actually free. But if I would want to use their service I would have to pay them  to the tune of 40,000 Baht. I said in my head, "No thank you. I already got the answer to my question and that's all I want."

In VFS Manila a supposedly highly trained staff advised me to fill up a visit visa-marriage which cost  £65. But after reviewing my application, the embassy called me about 3 weeks later and told me to change my visa application to fiance and pay an additional Php42,000+. I didn't have to wait long. Soon I had my marriage visa, multiple entry and valid for six months, during which I wasn't allowed to work and no recourse to public fund.