New records were set for the numbers of Filipino visitors traveling to the UK. In the 12 months prior to March 2014, 49,000 visas were issued to Filipinos. There was a 27% increase in the number of tourist and business visitors over the previous year.
This was due to a number of factors. Since the EU lifted the ban on Philippine Airlines flights over EU airspace, a direct service from Manila to London is again in place. Another airline, Cebu Pacific, has also started operating, giving travellers more flight options. Great Britain also launched an advertising program called the GREAT campaign which showcases the UK's many attractions.
Getting a visa is easy; according to a UK government statement, over 90% of all visa applications from Filipinos are approved. And to handle the increased demand for visas a number of improvements to visa services within the Philippines have been made, including:
- A larger Visa Application Centre in Manila with better facilities
- 'GREAT' Campaign branding to highlight all the UK has to offer
- An international visa enquiry centre
- An additional Visa Application Centre in Cebu city
- A premium lounge with personalised and streamlined service
- Optional priority service with a 3-5 day turnaround
- Prime time service offering out-of-hours appointments
- Passport pass-back service for those who need to travel to other destinations while their UK application is being processed.
If you would like assistance in applying for a visa, WorkPermit.com: a specialist visa consultancy with 25 years of experience, can help. Please contact us for further details.