Now we are at the last part of what you’ll need to do for your UK visa. Just a few more things are left to be done and you’ll be set.
It will be a long discussion. So, I thought I will break it into parts. This part is only for the final preparation for UK VISA Application. Please note that this post portrays exclusively the experiences in Bangladesh (experiences may vary in visa application centers in other countries). Posts about other parts are here:
So, by now you have gathered all the documents you need to provide and have chosen appointment date and time at the visa application center.
An overview of UK Visa application
What are you expecting?
Let me remind you again of the papers that need to be with you before you submit your application. I arranged the documents in the following order:
- Printed pdf of the completed online application.
Find the REDACTED COPY of my application here.
- Printed pdf of the documents checklist. Find the REDACTED COPY of my documents checklist here.
- Email confirmation of your PLAB 2 booking.
- Your cover letter.
- All papers regarding MONEY.
- Letter of support
- Affidavit of Sponsorship (if you have it)
- Solvency Certificate
- Bank Statements
- Income Certificate / Employment certificate
- All other papers you deemed necessary to prove your cause as stated in the letter of support.
- Evidence of home address.
- A Nationality Certificate, OR
- Home Utility Bill,
- Accommodation in the UK.
- Letter of invitation, OR
- Hotel Booking
- Utility bill and Council Tax bill of the address you’ll be staying at.
- Evidence of family members whilst you travel.
- Passport Copies of your family members, OR
- National ID copies, translated and notarized.
- Your own National ID copy, translated and notarized.
- The email confirming your passing in PLAB 1 and GMC reference no. details.
- Copy of Your Primary Medical qualification certificate.
(I did not provide the real ones, rather an attested photocopy)
- Copy of your Internship/House job Completion Certificate.
- Certification from your employer, be it a voluntary or paid job.
- No Objection Certificate from your employer.
- Booking confirmation of your PLAB 2 Course.
- Copy of your IELTS test report form. (optional)
- ANY OTHER PAPERS, which might be different from my case to you, like marriage certificate, etc.
If you’re wondering about how I ended up with all these documents, have a look here, Supporting documents for UK Visa for PLAB 2.
Now back to the question.
What are you expecting at the visa application center?
Visa Application Center (VAC)
You must have booked an appointment already from the online application portal. Show up at the visa application center 5-10 minutes prior to your chosen time. The front desk may want to see an appointment page (which is the documents checklist) and upon verification, they will let you in.
I can’t emphasize enough how necessary it is to check your own visa application center’s website before you attend this appointment. They update their services, make changes to it all the time. And most importantly, it differs from country to country in most of the cases.
Find your country’s visa application center’s website
Gov.uk is your answer to everything. They obviously have a collection and here it is- Find a visa application centre.
Do I submit my real documents?
A very frequently asked question. The short answer, No.
- If your country has started with the upload-it-yourself process while you were applying online, then it’s easier. You can do it yourself.
- If your VAC has the scanning process, then you need to take those with you. But remember to UNLAMINATE if any document is laminated. Otherwise, an attested copy is enough for paper submission.
What happens in VFS Bangladesh?
All documents submitted by the UK visa customers are scanned at the Visa Application Centre and sent electronically to UKVI. This process applies to all visa categories. This process allows customers to retain their supporting documents during the application process. Apart from the passport, all supporting documents will, where possible, be handed back at the Visa Application Centre after they have been scanned. Photocopies can be submitted, but they must be clear and legible.
In order to avoid delays in the Visa Application Centre customers must follow the instructions below:
- All documents must be A4 size.
- Any documents which are smaller or larger than A4 size must be photocopied onto A4 sized paper. This includes the pages of any previous passports.
- All documents must be free from any staples, clips or pins before they are submitted.
- Torn, crumpled or heavily creased documents cannot be scanned and therefore must be photocopied onto A4 sized paper before they are submitted.
- Documents should not be laminated
If you applied through Access UK you can upload your documents yourself, or bring your original supporting documents and use our Document Scanning Assistance service at the Visa Application Centre.
If you applied through Visa4uk, bring your original supporting documents and you can use our Document Scanning Assistance Service at the Visa Application Centre.
You will not be able to submit further documents once your application has been submitted at the visa application centre.
This must be done before reaching the submission counter at the application center.
It is your responsibility to ensure that any supporting documents are submitted in the required format. Failure to do so is likely to result in delays at the Visa Application Centre.
Payment for the Visa
So, the employee behind the counter will give you two receipts to pay money in the bank. Don’t sweat, there’s a bank booth right there inside. I was charged 9790 BDT for my visa and adding the charges of the center it added up to near about 11000 BDT. You go back to the counter and the employee will instruct you to sign at the bottom of the documents checklist page.
Now s/he will want a photocopy of your passport front page. Thanks to me, you have it! Staple their receipt and they will hand it over to you and tell you to wait for your biometric data collection.
You wait again. They call you by name and tell you to go to provide your biometric data. They will take your fingerprints and your photo. This is the photo that will be printed in your visa.
After you’re done giving your biometric data, the employee will politely tell you to leave the premises.
Do you leave? No, you create havoc and demand your VISA right then!!
Smh. Not a good idea.
Remember to relax after visa application
There are so many of us who are like:
“I heard back from them too early. I am worried my visa is rejected.”
“It’s been more than 15 days, I still haven’t heard from them. I am worried my visa is rejected.”
My answer to them:
“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”English Proverb
They say the wait time for standard services is 15 days, but it may take less than that or longer. So don’t fret, keep the faith, and you’ll get that message saying your visa has been processed eventually.
To be fair, you won’t know whether it was accepted or rejected. You will only find out after you receive the package, come outside the application center premises, open it, frantically look for your passport, flip through it, and voilà! You have your VISA. Be sure to check and recheck the dates again right then and there.
Good luck to everyone!