Thursday, September 6, 2012

UK Visa Application

I've been chilling for too long (Gap-year student here!) that...all my peers have collected their visa and I have yet to schedule my appointment. Well, that was yesterday morning. I'm all done with the application now. My new friend in the sponsor's meeting seemed to be more anxious than me for my visa, so I decided to schedule the appointment there and then during the meeting on the phone. Some people said walk-in is not allowed for the application, but some said otherwise; just to be on the safe side, do schedule the appointment here and skip all the fuss. Just go through a few simple steps and trust me, everything will be so smooth and efficient on the day itself. We, students are under the Tier 4(General) category. I chose my appointment slot to be at 13.40, the latest slot available to give myself plenty of time to prepare and travel on the day itself.

After the sponsors meeting, my another new friend (we met once during BTN camp before actually) who is going to LSE to do Law, made the world looks so hopeful! Haha...His dad and him offered to drive me to Taylor's from Putrajaya. The whole trip took more than an hour and we were stuck in the jam and got lost for a few times. I'm ever grateful to meet someone like that and I promise that you will experience the best hospitality if you ever visit Miri or Cambridge. :) So, I went back to Taylor's to collect my A-Levels transcript and went over to the copy centres to photocopy all the documents needed. It's better to do your photocopy in SS15 (if you happen to be in this area) because the copy centres here charge at a slightly lower rate compared to other areas. And their service is better and faster *wink*

Actually, even before you book the appointment, you have to fill in the UKBA Online Application Form (fill in the form from the UKBA website), get a GWF code (with the bar code) from the online form. Print out the online application form and then fill in Appendix 8 (form and guidance)

Link to the UKBA website for Malaysia.

I'm not sure about the case for private students or students under the FAMA sponsorship (Father and Mother Scholarship - best scholarship in the world) but the following are (not exhaustively) the documents needed by students under organization scholarships:
  1. Current Passport (at least 6 months till expiry date)
  2. Old passports for the past 10 years
  3. Complete overseas travel history (typed on a separate sheet in table if the list is long) for the past 10 years
  4. UKBA Online Application form (filled and printed)
  5. Appendix 8
  6. Official A-levels results transcript (Original)
  7. Sponsorship letter/ financial affidavit (Bank letter, bank account statement, birth cert, parents' IC etc for private students) 
  8. 1 visa photo according to the UKBA standard 
  9. appointment confirmation letter
  10. ATAS cert (for certain courses only, especially engineering. My course doesn't require one) (Do I need one?)
  11. CAS Statement (Not required, but just bring along)
  12. Bank draft of RM1474 addressed to VFS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Look out for the amount, it may change!)
  13. UKBA Guidance Sheet
  14. Other documents as mentioned in the CAS
  15. Photocopy of all the documents stated above
It is recommended that you keep all the original documents in an envelope and all the photocopies in another. It will speed up the whole process on the day itself.

I was quite uncertain of certain part in my UKBA form so I've made an extra trip to the MABECS office to consult the advisor there. Oh, I have a really pleasant time utilising the Malaysian Public Transport for this trip. I took the Kelana Jaya line from KL Sentral to Asia Jaya station and had a 10-minutes walk over to PJ8, where the MABECS office is situated. The advisor who helped me to arrange and check through the documents is the same person who gone through my personal statement, word by word, with me last year. Felt really glad and grateful to see him again! :) There was actually a power-cut when I was there, but everything went well in the end.
Pic from malaysiakini site
on a news titled: melacur kerana hutang (?) 

After the 30 minutes check, I commuted from Asia Jaya to KLCC for lunch and a short shopping trip then went to Ampang Park station. The Wisma MCA, where VFS is, is just a 5 minutes walk away from Ampang Park. But do bring an umbrella along if you are walking because there is no covered pedestrian walk. Fortunately the weather was good that day, so I reached 20 minutes before my appointment time.

I was greeted by 2 witty security guards who wore cowboy hats on the 3rd floor. They gave me a 'time-sheet' to confirm my attendance after I showed them my appointment confirmation letter. There quite a number of people in the hall, but the queue was moving quite fast so I only wait for about 10 minutes. I don't think there's anyone who came without appointment. The staffs checked and arrange all the documents then I proceeded to the 19th floor for submission of documents and biometrics. 

There were a few anxious parents waiting outside the VFS office on the 19th floor because only the applicants are allowed to go in. There were storage for the bags and the security guards asked me to switched off my phone. You can't bring anything in except the documents and a switched-off phone then I got teased by the security guard at the door after he saw my passport photo. =.=" urgh. So I went in a waited 10 minutes more. I submitted the documents at the counter and the lady did an identity verification by asking me about my family name and date of birth. I opted the cheapest and the slowest way for the whole process, avoiding: priority service RM392 (visa done in 3 days), sms application tracking service RM8, courier service RM20. So she handed me a receipt. The application process will take 5-15 days and I will be contacted through phone to collect in person.

Then I waited 5 minutes more...got called into a separate room for biometrics. I find the procedures rather amusing as the lady asked me to stare into the CCTV camera on the ceiling and to say my full name and DOB out loud. Then we did the fingerprint record "thing" and took a photo on the spot.

All is done and the only thing I have to do now is wait. The whole process took slightly less than hour and is generally a really pleasant one. After the application, I came out of the building and realise how near KLCC is. It's just a left turn out from the MCA building, so I walked there and continued with my shopping. Heehehe...

So that's it on the UK Visa Application for Malaysia students! Try to apply for your visa as early as possible, preferably before September (the peak season) so as to speed up your application process, but it will not incur much harm if you are a laid-back, chill person like yours truly and opt to only apply at the beginning of September. Do not hesitate to call up the VFS centre if you have any question (I bugged them a few times on changes of the visa fees) Hope yours goes smoothly and well! All the best. :)

p/s: There are mobile biometric centres now in Kuching and KK with additional charges. Do checkout the new services on VFS's site. 

6 comments:

  1. Thank you sooo much for these informations!!

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    1. Glad it helps! Good luck with your application!

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  2. Hi! I'm just wondering which number did you called vfs with? Because I tried 1800817484 and it says I'd get charge £1+ per min to talk to the advisor.

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    1. Hi Nor Hidayah Abdul Rahman,

      I don't think by calling the malaysia number, you'll get charge at UK rate. At least I was charge at the normal Malaysia network call rate the last time I called. Perhaps the 1 pound charge is referring to if you are calling directly to the UK number.

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  3. hello Christine, :) thanks for the informative blog regarding uk visa application. i have a question, does the rule of 28 days of having the money in the account is still applicable this year?

    here's my situation, ive got a sponsor just few days ago--its late, i know, hahaha- and im at the finishing touch up for my online visa application. im afraid that the 28 days rule will be enforced on me, that means i have to wait till 12/10 till i can produce my income statement. The thing is, the latest date that i can join the university is on the 13th Oct. phewwww. thats...alarming. can you please advice me? what should i do? oh! ive tried calling the uk visa center, they'll impose charge on the call. :(

    thank you very much in advance! i hope you have a great day.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Zati for the info on impose a charge on the call!
      I'm sorry this reply is rather late but if you are really in a hurry, I think you should just go for the Fast Track option. I mean it's better to pay slightly more to make sure you have a smooth entry into university. An alternative is, do email your university as soon as possible and tell them about your situation. I'm sure with adequate reasons, they will make allowance for your case. Remember to have everything settled before you depart from malaysia! All the best!

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