COPING UP WITH THE PANDEMIC THROUGH CYCLING

I woke up early this morning only to realize that it has only been four months since the lockdown happened. To me, it seems like it has been several years. Ever since it happened, I just wake up each day with uncertainty, with anxiousness and lots of what-ifs. As a person who loves to travel, this pandemic has basically impacted me mentally. And also the fact that we never know when we will be able to travel again just basically adds up to the worries that we already have. 

Before the pandemic, I have actually tried to save some amount for my future travels. Sadly, I needed to cancel some trips because of the restrictions. But as a person who always tries to look on the bright side of things, I decided to spare some of the amounts I saved to get a bicycle. ‘Well, if I can’t fly, might as-well ride a bike instead!’ , I told myself. Also, the fact that I am based in Vancouver and Vancouver is a great city for biking is just one of the major reasons to own a bike.

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It has been two months since I got my ‘First-Ever Bicycle!’. Growing up, I never had my own. I remember when I was a kid,  I always go to my friend’s house to borrow his bike. So imagine the excitement I had when the Bicycle Store contacted me that my bike was ready for pick-up! 

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After getting my bike, I decided to break it in and cycled around Stanley Park. It was my first bike ride in almost 2 years, the last one I had was when I was in Berlin in Germany last 2018, so I had a bit of a challenge, especially when the track goes uphill. Though challenging, the view at the top made it worth it and eventually I just forgot all  the struggle and basically felt proud of myself which is basically a fulfilling feeling. 

Each day after getting my bike, It has started to become like an inspiration to me to wake up and go to work each day as I just look forward to riding it every after work, which I never felt ever since the pandemic happened. And each time after every cycling session, I just feel better physically and emotionally that  it makes me look forward to the next session.

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Sometimes, I get invited by other cyclists to bike with them, allowing me to discover places in Vancouver that I haven’t been yet, and most of these places have a view to die for. My favorite so far is the beach near the University of British Columbia’s Mall street, it’s just the perfect place to watch the sunset while you get warm in a bonfire while having a platter of cheese, meat, and fruits. 

Being able to go to these places, especially through cycling, and during this pandemic has definitely fed my wanderlust spirit a hundred times more than before it all happened. And for the first time, I started to have the same feeling of appreciation towards local travels to that of international travels. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit, which is basically the state we need to be in during this whole pandemic but it has also allowed me to connect with new people who share the same interests as me. Though this whole pandemic has affected the world badly, biking or cycling has helped me cope up with the whole thing, it has allowed me to experience the feeling of being extremely free, particularly when the wind hits you as you go against it. It’s just one of the silver- linings that I cannot overlook. 

Riding my bike not only keeps me mentally and physically fit but it also gives me the feeling of being extremely free, especially when the wind hits you as you go against it. 

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Barcelona: A Vibrant and Gigantic Amusement Park

Barcelona is like a gigantic amusement park, a city where every locality has something different to offer. Barcelona has many different features which are facing the Mediterranean Sea.  It is filled with great and unique architectural buildings that are undeniably a work of art.  A mouth-watering dish like Paella is worth a try. 

I would say that this was our best trip so far because it didn’t only offer the preserved history of vibrant España but also their citizens, who are very accommodating and truly talented. We have visited Barcelona’s top attractions; however, our top 5 would be the Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, La Ramblas, Arc De Triomphe, and Mount Tibidabo. 

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Park Guell is one of the main tourist fascinations of Barcelona. It is very interesting for people like me who wants to know more about the unusual world of the works of Antoni Gaudi. However, you’ll have to pay an extra amount in order to enter the monumental zone to see the famous view of the park. I would describe Park Guell as an original masterpiece and an exotic architecture. 

The Sagrada Familia is still under construction up to this date, the construction has began in 1882 with Gaudi being the one behind the design of this religious architecture. The design is out of the ordinary and every details are well-thought of. Moreover, I was enormously impressed by the grandeur of its interior as well as the beauty of the church itself. 

La Ramblas of Barcelona is the pedestrian-like promenade that is lively with various stalls and vendors along it. Within the promenade, we passed by their ‘wet market’ or popularly known as La Boqueria that is definitely clean and well-maintained.

The Arc de Triomphe, similar to the Arc located in Paris, France is worth a visit as well. This arc served as gateway to the Word Fair in 1888.                   

Lastly, the Mount Tibidabo, which has many attractions and is best known for its funicular which was once considered an attraction. But what really amazed us was the oldest amusement park in Barcelona that is situated on top of the mountain and retains some of its oldest rides that are completely functional even up to this date. On top of the Ferris wheel ride, you can see the panoramic view of the whole city of Barcelona that is truly breathtaking. 

Barcelona is a city where you have to see and experience it yourself. You might have a different perspective about it but all in all it truly amuses everyone by its wonder. 

This Travel Story is written by Rommel ‘Roms’ Ramirez. You can follow more of his adventure on his instagram @romsramirez or facebook Rommel Zubieta Ramirez
ALL PHOTOS IN THIS ARTICLE ARE FROM ROMMEL ‘ROMS’ RAMIREZ PERSONAL ARCHIVE.

A nurse by profession, but a traveler by heart. I love traveling to places that is rich in history and diversity. I am a professional dancer, that being said, I prefer being in places that is full of creativity, culture, and positive vibes. 

Traveling means a lot to me. It is a humbling experience of being able to see places for yourself and reminisce the journey and people that I’ve met. Having conversations with locals in any specific city adds up some learning about that specific place I’ve visited. Exploring the world is something that no one can take away from us. That makes us human, the eagerness to learn, to experience, and explore the world. 

ROMMEL’S TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

CAMERA BODY: NIKON D7200 –CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM HERE

CAMERA LENS: NIKON NIKKOR 50MM F1.8 CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM HERE

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY KIT: IPHONE X CHECK THE LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON.COM HERE

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Top Things To Do in Venice

Ever went to a place where it left you instantly breathless? -Well, recently, I visited Venice in Italy, and upon arriving there and seeing the place, it just took my breath away in the spur of a moment. A lot of people who has been to this place will always tell you that there is no place on earth like Venice, it is true, and I’m one witness to it. 

Venice is founded by mainland populations escaping from the barbarian invasions of the Huns led by Attila during circa 450AD- but I will not dwell into that. Going back, Venice is unique from most cities as it is built on waters, waters of the Adriatic Sea to be specific and since it is built on waters, this city has spectacular networks of picturesque canals, and basically, as a photographer and traveler, this is my main fascination with the city. 

In this article, I will be sharing the top things to do do in this spectacular city as well as my own share of photographs which I took from my last visit, just to give you a better idea as to how beautiful Venice is. 

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Explore Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is a channel in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city, that is according to wikipedia. But there is so much more about grand canal more than just being a channel, it is also a very picturesque place and a great place to see the sunset. So if you want a romantic place to take your other half, or if you simply just want to witness Venice’s signature sunset, then head over to the opening end of the grand canal, located just a few minutes walk from Piazza San Marco. 

Head to Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge is one of most picturesque bridges in Europe, it has became like a signature for Venice. I’m pretty sure everyone who has watched the movie: ’Spider-man Far From Home’ will recognize it as the setting of the scene where Spider-man and Mysterio first encountered each other while fighting the water element.

Rialto Bridge

Head to Accademia Bridge

This is my favorite bridge in the whole of Venice, it is one of the major bridges on the Grand Canal. Here you can witness magnificent sunsets. It is also a famous sites for photographers, so if you plan to do some long-exposure photography here, be sure to arrive a little early, as it easily gets filled with tripods from other photographers wanting to do the same. 

Gondola as seen from Accademia Bridge

Day-trip to Murano and Burano

Murano and Burano are two separate towns slash islands, but to get to Burano, you will have the option to pass through Murano. Murano is beautiful small town, a bit modern than Venice though, but its one beautiful town famous for its glass-blowing arts. Murano also has lots of Glass factory where you can watch different glass artists make their art. On the other hand, Burano is another town, you can reach it through riding a 45 minutes ferry-ride from Murano. Burano is a small island town famous for its brightly colored- fishermen’s houses. A must visit town when in Venice. 

Take a Gondola-ride

This is a little bit cliche’ but if you are traveling with family or your other half, then I suggest that you take  a gondola-ride. I haven’t taken the Gondola ride myself, but people who has experienced it are saying that it gives you a completely different perspective of the city. Well for sure, I bet the view from the Gondola will let you take amazing images as well. 

Visit Basilica San Marco

Venetian architecture at its finest. The basilica San Marco is a famous sight situated on one side of the Piazza San Marco. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture, which boasts an amazing exterior as well having a jaw-dropping interior. 

Basilica San Marco

Explore Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco  or commonly known as St. Marks Square is Venice’s main square. The Piazza San Marco is the most important and most famous square of the city of Venice. A great place to explore and take photographs. From here, you can pretty much access different attractions easily. 


Discover Venice’s Picturesque Canals

The most thing I get fascinated about Venice are its amazing picturesque canals. There is just no bad angle whichever angle you take your photos from. Venice is almost defined by its canals, with more than one hundred-fifty waterways veining through the city and traversed by over four-hundred bridges. Definitely a great place to get lost for travelers and a great playground for photographers. 

Have you been to Venice? How was your experience?! Share it with us through the comment section below.

Explore Paris, Experience The City of Love

Paris, the city of love, fashion, lights and great food has always been in my bucket list for quite some time. So around February last year, I was able to finally visit the French-Capital. Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to visit this city, because it’s in everyone’s bucket-list as well as being one of the top-rated cities when it comes to everything; from architecture to fashion. As a photographer, those are just some of the major factors which has made me decide to include it in one of the legs of my first-ever Northern-Europe itinerary. 

I arrived in Paris From Belgium on the fourteenth of February, -yeah, I know! It’s valentines day! Quite Ironic to be spending valentines day in the city of love ‘alone’. But it didn’t matter, I enjoyed my own company anyway.

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When my bus approached the city, I can say that there is some serious problems with trash on the outskirts and it has given me a bad impression towards the city, initially. ‘Maybe Paris is not only the city of love, but also the city of trash’, I told myself. Well, I cannot actually judge yet as I haven’t seen and explore the whole city yet. Well, at least it’s not as dirty as my home country’s capital. 

So, basically, I spent the next day exploring what the City has to offer. I visited some of their famous landmarks.  The Eiffel tower, The Louvre Museum and The Arc Of Triomphe are just some of the few. Honestly speaking, I was very impressed with these structures, they are truly a work of art! Also, since they’re pretty much situated near each other, you can pretty much access them conveniently through Paris’ metro lines.

What fascinates me about Paris is that it is home to the most beautiful avenue I’ve ever seen in my entire life, the Champ De Elysses. The Champ De Elysses is an avenue stretching from the Arc of Triomphe roundabout to the Louvre museum. A walk on this avenue is a must whenever you visit Paris. Aside from the beautiful Avenue of Champ De Elysses, you can pretty much discover stunning streets wherever you go in Paris.

Arc De Triomphe

Before visiting Paris, I was told by people who has visited the city that it’s one of the most expensive cities to visit. I totally disagree to that! In fact, you can pretty much save a lot when you try to make the most out of public transportations like the metros and buses. Trust me, Paris has one of the most organized metro lines in all of the cities I’ve visited. One great saving tip, try not to eat in restaurants near touristic areas such as restaurants near the Eiffel tower. They are pretty much more expensive compare to like eating in a restaurant located at least two train stops away from these areas. If you’re staying in a hostel, try to buy some stuff to cook or some ready made stuff to eat from the supermarket, it’s pretty much economical rather than eating in restaurants or cafes. The key to not be spending so much in every city you visit is to avoid popular places. 

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Also, some people warned me that some residents in Paris can be quite rude. Well, for this, I have to agree. But don’t stereotype, cause there are also some residents which are very hospitable and kind. One proof to this is that I stayed with a very hospitable Parisian Host, and he is one of the most wonderful people I’ve met in my entire life. Basically, I think every country or a city has a share of rude and unfriendly people. You just need to learn to spot and avoid them as much as possible.

To summarize my Paris experience, I was disappointed with the scene which has welcomed me when I was entering the city. But after exploring deeper into the city, I’ve discovered that there are lots of really nice places to appreciate. You know what they say, we need to dig deeper to see all the great stuff. Now, it’s one of my favorite cities in the world. 

Basically this experience has made me realized that we should always try to look and appreciate the beautiful things about something, somewhere or someone and not instantly judge and jump into conclusions because of what we saw initially. That basically is the same with every places we go to and people we meet in this journey called life.

“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” – Thomas Jefferson.”

Update: I’ve been to Paris for like around 4 times now, and I still feel as if it’s my first time visiting this city. The vibe, the atmosphere, and the excitement are still the same! Looking forward to my fifth visit! 

Have you been to Paris? How was your experience in the city of love? Share with us through the comment section below. 

Exploring Canada, The Best Country

Growing up, I have always been surrounded by people from different parts of the world, predominantly Canadians. Often times, they show me photos of their home country, and basically those photos has sparked the desire in me to travel there someday, so ever-since then I always wanted to visit the country.

So fast-forward, earlier this year, I was able to secure a Canadian Visa. Thanks to all the people who has helped me in this process. In my opinion, getting a Canadian Visa is one of the easiest process which I went through, everything was done online and I just went to the Visa Application Center to submit my Biometrics and Passport. Great Job Canada! I will not be discussing the whole process of getting a Canadian Visa in this post but I will definitely discuss and share that in a different blog post. 

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Downtown Vancouver

So I traveled to Canada earlier this year. I flew from Paris to Montreal through AirTransat, an airline which is based mainly in Montreal. I flew from Europe as it’s so much cheaper to fly from there compare to like flying directly from Dubai. So first things first whenever I arrive in a country, to go through Passport Control. For some reason, whenever I go through passport control, I always feel some jitters. Maybe because I’ve felt discriminated from all the interrogations from officers from my previous travels.

British Columbia Parliament Building

Ok so going back, to my surprise, upon handing my passport to the officer, she just looked at the pages then looked at me with a smile and said ‘welcome to Canada!’- that was like the first time an immigration officer greeted me with actual words and welcomed me to their country with a huge smile! Oh well, only in Canada! 

Banff, Alberta

I have spent two-whole months exploring Canada, from the exotic coast of British Columbia to the snowy-peaks of Alberta. Within those months of exploring, I’ve concluded that Canada is basically one of the most beautiful countries I’ve visited. This country just boasts breath-taking natures, from Icy Peaks to turquoise-colored lakes which definitely has made the photographer in me giggled with excitement each time. It is also in Canada where I’ve experienced extreme hospitality from people. Definitely one the many good things which I will never forget from this trip. 

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Canada is one of the most-memorable country which I visited. Mainly because of how beautiful the country is and how friendly people there are. So imagine how I felt when I needed to leave the country- yeah, I was filled with emotions. I know this visit is basically just an introduction and I know that I will be back for sure. I also think that  it is a destination which I will always go back to for a visit but will feel the same excitement as if it’s my first time visiting. So definitely looking forward to it, and hopefully it will be sooner. 

Have you been to Canada? If so, how was your experience? Feel free to share them on the comments below! 

How To Apply For A Schengen Visa for Philippine-passport holders.

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How to apply for a Schengen Visa (Step by Step Procedure, Documents required and Tips on how to successfully obtain a Schengen Visa)

Applying for a visa can be one of the most-tedious task to do, especially with visas for highly-industrialized countries. Aside from the inch-thick documents we need to collect & submit and the time it takes for it to be processed, there is also a certain amount we need to pay. And above all these, there is still no guarantee that our application will be approved.

Anyway, in this article, I’ll be discussing mainly about the different procedures and documents required  in obtaining a Schengen Visa.

First, what is a  Schengen Visa? Well basically, a Schengen visa is a short stay visa allowing its holder to circulate in the Schengen area. The Schengen area covers 26 countries (“Schengen States”) without border controls between them.

Below are the Schengen States:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Aside from the Schengen States, you can also use your Schengen visa to visit other countries like:

Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia,Cyprus, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey

Documents Required:

Fully Completed and Signed Visa Application Form

Cover Letter Stating the purpose of the visit.

Original Passport and passport Info Page Copy

Residence Visa Copy (if you are based abroad)

ID Photos (Bring at least 2 copies)

Roundtrip Flight Ticket Reservation

Travel Insurance

Proof of Accommodation(hotel bookings, etc.)

Proof of Financial Means (latest 6-months bank statement)

Employment Certificate if Employed

Day to day Itinerary

Invitation Letter if you’re invited by Someone from the EU

Affidavit of Support if someone else is paying for your expenses

Enrollment Certificate if you’re a student.

Step by step guide in getting a Schengen Visa

Basically, the first step in getting a Schengen Visa is to choose your main country of travel or the country of which you’ll be spending the most time (if you’re planning to travel to several Schengen States) as this will determine which Visa Application Center you will need to go.

For Schengen Visa Applications, it is mostly handled by VFS GLobal, although there are some countries where the Visa application is handled by the country’s embassy itself, there are also those which are handled by a different agency. So it is important to make sure to decide which country is your main country so you can go to that specific Visa Application Center.

Book an Appointment Online. Well after choosing the country, you should set an appointment where you will submit all your documents for your application. As mentioned on the first step, you should book an appointment based on your main country. In my case, I applied for a Schengen Visa for the Netherlands, and VFS Global handles visa application for the Netherlands, therefore, I booked an appointment on the VFS Global Website.

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I highly suggest that applicants should apply for at least 60-90 days before their intended travel dates to have ample time to fix any problems if there will be any.

On your appointment day at the Visa Application Center, representatives will collect and scan your documents, they will also assess what else may be lacking from all the documents you have submitted. After this, once everything is ok, you will then be called for biometrics collection (fingerprints and photo). Once everything is finished, you will then be given a receipt for you to claim your passport once the result of your application is ready. A tracking number is also written in the receipt for you to be able to track the progress of your application online. You can also opt for an SMS message update with an additional fee.

Processing time takes up to 21 days, so I advice that you only contact the Visa Application Center if you haven’t received any result yet after this timeframe. In my case, I received my passport with a Shengen Visa after 8 days.

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Shengen Visa Fees varies from each country of Application, Since I applied for The Netherlands through VFS GLOBAL in the UAE, then here is the breakdown of all the fees that I paid in the local currency:

99 AED around 26 USD – Appointment fee paid at the VFS Global site

260 AED around 70 USD – Shengen Visa Fee to be paid during the day of application

30 AED around 8 USD – Courier Service (Optional) – the passport will be delivered to your desired address.

I hope you find this article helpful. For questions, feel-free to ask it on the comments below and I will try to answer as soon as I’ll be able to read them.

Thank you for reading!

Exploring Brussels, one of my favorite European Cities

Brussels, Belgium was the second European Country which I visited during my first travel across Northern Europe. I arrived from Amsterdam. The train ride took approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. One of the most comfortable train journey I had from all my travels.

Top travel tip: When you book your train tickets across Europe, try to book it in advance to get cheaper rates.  Unfortunately, I needed to book my ticket on the same day, as I had missed my confirmed train during that day due to oversleeping. Well, my excuse is that I partied too hard the night prior to my departure, and therefore the ticket cost me an instant hundred Euros! Three times more expensive, compared to the price of my original booking (completed 2 weeks prior), which was just 30 Euros. Lesson learnt! Don’t party too hard, especially if you have an early trip the next day. As unfortunate as it was, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the rest of my adventure.

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The moment I arrived in Brussels, I took a stroll and instantly felt a strong connection with the place. The photographer in me just couldn’t stop giggling! Ever had that feeling, when visiting somewhere for the first time, that you’ve been there before? That every street and old building in the city looked familiar? Not because you had seen it in photos and videos, but because you had been there or possibly even lived there? That’s how I felt! Weird, but of all the places and cities I’ve visited in my life, I felt this familiarity the strongest in Brussels. Well, maybe I was Belgian in my past life, who knows.   

My favorite place in Brussels is the La Grand Place, Brussel’s main square. It’s one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices: the city’s Town Hall, and the King’s House or Breadhouse. I spent each morning having coffee and breakfast at one of the coffee shops in the square and just watched pedestrians pass by. The best way to start your day in Brussels!

Grand Palace, Brussels

Five minutes walk from the Grand Place, at the junction of the Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat and the pedestrian Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat, you will find the ‘Mannekin Pis’. A statue of a small boy peeing, which is considered to be one of the most symbolic in Brussels. A must-see when you visit the first time.

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Mannekin Piss

Within the city center, the discovery of unique Belgium culture and traditions never ends. But one thing that really captivated me was the statue of Everard t’Serclaes. Legend has it that rubbing her arm will ensure one’s return to Brussels. So without hesitation, I rubbed the statue’s arm vigorously. Let’s hope this ensures my return.

Everard t’Serclaes

I spent most of my days in Brussels exploring the city, getting to know new friends and taking photos of anything that caught my attention. Funny thing is, everything in Brussels caught my attention! From It’s edifices of stunning architecture, to it’s different cobbled streets! I felt like an animal which had lived in captivity and was finally released into it’s natural habitat. I had never felt such joy! When time comes for me to relocate and settle, without hesitation… it has to be Brussels.

How to apply for a UK Visa for Philippine Passport Holders

Recently, I have applied for a Short-term UK Visa in Abu Dhabi upon my intention to visit my friend who lives in the UK. Before my application, I have read tons of websites and blogs. Upon checking, I just let a big sigh upon seeing all the list of requirements that you need to acquire and submit. I know it’s hard to be Filipino sometimes!

So one month before my application, I started to collect all the documents needed. I started with requesting a Certificate of Employment from my employer then requesting a Bank Statement from my Bank. Upon completing all my documents, I went to the UKVI website to book an appointment and paid 141.00USD online and received a confirmation booking for their office in Khalidiya. You need to print the confirmation letter before going to the application center, otherwise they won’t let you in the Visa Application Center without it.

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So on my appointment day, I went to the VFS Global Office which is located on the 25th floor of Shining Towers in Khalidiya, went for security checks then submitted all my documents to the agent. Upon verifying all of it I paid an extra 10aed for SMS and Email Tracking, he then asked me to proceed to the biometrics room for my photograph and fingerprints collection. The whole process only took about 14-minutes or less, so quick! They then informed me that the visa processing time will take up to 3 weeks.

To be honest, I was so nervous that my visa might get denied because I’ve read some blog posts from applicants who have been denied because they only have stayed here in the UAE for not so long, and since I’m only 20 years old and has only been staying here in the UAE for a year, the fear of getting denied is real! But after 8 working days, I received my passport anxiously praying and hoping to see a UK Visa stamped on it while browsing all my passport pages, Thank God! They gave me a multiple visa valid for six months! One of the happiest days of my freaking life! See you next year UK!

You should not worry about your application as long as you’ve provided all the required documents and that you’re completely honest with your intention of visiting the UK.  In my scenario, I got a letter of invitation from my friend who lives in the UK. It’s stated in the letter that I will be staying at his place most of the time and that he will make sure that I will exit from the UK before the Visa expires. And I also stated in my cover letter that I will only go there purely for tourism purposes and that I have no intention of looking for a job in the UK.

I hope this experience will help a lot of you, especially Filipino expats here in the UAE who are applying for a UK Visa for the first time.

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Documents required

Letter of sponsorship from sponsor/s

Cover Letter Addressed to the Embassy of UK in Abu Dhabi

Passport copy of sponsor/s

Statement of Account of sponsor/s

Six month pay slip of sponsor/s

Itinerary plans with Budget

Your Passport Copy

Residence Visa Copy

Employment Certificate showing your annual income and Approved Leave dates

Bank Statements For The Last Six Months

Application form, duly dated and signed 

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Frequently asked questions:

I’m in the UAE as a tourist, can I apply for a UK visa in any of the emirate?

-No, unfortunately most of the UK Visa application center only accepts applicant with a visa enabling the applicant to stay in a country/ territory for more than six months and in this case, UAE tourist visa is only valid for 3 months max.

Will the UKVI Accepts Scanned copy of the documents of my sponsor/s?

-Yes! They do, so you don’t need to ask your sponsor to courier all the original documents.

Should I have a confirmed return flight tickets before applying?

-No, not necessarily.

Thanks for reading!