How to Apply for a UK Visa for Foreigners in Malaysia

February 8, 2018

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Last month I just came back from the United Kingdom and it was absolutely an awesome trip. If you follow me on Instagram, I am sure you already know I had an amazing time over there for Christmas and New Year. A trip to the United Kingdom is an incredibly exciting opportunity but the process to obtain the UK visa can be a little bit intimidating for the first time. Therefore, I write this post to guide you and share my experience on how to apply for a UK visa.

Note: My UK visa application was done in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you apply for the UK visit visa in another country, the fee and the additional service fee might vary but the supporting documents and the process steps will be similar.

UK Visa Application

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Do I Need Visa to Visit the UK?

Before starting the process, do check whether you need a UK visa. If you don’t need UK visa, then this post definitely is not necessary for you. If you are in doubt whether your nationalities need a visa to enter to the UK, please check here.

What Kind of Visa Do I Need?

If you need a UK visa, the first thing you have to decide will be knowing what kind of visa you need. Different visiting purposes have different types of visa and a different process. For example, if you visit the UK for business or study, some documents required will be different from a tourism visit. Hence it is essential to be certain of what kind of visa you need. You may check here for the further information.

Note: I will be discussing about tourism visa in this post

How to Apply for a UK Visa?

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The first step for the visa application can be done online through VFS (Visa4UK) or AccessUK service. If you apply though VFS, firstly you need to create an account and then fill in the online application form. You may need some time to complete the form as there are quite a lot questions to answer. It is compulsory to provide the information such as personal identity, your travel plan, purpose of visit, the details of your stay, estimation of your travel cost, your job information, your income, your expenses, your travel history in the past 10 years (as shown in your passport).

Once you finish the application, you have to pay the visa fee online before it takes you to the last page. The visa costs USD 122 / Rm 500+ (Apply at Oct 2017) with up to 6-months validity. It was so expensive. Definitely get heartache if the visa gets rejected. >_<

Once your payment is completed, it will direct you to the appointment page. You can book and choose the date for your appointment. I recommend to choose 2 or 3 days from the day you complete the application because from my experience it took 1 day to send the appointment letter to my email. After you receive the appointment letter, do not forget to print and bring it together with the visa fee receipt.

Note: The earliest you can start to apply for a UK visa is 3 months before your travel plan.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for The UK Visa?

Please ensure all documents submitted have to be in English and have to be removed from any folders such as ring binders as these cannot be accepted during the application.

UK Visa Documents Checklist

Below is the list of required documents you should bring when you attend your appointment.

  • Original current and old passport

Your passport needs to be valid for the entire trip and need to have a blank page on both sides for your visa.

  • Original valid working visa in the country you apply for your UK visa (If applicable)

If you are a foreigner and working in another country, this is essential to show.

  • Copy of your citizenship ID
  • Recent photograph with passport size (45mm x 35mm) and light grey background. (Applicable only if you are exempt from giving biometric data)

You may check here for further information of photo requirement.

  • A copy of your Bank statements from the last 6 months

There is no information given for the minimum money you should have in your bank. Just have a reasonable amount with the estimation of your expense for the period you will be spending in the UK.

  • Proof of earnings / payslip (copy) from the last 6 months (For working adult)
  • Original letter from your employer (For working adult)

The letter has to be printed out with company letterhead complete with your employment details such as your role, salary, company contract details, start date of employment and confirmation of your leave absence. you can find my sample here.

  • A Copy of your employment contract (For working adult)
  • Official letter from your school / University stating you are student (For Student)
  • Original invitation letter together with copy of his / her passport (If applicable)

If you have family or friends from the UK inviting you over to the UK and you are going to stay with them, the invitation letter can be a supporting document for your visa application. Here is my sample of invitation letter.

  • Original sponsor letter completed with his / her passport copy and the last 3 months’ bank statement (If applicable)

If one of your family is the one who will sponsor you for the trip, you may provide a copy of his/her birth certificate as well to prove your relationship.

  • Parents passport copy (this is not necessary but I do provide this as well)

Also, do not forget to bring:

  • A printout of visa fee receipt (Get this from your email)
  • A printout of the appointment letter
  • A printout of your online application form signed and dated

Appointment Day

On your appointment day, please be punctual. It is advisable to come 5 minutes earlier than your appointment time and show your appointment letter to the officer once you arrive. If you bring a bag along, they will instruct you to put your bag in a locker. Only documents, wallet and phone (make sure to turn your phone on silent mode) are allowed to bring it together with you. The guard will give you a number and perform security check on you before allowing you into the file submission room. Safety is always priority for them.

Once you are inside and they call your number, you can submit all the supporting documents to them, afterwards they will ask you to wait awhile for your turn to the scanning room. Inside the scanning room they will verify your personal information and do an iris and finger scan and then you are done.

If you do not like to wait long for your finger and iris scan, you can pay for the VIP service (Another RM 199 / USD 50). This service will provide you with a premium lounge with sofa, TV, free biscuits and drinks (tea, coffee, canned drinks).

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VIP Lounge

The normal UK visa application processing time will be within 15 working days but I was lucky to receive it pretty quick. It was just within 8 days. If you wish to get a quicker result (within 5 days), you can pay for an express visa (About USD 100++).

You are also required to pay another RM 10 / USD 2.5 (inclusive of GST 6%) for the SMS service. This service is part of the application to allow them to update your visa application status and you will also receive the automated email at the same time. If you are paying for VIP service, this will be free for you.

My Thoughts

I was a bit worried at the submission time because I completely did not have any guidance. I was filled with anxiety as well as many people said the UK visa was quite difficult to obtain. I read online that many people get rejected and during my application time, I saw it with my own eyes that the person in front of me was having the rejection letter and it definitely gave me an uneasy feeling.

Luckily, it was all just in my mind. I still remember the feeling when I received a call from the VFS at the morning 8 days after my application. It definitely made my day. Everything turned out excellent.

Overall, the UK visa application process was not as intimidating as I thought in the first place. If you follow the guide and provide complete and reasonable documents, I am sure everything will be alright. I was also impressed with their service. All the staff officers are very nice and friendly and the process is very quick and reliable. They obviously take pride in their customer service.


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If you are planning to go to UK for a holiday and are going to apply for the visa by yourself, I hope this post is useful for you. Good luck and do not worry too much.

If you have any questions about the UK Visa application, you can drop the comment below or contact me. I will be happily answer it for you πŸ˜€

UK Visa Application Center - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Suite 19.06 19 Floor,Wisma MCA, 163 Jalan Ampang, 50450

Opening hours: 
Application submission and Document collection
Monday to Friday (Excluding public holiday)
08:00 – 14:00

❤❤❤

Thank you for reading my blogΒ 😊

XOXO

∞ ♥ Elvira ♥ ∞

 

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Have something to add?

50 Comments

  1. Reply

    Agness of Fit Travelling

    Such an exceptional read, Elvira. I am sure many people will find this info very useful and I’ll make sure to share your tips which my friends in Malaysia.

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Awww thank you for reading my post and willing to share it to your friends It is very sweet of you ❀

  2. Reply

    Indian Eagle

    Thank you for sharing great information this is very much helpful in processing my Visa

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      You’re welcome! I am glad you find it useful Good luck for your visa

  3. Reply

    ALI ABBAS

    Do we have to submit all documents and etc at British embassy in Kuala Lumpur or is there is any vfs office

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Ali, Sorry for my late reply. For visa application purpose have to be at VFS office. If you are planning to apply in Kuala Lumpur, you can check the address in bottom of my post πŸ™‚

  4. Reply

    Mehak

    First I would like to appreciate for such an amazing article. It is very useful seriously. I want to ask one question. I’m Pakistani national studying in Malaysia for my masters. I want to apply for UK visa from Malaysia. All the documents you mentioned are ready with me except the bank statement I have my father’s bank statement but not mine as I’m a student I don’t have enough amount in my bank. So what should I do now?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Mehak, Thank you so much for reading my post and I am so glad that you find it useful. I apologize for the delayed response. If you are still student, you can show your father’s bank statement as a the supporting document. This means that your trip is going to be supported and sponsored by your father. In this case, you also have to provide your birth certificate (with a professional translation in English) and a sponsor letter from your father. The letter should state your father name, your relationship with him, the amount of money available (Should be the same as on his bank statement) and that he gives his consent to the money being used for your trip in the UK, attach with your father’s bank statement as evidence that the money promised is really available. I hope this is helpful for you. Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck for you visa application πŸ™‚

  5. Reply

    VISHWANATH Nissan MUNIYAPPA

    First, Thanks for useful information for foreigners visiting UK.

    Do you still remember which link you used to fill the application form “through VFS (Visa4UK) or AccessUK servic” since website https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/visa-type” says… we can’t use VFS link for applying UK visa.

    You must use the Visa4UK service if you want to apply for a visa if you are:

    a diplomat or official
    exempt from immigration controls

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Vishwanath, Sorry for the delayed response and I am glad you find this info useful πŸ™‚ I used AccessUK link. I did asked them about both link and they told me VFS (Visa4UK) is the new UK visa application website and AccessUK is the old website and both website can be used to apply for UK visit visa πŸ˜€

  6. Reply

    Mike

    are you a solo traveller when you apply for a visa in UK?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Mike, Sorry my late reply. I don’t really get your question but I hope this answers your question. I applied for the visa by myself πŸ˜€

  7. Reply

    Jonathan Raj Thangarajoo

    Hi, did you have to surrender your passport when you went to wisma MCA for your application, while waiting for visa approval?

    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Jonathan, Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, you have to pass the passport together with necessary documents when you apply for the UK visa because once it gets approved, they will stick the visa in your passport πŸ™‚

  8. Reply

    Binta

    Hi Elvira
    Thank you for the infomative article.
    I am studying in Malaysia and going to the UK for a short training workshop. Does my Malaysian visa need to be up to certain months validity before it is acceptable? Thank you

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Binta. Thank you for reading my post. I am glad you find it useful. Well normally it is recommended to have valid visa for not less than 6 months upon UK visa application but since you go there for training workshop purpose, you may get the sponsor letter from your workshop and show them as a proof πŸ™‚

  9. Reply

    Le Quang Dung

    Thanks for the good information. Have a good day

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      I am glad you found it useful! Thank you for reading! Have a great day πŸ™‚

  10. Reply

    Sampath

    Thats a wonderful write up exactly what i was looking for. Have a query though. When i try applying through the online portal( https://visas-immigration.service.gov.uk/product/uk-visit-visa) it asks me to confirm that i must be able to travel to sabah or sarawak(only 2 options) for my appointment. If i say no, it asks me to select a different country for appointment. Is it not possible to have an appointment in kuala lumpur?

    Thanks
    Sampath

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Sampath. When I applied at the time, I was able to choose Kuala Lumpur as my visa application center. I go to the website now and I notice the same problem as yours which only shows me Sabah and Sarawak. I suggest you to apply through Visa4UK because i knew someone just did and was able to make an appointment in Kuala Lumpur πŸ™‚

  11. Reply

    Esther

    Hi Elvira, may i know we have to travel to Sabah or Sarawak when doing the appointment (because it is stated when applying from Malaysia)? or we can do the appointment in Kuala Lumpur?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Esther. No, you don’t have to travel to Sabah or Sarawak. You can definitely do it in Kuala Lumpur. However I notice there is a problem in the AccessUK website. Somehow it only showed Sabah and Sarawak as the option. I suggest you to apply through Visa4UK because I knew someone just applied through this service and she could choose to make appointment in Kuala Lumpur πŸ™‚

  12. Reply

    Sampathkumar

    Hi Elvira,
    Thanks. Just to give a try i went ahead to complete my application in the new portal. And just before making payment it again gives an option to choose the appointment centre. And this time it does list kuala lumpur and was able to book an appoinment in KL. πŸ™‚

    Thanks
    Sampath

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Sampath, Thank you for the update and I am really glad to know you are able to make the appointment in KL. Good luck on your visa application πŸ™‚

  13. Reply

    Sampathkumar

    Hi Elvia,
    Any idea on how to apply for the Schengen Visa from Malaysia to visit Switzerland ?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Sampath, I haven’t applied any Schengen visa yet. I know that Switzerland does not have any application center in Malaysia so if you want to apply Schengen visa to Switzerland, you should go through Austrian embassy in Kuala Lumpur or VFS. You may read further info here. Hope this is helpful for you πŸ™‚

  14. Reply

    Mashal

    Hi Elvira thanks for the information it’s so helpful…..But I was wondering what type of questions do they ask during the interview. Thank you so much

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Mashal, I am glad you find my post useful. It was actually just basic questions πŸ™‚

      Such as :
      – What is your full name, date of birth, PP number (For them to check whether it matchs with the given info)
      – What is your purpose of visit?
      – Which places do you plan to visit in UK?
      – How long are you planning to visit?

  15. Reply

    Niladri

    Hey Elvira, Excellent explanation of the process. Though I have a query….do I need to buy plane tickets , book hotels before I proceed to apply for tourist visa?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Niladri, I’m glad you enjoy read my post. You don’t need to buy flights and travel tickets in order to proceed for a visa application. According to their guideline, they do not expect us to purchase flights or confirm travel arrangements until your visa decision has been received. However, I think you can attach hotel booking as supporting document. Just make sure you have the option to cancel it anytime without any charges πŸ™‚

  16. Reply

    Mashal

    Ohh I see, thank you! Also when submitting the documents, do we have to submit both the original and photocopy or just the photocopy. And is it okay if we don’t provide an original sponsor letter at the appointment but provide it after, cause my sponsor mailed the letter late but he did scan me a copy. Sorry for asking so many questions thank you so muchh

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Mashal, Sorry for the late reply. During the submission time, you submit the original passport and photocopy documents all together and it is advisable to submit all document at the same time because you may not have a chance to resubmit additional documents. If it is not possible to get your letter on time, you may use the scan copy, attached with your sponsor passport copy πŸ™‚

  17. Reply

    Manwin

    Hi Elvira ,Manwin here from Malaysia, i just read another in google search if i am to stay no longer than 6 months than i do not nee visa , unless i am planning to stay longer than 6 months. i believe you applied as you are student and are planning to stay longer than 6 months to complete your studies.

    i want to also know what about work visa. the visa that you have applied does it allow you to work?? if so is it as part time , full time or certain amount of hours in a week only.

    thanks & regards
    Manwin

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Manwin, Sorry for my late reply. Since you are Malaysian, it is true that for tourism purpose, you are allowed to stay for no longer than 6 months without a visa. I am Indonesian, working in Malaysia so I need a visa to visit UK πŸ˜€ The visa I applied was tourist visa with validity of 6 months and no any works allowed. If you are planning to work there, you should check out for UK work visa πŸ™‚

  18. Reply

    Muhammad Afiq bin Abdul Wahid

    Hi there! I’m just curious about something. I found from the Internet that Malaysians have visa-free access to the UK, given it is for tourism purpose for not more than 6 months. Does this mean that Visa is not needed at all to travel there?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Afiq, Yes you are right! for tourism purpose, Malaysian citizens are allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months without a visa πŸ™‚

  19. Reply

    nikki

    Hi Elvira, Such an amazing guide! just one question — In applying the UK visa, does it require already a plane ticket that will comes with the application? If yes, can it be one way ticket or should be round trip?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Nikki, Sorry for my late reply. Thank you and I am glad you enjoy reading my post πŸ™‚ Well, According to their guideline, they do not expect us to purchase flights or confirm travel arrangements until your visa decision has been received. When I applied my UK visa, I didn’t provide any plane ticket πŸ™‚

  20. Reply

    Lynda

    Hi Elvira, thanks for the details in your blog. I have some questions regarding the online application in the visa4uk website. However I entered some problems during registration. I did not receive any email for verification after the registration, whilst ensuring my email address and my browser page are all correct. With no mails in the junk/ spam mail box. Can you assist me what to do next? This is so worrying

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Lynda, I am glad you enjoy reading my post. Do you mean that the first step, you register your account in Visa4UK website and you didnt get a verification email? if yes, you may go to homepage, click the log in button and click the “forgot your password” link. you will get the email for the link to unlock your account.

      If the email address you have entered is invalid, you will have to register again. You do not need to make another account for another application. Simply choose β€œApply For Myself” or β€œApply For Someone Else” when you log in to your account. Your account will be active for two years from the last time you logged on.

      Hope this is helpful πŸ™‚

  21. Reply

    Joanna Chiew

    As I am based out of Miri Sarawak, I had been trying to plan in anticipation of our appointment for the Visa application at the VAC in KL. I understand that upon receiving CAS from university, I should make an online Visa application and at the same time schedule an appointment at the KL VAC. I would like to know how soon after I submit our visa application online can I successfully schedule this application please. Ideally I would like to schedule the VAC appointment either on the same day or the following day after the online application. However, I need advice on the actual situation/possibilities in practice so that I can plan ahead for my trip from Miri please.

    Thank You

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Joanna, Sorry for my late reply. Are you Malaysian? If you are, you don’t need to apply a visa to travel to UK. Regarding for appointment schedule, I suggest to schedule your appointment 3 days after you have completed your online application because it can take 1 to 2 days to get the appointment letter in email and without showing the appointment letter, you are not allowed to go for the appointment. Let me know if you have any questions πŸ™‚

  22. Reply

    Nasir Hussain

    Hi, Elvira Thank you for sharing great information this is very helpful in processing my visa,
    First I would like to appreciate your for such an excellent article, it is very really useful and, Actually I want to ask a question that, I’m a pakistani and I’m working here to last three years as a legally,I have 4 work permit of construction, so now I want to visit visa for UK so how I can apply and what are the requirements for that, and will you please tell me about that what, if I no understand the rules or requirements so how I can use any Ajent fro this. Thank you very much…..

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Nasir, Sorry for my late reply. I am really glad that you find my post useful. As long as you have a legal work permit in Malaysia, no matter what kind of Job you have, you can follow all the requirement stated in my post.
      1. Make sure you have all required document for visa application (Refer to document checklist in my post).
      2. Complete your online application through VFS (Visa4UK) or AccessUK service.
      3. Schedule your appointment and pay the visa.
      4. Bring all the required document, visa receipt and appointment letter during the appointment time.
      5. Submit all document, do iris and finger print scan.
      6. Done and just wait for the result.

      Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  23. Reply

    FT

    Hi, i did create an account with Visa4uk, until i noticed there is a β€œnew service” link which is goes to AccessUK. Therefore i make another account with accessUK. Can i just continue my application with AccessUK, and just leave the account created at Visa4uk? Or how? I totally confused which should i proceed? And how to apply for an express visa, any link? Or same with the above? Many thanks.
    FT

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Florence, Sorry for my late reply. Yes, you can just continue your application with AccessUk. As long as you haven’t done the payment, you still can switch to the other service. For the express visa choice, you can choose once you are at the payment section. Hope this is helpful πŸ™‚

  24. Reply

    Lai SZ

    Hello! Do we need to provide photo for the visa application? Thank you

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Lai SZ, Sorry for my late reply. You need to provide recent photograph if you are exempt from giving biometric data. During my application, photo is not required as I need to give my biometric data. Hope this is helpful πŸ™‚

  25. Reply

    Su Keen

    Hey Elvira, such a good guide here i found!! Good job! Just one question – Let’s say after apply for the student VISA, if I’m not able to get it before my flight to UK, is it possible to get them send to my university in UK?

    1. Reply

      Elvira

      Hi Su Keen, Thank you for reading my post πŸ˜€ Do you mean applying for a UK student visa? If yes, I am really not sure for that. The guide I mentioned in the post was only for UK visit visa πŸ™‚

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