Effective January 12, 2009, the British Consulate in Manila, Philippines begins processing settlement visas for South Korean citizens. Previously, those applying for a fiancée, spouse, de facto partner, or proposed civil partner visa in South Korea had to submit their documents to the British Consulate in Seoul through the accredited UK Visa Application Centre (VAC). Implementing settlement visa processing in Manila is designed to save significant time and reduce backlog.
This change does not alter the nature of the settlement visa process for prospective immigrants, which is initiated by filing a settlement visa application. Although the British Consulate in Seoul is no longer involved in the adjudication process, applicants in South Korea should continue to submit their applications to the UK Visa Application Centre in Seoul. Visa applications and all accompanying documents will be forwarded to the special regional visa application processing until of the British Consulate in Manila. For the purposes of fairness and efficiency, fiancée, partner and marriage visa interviews will be conducted by the British Embassy in Seoul. Applicants will not be required to travel to the Philippines in order to attend an interview.
The authorities encourage applicants to initiate the visa process up to three months in advance of their proposed trip to the UK, and inform all applicants that the British Embassy in Manila, Philippines can take from two to three months to process a settlement visa case.