top of page

How I Got from Philippines to England?

Perhaps, everyone was wondering how I got to England. I know it can be quite daunting to apply for a visa, particulary a working permit, unless you are already a citizen of a European country. In this blog, I will share my experience how I found a job, things I had to do to complete my papers, and more.



FIRST: WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

I started visiting places within my country, Philippines, when I got my first salary. This was my way of comforting myself from all the hustle of life, whether it´s work or social related stress. Then, I thought of going out of the country. I wanted to try new things and be able to experience travelling alone. So, I started to do some research how it´s like to go to England.

I didn´t have a bucket list of countries I wanted to visit, but I always knew England was one of my favourite places to travel. It is tourist friendly, no need to study new language, easy to navigate, and a country with the sexy accent (for me). By the way, for people who do not know, English is the second language of the Philippines (third for those who have other dialect than Tagalog). So, it´s quite easy for us to go to any English speaking countries. For a homebody like myself, I just needed the courage to start.



SECOND: FINDING YOUR WAY IN

It was just prayers. But no kidding, England is quite strict when it comes to foreigners staying in the country for a long period of time. There can be lots of paper works and/or financial background checks but the most important thing to be able to give you the guarantee to visit, is the invitation letter or the certificate of sponsorship. It can be an invitation to tour, for a job, or to volunteer. You must have this certificate from a licensed sponsor before you can apply to come to the UK (United Kingdom) to work. If you have that, you are good to go.

I´m sure there are lots of agencies in the Philippines that provide opportunity to go to England but not all of us are able to pay the placement fee and processing of papers. I did not have the savings to do that, so, I tried to read lots of websites to find the right one that would tell me the possibility to work in the UK without having to go through an agency. And I told myself, I would definitely do anything just to be able to experience and do the things that I love.

This was the time I discovered the usefulness of Indeed. I´ve been a member of the job site ever since I became an HR (Human Resource) employee. I used it to find a job; and then, when I had the job, I used it to find and hire people to work for the company I used to work. But not just that, I was able to navigate and find jobs from different parts of the world. I mean, wherever. Everyone probably had already discovered this, but it was a brand new discovery for me during that time.



THIRD: DON´T BE AFRAID TO CLICK THE SEARCH BUTTON

I immediately changed my country setting from Manila, Philippines to England, United Kingdom. I found lots of opportunity from high skilled job to working temporary and volunteering works. I had read a lot of companies and organisations looking for people to be part of their team but not all of them were to my liking or I must say I wasn´t that confident to apply to most of them. I was looking for something I would be able to use my skills rather than knowledge. I wanted something challenging but fun to work. Something I could consider my passion.

Out of my 20+ job applications, I got 5 interview invitations. Three of them didn´t work because of the time difference. One, I failed the test. And the last, became my destination.



Disclaimer: All the pictures of Indeed job site that you see here are just an example of how I did my research way back 2018. Changes on the site or how it works now may affect how you´ll see the result if you try this.


FOURTH: MAKING SMART DECISION

Not everyone is confident to accept a job, specially if it is outside of your country or comfort. It can be a little tricky and risky. I know, I have been there. I had been scammed as well. So, I had to be smart when it came to accepting offers from other countries or any kind of invitation, anywhere.

Always do research, not just few but lots of them. You will need it. And it will always save you from a lot of trouble.

I had done that. After receiving an email from the organisation saying they had received my application, I automatically pressed the search engine. Yes, I only do my research when I literally get a reply. This is the time I want to make sure I have applied for the right one. I looked for their website, read all the details they provided there, from how long they had been operating, to mission and vision, location, and most importantly, the legitimacy of the company by looking for it´s registry. In the UK, it is important that the company or any kind of organisation has liscense permit number to prove it´s legitimacy. You will have to go to the government website of the country to get the information about the company you are invited to work, and from there, it will tell you if the company is registered or not, for free.



FIFTH: GETTING DONE WITH YOUR PAPERS

Once I was done with my research and sure enough to continue communicating with the organisation, I checked all my papers to see if there were things I needed updating. There are different kinds of working visa in the UK depending on your right to work or the invitation that you get from your sponsor. I was invited to do a temporary work, and this was the document checklist that was asked of me in the Visas and Immigration:

  1. Valid Passport ID / Passbook or other document that shows your identity and nationality

  2. Police Clearance / NBI Clearance - This wasn´t asked in the Visas and Immigration but was asked by the employer for security purposes, criminal records, or background checks.

  3. Medical Certificate (particularly Tuberculosis Test Certificate) - TB screening is carried out to detect the presence of TB in the lungs and prevent the spread of infection to others. For this reason, pre-entry TB screening is mandatory for those coming to the UK for 6 months or more from a country where TB is common.

  4. Certificate of Sponsorship - This is a unique reference number that holds information about the job you’ll do and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document. This should be valid for 3 months from the date it is assigned to you.

  5. Bank Account / Statement - Evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you).



Last but not the least, the level of English Proficiency. I wasn´t asked for this, thankfully. But most of the company in the UK, particulary the high skilled jobs, are asking to provide a certificate that proof you can speak English. In my case, I only needed to get proof of certificate from the university I went to that all the curriculum were taught in English. I was also asked for my Diploma and TOR (Transcript of Records).


SIXTH: THAT ONE MORE THING

In the Philippines, if your status of living is below average, savings is no option. Most of the people, if not all, cannot save extra money from their wage because of the high cost of living. I was one of those people struggling to keep some money for emergency purposes. When I had the invitation to go to the UK, this was one of my concerns. I had to swallow my pride and send some of my friends or co-workers a fundraising letter, asking for whatever they could help me to complete the budget I needed to be able to go. This wasn´t an easy task. Out of ten people I had asked for help, only two replied. You know who you are guys and I will forever be grateful for your generosity and kindness.

I don´t recommend this kind of action unless you are going to do a mission work for a church, charity or foundation. As for me, I had to try this in faith because I would be doing a religious work. Little did I know that I would not be needing it because everything was already well provided. Knowing my situation, my sponsor had made a statement on the certificate that they could support my stay and so, I didn´t need to show my bank account. They also added funds to the money that I raised to pay for all the application and processing fee including my flight ticket.

I was so over the moon. This event in my life reminded me of the verse in Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

SEVENTH: DREAM HIGH, SOAR HIGH

I had my papers done, got my passport back together with my approved visa. I brought with me only the valuables I knew I would need and put inside my first brand new luggage. Printed my flight tickets and I was ready to fly. This was one of the most unforgettable momets in my life.

I know not everyone is given a chance or able to travel out of the country to pursue their dreams but this does not mean, you have to give up. Everytime I wake up in the morning I always think, that is another day to make things right and to keep holding on even when there is no reason to hope for. That should be the attitude! And I just know, it will take me somewhere.

Where will it take you?

2 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Guest
Mar 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

that is inspiring 😍

Like
Replying to

Thank you 🙏🏼

Like
bottom of page