Paperwork is the thorn you want to pluck out when you’re planning a trip, especially when you’re applying for a visa. You must have heard awful stories about visa applications getting rejected. Understanding why this happens can help you survive the process. There are many factors to consider, but here are the seven common mistakes you need to avoid when applying for a visa:
Too Little Time
Always apply in advance of your travel date. If you prepare your documents in haste, it may result in incomplete information, errors, or misplaced documents. Double-check the processing time of the embassy especially if it is your first time to apply for a visa. If you are not yet familiar with the process, it is good to have enough time to study the requirements and gather all the documents you need. Note that during peak season, visa processing usually takes longer. Health assessments can also cause delays in processing your visas so make sure your schedule is planned carefully.
Go to the website of the embassy to see the list of requirements. It is not always the same for every visa application. Print out the list if you like so you have a checklist you can review while you are compiling the required papers and going to banks or offices.
Never assume that two documents are the same even if they contain almost similar information. For example, if you are applying for a Korean tourist visa, you are required to submit an Original Personal Bank Certificate and a bank statement. Having a bank statement with you already does not mean you no longer have to submit a bank certificate.
When submitting itineraries, there are embassies with forms that you can fill out. For example, if you are applying for a Japan tourist visa, you cannot just submit a list of tourist attractions you will visit. The official format requires you to reveal your activities, their corresponding dates, accommodation, contact details.
Are you applying for the right type of visa? Did you place the complete name of your company? Did you provide the embassy with your working email address? Always check if the details you gave the embassy are official and spelled out properly.
Note: If you are filling out a form, make sure you only answer the items that are applicable to you. Do not supply details or makeup one just because you do not want to leave anything unanswered. The best thing you can do is to write “N/A.”
Never fake a document. It won’t just be a reason why your visa application will be rejected. It may lead to legal consequences and tarnish your reputation. Embassies can verify the documents you submitted, call the company you work for, or even the institutions involved in producing certain documents.
Remember that visas are required in some countries because their main concern is visitors, who apply for tourist visas, may overstay and look for work without going through the proper process.
This means you need to justify that your travel is for leisure only. If your reasons to return to your country are not strong enough, such as lack of employment or unsteady source of livelihood, your visa application may not make the cut. Moreover, you must submit the required official documents pertaining to your employment or business, such as tax documents and certificate of employment.
Light Travel History
If the embassy notices on your passport that it is your first time to travel outside the country, your visa application may likely be rejected. You may want to travel first to visa-free countries to prove that your trips are for leisure purposes only. Of course, this is just a general observation, and the approval of your visa application depends on the evaluation of the embassy.
Insufficient financial proof
The general advice for tourist visa applicants is that your bank accounts must prove that you can financially support your travel plans. Also, it is important not just to have a substantial amount in your account, but it must also have a consistent cash flow.
Best of luck to you and happy travels!