The Seven Most Common Visa Mistakes To Avoid This Summer
As the travel industry takes a battering to its reputation this summer, and embassies all around the world continue to deal with backlogs in visa applications, travelers are urged to do everythin within their power to make sure their documentation is well-prepared prior to any submissions.
According to a spokesperson for Canadian site myvisasource.com “Although visa applications can be extremely time-consuming, it is important to take the time to complete them properly in order to avoid any mistakes.
“Ensuring simple information like names, dates, and addresses are correct can prevent potential hold-ups or rejections. Make sure to leave enough time to allow for any interviews, passport changes, and before travelling to avoid disappointment.”
When the waiting times are longer, the stakes are higher. Depending on the country in question, it can be several weeks or months before a visa begins its processing journey. The last thing you would want to do is restart the application due to very simple mistakes such as spelling, putting the wrong detail in the boxes (e.g. the most notorious error of American MM/DD/YYYY dates vs DD/MM/YYYY for the rest of the world), or simply not keeping your signature inside a box.
So in according to MyVisaSource, the most common pitfalls to avoid are:
1) Invalid passport
It is very common for countries to require a certain period of validity for the entire duration of the journey. This is typically six months but may vary between countries. But did you know visa applications can also be rejected on the basis that the passport is not in a presentable condition?
2) Cutting it too close
Simply put, you did not manage your time well. In addition to the standard processing times, during peak seasons this may be lengthened, and you may also need to add on extra time for any unforeseen delays such as postal strikes or unavailability of visa appointments.
3) Mismatched details
It helps to double- or triple-check the rubric prior to submitting, and maybe asking a friend to help you read the application to make sure you didn’t stumble on something very basic. Any inaccuracies, whether intentional or not, may cause your application to be refused.
4) Bank statement problems
Making sure that you have enough money while you travel is a relatively easy thing to prove, but how you prove it is the issue here.
Some countries require the bank statement to be presented in the official language of the destination country, and some others may require the document to be legalized with an Apostille or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country.
Other issues may simply be seeing large payments in/out of your account causing suspicious of nefarious activity.
5) Not providing every item required.
Make sure all documentation is submitted, and use any official websites or guidelines as a line-by-line checklist. It may be that missing any single one could cause issues.
6) Applying for the wrong visa
While this may sound implausible, it is actually easier to do and more common than you would think. For example take “Family visit” vs “Family reunification” categories which sound similar but have very different official meanings.
Prior to applying for any category of visa, make sure you research eligibility criteria for each specific visa and any other that sound similar.
7) Not having the right documents
It is always worth checking that all the documents needed for the application are available to hand. Each country will have its own set of requirements that are usually stated on their government or consulate websites. Make sure you have a physical and a digital copy of everything you plan to submit, in case anything gets lost too.
As a final tip from me, if you know that you will be separated from your passport for a significant period of time and you are a frequent business traveler, do consider getting a second passport. Most countries will allow for this if you demonstrate a good reason for it.