Visa is an endorsement affixed to a page within a passport to permit the holder to enter, leave, and stay in a foreign country for a specific time. There are many types of visas depending on the country destination, nationality, and purpose of travel. People can obtain one for various purposes such as tourism, employment, business, seeking medical treatment, studying, and many more.
The visa policy depends on each country, and to get one, apply at the office of the immigration authorities of the country you want to visit. In cases where the destination country does not have an embassy in your home country, you will have to get one at the embassy of another country authorized to issue visas.
How to Apply for a Visa?
Generally, you must follow the steps outlined below to apply for any visa worldwide.
1. Determine what kind of visa you need
The most common visa types are student, tourist, and work. All of which are easy to find out. However, some countries like the U.K has many visa types with categories organized based on the visitor’s purpose. Therefore, it is crucial to determine what type of visa you need to apply to have a successful application. Otherwise, applying for the wrong visa category might lead to automatic rejection of the application.
2. Find out where you need to apply
Usually, regardless of the traveller’s purpose of visit, it is typically required to apply at the country’s embassy or a diplomatic office of their destination. However, the process may be complicated in some states since a country may have more than one consulates that often have their jurisdiction area. Hence, you will need to apply at the body under the jurisdiction of which where you live falls. In addition, some embassies and consulates often outsource visa submission to another country’s embassy or other parties that offer visa services.
3. Prepare the required documents
Requirements may vary depending on the country destination. Ensure to check the country destination’s government website to find out and obtain each of the documents needed according to criteria set by the embassy. In some cases, you will be asked to include supporting documents in addition to the main visa application. Ensure that the information given in the application form complies with that in other documents. In general, the necessary documents may be:
- Application form
- Letter of invitation
- Health or Travel Insurance
- One or two photographs in specific sizes, which the visa office will determine
- A valid passport and a photocopy of its information page
- Proof of accommodation arrangements
- Proof of travel arrangements
- Proof of financial means to remain in the particular country throughout the intended period
4. Book an appointment
Today, most embassies have made it possible for visa applicants to book an appointment online for any global destination. They can either fill up an online application form or download it. Alternatively, find the official government immigration website of the destination country and fill the travel application form, then send the form via email.
However, you will have to apply for a visa in person if online visa services are not offered by your home country or the country you plan to visit. Remember that each country has its own rules, and some destination will not even require a visa beforehand. In this case, upon arriving at your destination, you may be required to fill out a visa application form and pay any applicable fees.
5. Pay the visa fee
Each country has a different visa fee that applicants should pay. Such fees are either paid online or in cash at the embassy or consulate visa centre. Visa fees might vary depending on which type you are applying for and the country that will issue the visa. Should you fail to pay the fee, the visa application form will not be processed. After paying the fee, ensure to keep the receipt and show it to the consular officer during the interview as proof that you have already paid.
6. Attend the visa interview
After filing for the visa application, visa applicants may be requested to interview by the country they plan to visit. Most applications can be approved or denied without the need for an interview. However, the visa officer may request one.
Also, before the interview, applicants may be asked for visa medical by a doctor authorized by the embassy. The visa interview may last for a few minutes, during which the interviewer may ask the applicant the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your travel?
- Why do you want to visit at this particular period?
- Do you have a criminal record?
- Where will you stay?
- Do you have health or travel insurance for this trip?
- Will you return to your home country after visiting?
Other questions regarding visa:
- Why do I need a visa to travel?
Visas are required for travellers who would like to travel to a country as it shows that they can enter and stay for a specific period. Whether or not you require a visa depends on the country you would like to go to. If your home country has an existing visa agreement to which you plan to travel, then applying for a visa before travel unnecessary.
- What is a visa policy?
Countries decide which people they may or may not allow to enter their borders based on their visa policy – either short-term travellers, international students, employees, or permanent immigrants.
- Do I need help from a visa agent when applying for a visa?
If you want to lodge a visa application, you have the option to do it yourself or ask for the help of UK visa agent. A visa application can be more complex than you can expect, from the application process until the approval stage. If applying for one is too much of a stress for you, it is best to consider the services offered by a migration agent.
Harley Medic International is one of the first companies to offer visa services in the UK and is considered one of the best London visa agent. Visit their website at harleymedic.co.uk to fill out the form and get your visa today!