Let’s talk about visas! Now visas are the number one headache for travellers from Nigeria as everything is such a hassle. You need bank statements, hotel reservation, flight reservation, marriage certificate, travel insurance maybe an arm and a leg lol! Seriously though it can be a lot of work, confusing and time consuming. But, today, I’m here to help you navigate the visa application world.
The first step is to get on Google. Always GOOGLE! Embassies and High Commissions change their application fees, application procedures and checklists ALL the time. Processes change and the only way to keep up is to check online. The requirements vary from embassy to embassy but the items below are usually requested.
- Completed Application Form
- Bank Statement
- Health Insurance
- Hotel Reservation
- Proof of Income (payslip, CAC documents etc)
- Letter of employment ( if applicable)
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
Now these are not set requirements, some embassies don’t require all this, some require all this and more. One embassy even requested certificate of celibacy! Yup, you read right!
Fill out an application form. You would usually find the application form attached to a checklist on the embassy’s website. Fill out the form with your recent information and please be honest. Do not lie about travel history or anything else. It’s always best to state things as they are than to get caught in a lie. Some embassies black list you or place a ban on you for a few years if you get caught in a lie.
Now after you’re done gathering documents, the next step is to pay for the application and pick an appointment date.Paying the visa application fee varies by embassy but you can usually pay online, in bank or at the embassy. A payment receipt is usually issued if payment is online or in bank and the receipt number is what is used to book your appointment. Please ensure your name on the receipt is an exact match to your passport and application form as any discrepancies can cause problems in the application process.
Most embassies request you book an appointment no earlier than 3 months from your travel date and and no later than 15 days from said travel date. Waiting times can be much longer around the summer months so it is advisable to apply earlier than usual to ensure you visa comes out early enough.
To book appointment dates, you would need to use google again. Now this is because as I said earlier, processes and websites change. So to get the most recent information on appointment dates and locations you would need to confirm any changes by searching online. Next you need to pick an appointment date and time that is convenient for you.
Prepare and show up for your appointment and do not be late. Some embassies require you show up at least 10 minutes to your appointment time so you can clear security and be inside on time so it is wise to show up early. Depending on the embassy, you may have an interview or just drop off your application documents. Drop offs are usually straight to the point, your number is called and you walk in, arrange your documents, drop off and go home. Interview process can be a little more complicated. You’ll need to answer a few questions honestly and state your reason for travelling. After your interview your interviewing officer would let you know when to pick up your passport.
After the visa is issued, you are ready to explore the world! Some visas let you get into more than one country so you can plan your trips accordingly. A US, UK or Schengen visa can take you to many countries on different continents. So pack your bags and lets go, so many places to go and adventures to be had.