I have heard several radio commercials promising people of UK visas to watch the upcoming IAAF Championship 2017 in London this August. As these commercials promise travelers of a small initial payment, huge sums are paid when their 50/50 application receives some luck at the British High Commission.
These commercials are aimed at taking advantage of people’s desire to visit the United Kingdom to charge them non-refundable sums of monies. The lucky ones are definitely not returning to Ghana after the games due to the huge sums of monies spent in acquiring the visas.
Travel is cheap. Travel is only expensive when you refuse to read. It is only expensive when you engage the services of middlemen who influence your application in no way. People are forced to stay illegally when they spend so much to travel. As part of efforts to combat illegal immigration, I’m by this post going to guide you through the processes involved in attending the IAAF London 2017 without engaging the services of middlemen, thus doing away with unnecessary additional cost.
1.) Read widely
One major problem of people who lose money to connection men/middle men is “Reading”. People are quick enough to pay huge monies for services that they could have probably handled themselves by reading just few lines from resources available on the internet. One has to read widely about an event and any related notes available to visitors on issues like availability of tickets, process of booking, issuance of invitation letters by organizers and also any preferential treatment by embassies for people traveling for the event.
Interested visitors are well-informed that, tickets have to be purchased from authorised sources, and that no one has influence on the outcome of your visa application. Visitors are not expected to spend much more than the official visa application fees when obtaining their visas. Always make the official IAAF website, British High Commission’s website and Google be your guide throughout the travel process.
2.) Book your tickets
The official website to book tickets for the games is tickets.london2017athletics.com. It is always advisable to buy from the official source as you may lose money or spend so much buying elsewhere. There is a great demand for the tickets and it is advisable to book them as early as possible.
3.) Reserve Hotel/hostel room
As millions are expected to witness the games in London, visitors are to book their hotel or hostel beds in advance as there would be a great demand for accommodation. To reduce cost of living while in the UK, I recommend a hostel accommodation booked in East London where the event would be held. Staying far from East London will require you spend additional funds on trains and buses each day to the event.
If you would be staying with friends or family, obtain a letter from them confirming your stay in their apartment/flat. This letter, along with evidence of the accommodation they would be providing you should be added to your visa application.
It is also advisable to book hotels/hostel that provides a free cancellation policy as chances of getting your visa is not fully guaranteed. This will enable you save funds in case your application does not convince the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) to issue you with a visa. Some notable websites you can book your accommodation includes booking.com, hotel.de, priceline.com and many others.
Documents for visa applications vary from person to person depending on who you and are what you do and many more. As some people may be required to carry loads of documents for their application, others may only need their passport and visa application form. The documents that you provide should tell the ECO who you are and also convince him/her why you would be returning to your home country after the event.
Although there are no definite set of documents to provide, the documents you provide with your application should cover your social and economic ties. The embassy provides guidelines to visa applications that contain all the information you need. Check https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-uk-visa-to-visit-or-for-short-term-stay-form-vaf1a .
Remember to add your purchased ticket confirmation and accommodation arrangements to the documents to be added in the application. Also add evidence of any plans you have made in relation to your travel. Example Flight reservation details and travel itinerary if you plan to visit places of interest whilst you are in the United Kingdom.
It is advisable to explain why you do not have a specific document than faking it. If you do not have a bank account to prove your financial standing and rather save your money in your room, it is better to state it categorically in your application than forging a bank statement.
5.) Apply for your visa
Lodge in your application earlier as you could since the embassy would be receiving loads of applications from people wishing to witness the games. Https://www.gov.uk/apply-uk-visa provides detailed information on how to make an online application. The system will give you step-by-step guidance to complete and lodge your application at the Visa Application Center.
With all the above than, be reminded that the decision to issue a visa is a sole responsibility of the ECO. The above should not be treated as an absolute process of traveling to the UK but this has been gathered based on my personal travel experience.