“I don’t have a bank statement”. “My Business is not registered”. These are some of the statements we usually hear from persons who wish to take a trip abroad. Since travellers are to obtain visas to most of the countries in the world, it’s prudent that one possesses the basic documents that are needed for visa applications.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the documents that one needs to work on immediately he/she thinks of travelling in the future.
Birth Certificate is a must-have document if you have ever thought of making a visa application. Applicants of documents like Ghana Card and Passport are to present Birth Certificates to support their nationality as a Ghanaian.
How to apply for a Birth Certificate
Birth Certificates are issued by the Births and Deaths Registry and does not cost more than GHS100. The following details are needed when applying for a Birth Certificate:
Name of Child (The person who is applying for the certificate)
Date of birth
Place of birth (Exact place of birth; house or Hospital)
Name of Mother (Must include maiden’s name instead of the current name, if the name has changed)
Name of father
Informant (The person making the application on your behalf; one of your parents who is alive. If both are dead, then any other relative can be)
Birth Certificates of persons born in Accra usually takes approximately a week to be issued. The rest takes up to a month.
Children below the age of 1 can use the “Red” handwritten Birth Certificate issued to the child at Birth. That certificate is valid for all purposes including passport applications as long as the child is under a year. Parents can present it to the Birth and Death Registry when applying for a computer-printed certificate, popularly called “Biometric Certificate”.
If there is a mistake on an issued Birth Certificate, it can be corrected by swearing an Affidavit indicating the mistakes. Add the affidavit to the certificate and send to the registry for the necessary corrections.
NOTE: Change of names have nothing to do with Birth Certificates. Birth Certificates show the name given to a person at birth. If you intend changing your name, you don’t need a new Birth Certificate. You can go ahead and change your name but your birth certificate will remain valid since any document bearing your former name remains valid.
If you do not have a passport, then you don’t really mean it when you say you will be taking a trip abroad. Passport is needed for all international trips. There are visa-free countries, but there are no passport-free countries. Obtaining passports can sometimes be very stressful, and as such, it is advisable to obtain it well enough in advance to avoid any last-minute disappointments. Sometimes applicants are met with the excuses that there is a shortage of passport booklets.
It baffles Travel Consultants and Travel Agents when they meet clients who have the funds to embark on a trip but do not have a bank statement. They begin to wonder where these clients keep their money. If you have plans of travelling to a country that requires that you obtain a visa, open a bank account and start keeping your monies at the bank. It doesn’t make sense to have the money needed to take a vacation while you don’t have a bank statement to make the visa application. There is no way you can convince the consular that you can afford the trip.
If you wait for the eleventh hour before opening a bank account or lodging all your money at the bank, the bank statement won’t look real.
Employees are to include payslips in visa applications. Some employers do not give issue payslips to their employees. If you have plans of travelling or making a visa application in future, begin to request for payslips from your employer.
For self-employed persons, this is a major document when it comes to visa applications. Most people do not see the need to register their businesses unless there is a need for the Business Registration documents. If you own a business and have travel plans, even if you don’t have such plans, make provision to register your business immediately. Jetsanza.com takes you through the Business Registration procedures in Ghana.
Get A TIN
One cannot register for a business name without applying for the Tax Identification Number (TIN). A TIN number is needed so that companies and businesses can pay their mandatory taxes to the state. One can secure their TIN numbers in a Bank, Ghana Revenue Authority offices, or at the Registrar General’s Department.
Register Your Business At The Registrar General’s Department
Depending on who owns the business, or how many people own it, a business can be registered as Sole Proprietorship or Limited Liability.
Just as the name implies, Sole Proprietorship is where the business is owned by one person. To register a solely-owned business, applicants complete and sign Form A, which is obtained at the Registrar General Dept. This form requires the provision of details such as; business name, the general nature of the business, the principal activity of the business, the date of commencement of business, the business location information, Information on Sole proprietor (surname, first name, middle name, date of birth, gender, occupation, marital status), the residential addresses of the sole proprietor and the TIN number.
Have everything documented
Words alone may not be enough to support certain claims you make in your visa application. You have to support all your claims with relevant documents. Get all your properties documented in your name. If you are married and for some reason, you don’t have a marriage certificate, get it done. Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate takes 10 years to expire, get one. Do you have the Health Records of your children below 6 years? Do you have Birth Certificates of your Children? If a deceased person(s) will play a role in your travel, do you have their Death Certificate? If your name has changed, make sure you have all the appropriate documentation to support the change.
Get everything in place so that you can grab any opportunity or cheap travel deal that pops up.
What you do, your marital status, your purpose of travel, determine what documents you will need to put up a successful visa application. The following articles guide you further:
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Akesse Moise Sanza is a Travel & Tourism Consultant, Travel Blogger, Anti-Human Trafficking & Safe Migration Advocate and a Traveler. He's available to assist you plan your next vacation (at a fee).
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