Almost all the emails I receive lately have to do with travel visas and due to the volume, I’m only able to assist the few who pay a consultancy fee. I have noticed from the emails that a greater number of people are ignorant about visa types and only care about arriving in a foreign country with less attention paid to the right type of visa for the purpose of travel. This has caused many to have their visa applications denied and the few who get visas end up as illegal migrants, overstay their visas or abuse their visa conditions.
Most embassies like the US Embassy would deny you visa if you choose the wrong visa type for the purpose of your travel. Many people have been denied entry into countries because they arrived at the airport with wrong type of visas. Ghanaian musician Kwaw Kese in 2012 was denied entry into UK after he arrived on a Visitors Visas which does not allow him to perform at shows or concerts in the country. Travelers traveling to work in other countries who arrive on Visitors/Tourist visas are denied entry.
Deportation dents ones immigration records and its always advisable to obtain the necessary permit before embarking on any journey.
This article will guide you through steps to take when choosing the right visa for your trip.
1-) What is the purpose of travel?
Are you going for a vacation, business, conference, visiting friends/family or traveling to work/stay? What you intend doing in the country you are traveling to determines the type of visa needed.
2-) Purpose/activity allowed for nationals of your country?
Find out if the country you wish to travel to has arrangements for residents in your country or for nationals of your country. Example: If a resident of Ghana wants to tour China, it may not be possible as the Chinese Embassy in Ghana does not issue tourist visas to applicants. Some countries like Croatia has no arrangements for Ghanaians who wish to visit their country for any reason. It’s also impossible for Ghanaians resident in Ghana to visit Georgia for any reason since visa applications are to be submitted to the Georgian Embassy in South Africa in person.
Some nationals may not be eligible for certain types of visas or programs.
If the country has no arrangements for people traveling from your country for your intended purpose, it means you have to give up at this stage to avoid financial losses.
3-) Select the right visa type
If the embassy issues visas for your purpose of travel, find out the types of visas and identify which one best fits your purpose. Example: Canada has different types of programs for migrants who wish to stay and work. Selecting the right program that according to your educational level, skills or finances is a step towards getting your visa approved.
Traveling isn’t for you if you hate to read. Read thoroughly on the requirements of your chosen visa type or program to assess your eligibility.
5-) Application Process
If you qualify, go ahead to read about the application process. Understanding the application process will save you much time and money especially if the embassy is in a different city from where you reside. Example: UK Visa application has so much value added services and you may end up paying lot of stuff that you don’t really need.
If you don’t qualify, find out why you don’t qualify and see if it’s something that may change over time. Example: If you need $500,000 to migrate to US as an investor and you have $450,000 at the moment, it means you may be eligible in few days/months/year. If you want to migrate to UK to settle with your girlfriend, you can just wait until you are married. So some of the reasons that make you ineligible are what you could work on. Do that if possible, and then apply when you are eligible.
Once you’ve read about the application process and gathered the required documents, go ahead and apply. You will migrate legally to stay and work, or embark on your holiday depending on your purpose of travel.