Obtaining a travel visa in West Africa is very strenuous due to the ever growing illegal immigrants from the region. Even as a Travel Blogger with travel experience to almost all the leading countries around the globe, I still have to apply many times to obtain visas to travel and promote their own countries.
In Ghana, procuring visas requires a lot and people are forced to present themselves to the embassies in a way that would please them by faking who they are or doing what they are not really ready to do.
Despite all the measures put in place, embassies issue more visas to illegal immigrants than to people with real intentions. This is due to the high level of “social and economic fabrication” by the illegal immigrants.
Visa applicants would go the extra mile to please Visa Officers and these are some of the things people are forced to do all in the name of visas.
Prayer and Fasting
As an Evangelist, I have never supported the idea of praying and fasting all because of visa applications. God has important issues to deal with. In the wake of fake prophets in the country, praying for visa applicants is a great source of revenue. Visa applicants are willing to pay prophets for special prayers to help influence the outcome of their visa application.
100% of people who seek such assistance are illegal immigrants. How would God help you in telling lies? These guys are forced to live righteous lives in order to gain favour from God during their visa interviews. Some prophets even mention visas in their commercials.
There is this myth that every university student is entitled to a visa once in the third or final year. Many people were forced to school because they want to apply for visas as students. Some who succeed either quit school or defer their courses for a while.
Saving for bank statements
Bank Statement of accounts is a major document required in a visa application. Visa applicants quit all investments so as to have the funds to operate a bank account to please a visa consular. Such people would just be wasting the bank’s resources in depositing and withdrawing funds on daily basis just to have a lengthy bank statement of accounts for visa applications.
Genuine travellers usually do not have very good bank statements due to the fact that their funds are invested in businesses.
Payslips / Registration of Businesses
Though Ghanaian laws may require, it has not been made mandatory for all businesses to be registered before obtaining a visa. When it is time to apply for a visa, a street hawker would even register his/her business in order to get evidence of a running business in the form of Business Registration Certificates.
Most employees are not given payslips by their employers. They earn fixed salaries that do not come with any explanation. When it’s time to apply for visas, employers are forced to prepare payslips for the previous months to aid the visa application.
Payment of taxes
Companies and other businesses that pay taxes in Ghana pay because they may need tax clearance certificates in the course of their business operations; either to clear goods at the port or bid for contracts.
Apart from these, people only pay taxes because of visa applications. Thanks to visas, the government is collecting so much money even from people who do not work but pretend to be working all because of visas.
As social ties may contribute to the outcome of one’s application, people are forced to obtain marriage documents even without having a girlfriend or boyfriend. One could even name his sister as a wife.
If I have kids, definitely I would be returning after my trip to be with them. The birth registry is filled with names of kids that are yet to be born.
I know some years to come, the embassies would require that all family members appear at the embassy even if they are not travelling with the applicant.
Passport goes missing after every visa refusal
There is a myth that once an embassy denies you a visa, other embassies would also do same. As such people just throw their passports away for new ones once they are denied visas. This is one major reason why the Passport Office is always choked.
Thanksgiving at Church
Some successful applicants attribute their visas approval to God. Probably, God assisted them to blind the consular officer over the fake documents and approved the visas to enable him/her become an illegal immigrant. Very interesting how people think God plays part in such evil.
On Sundays, testimonies at churches are filled with that of successful visa applicants.
Paying huge monies
Despite most visa application fees being less than $200, people pay huge monies to ‘middlemen’ who do no good to their applications but to jeopardise the outcome. The media have reported several arrests of people duping visa applicants up to GHS 40,000 (almost $10,000) to assist them to obtain visas for various countries.
This is probably the funniest thing Ghanaians do when it comes to visas. Visa applicants believe that having a travel experience would increase their chances of getting a visa. Yes, this is true but the funniest part is that one would just visit our neighboring countries without having anything to do there and record it as a travel experience.