Bank Statement For Visa Application: How much balance is enough?

Jetsanza.com puts together this piece as part of its effort to make travelling easy, safe and affordable by providing the needed guidance to assist travellers do away with Visa Contractors/Connection men and the associated problems.

Bank Statement is considered an important document when it comes to visa application though some countries do not place much emphasis on it.

Many are always left asking, how much balance is OKAY? Maintaining a good balance in bank accounts is one of the many funny things Ghanaians do all because of travel visas.

While some countries may require you to have a certain amount of money in your bank account, your circumstances may be used by other countries to determine if you have enough.

NOTE that this article treats all countries in general and separate articles for each country will be posted later on.

The amount of bank balance has to do with many factors, and your conscience should be able to tell you if you have enough funds in your account.

Your balance and your travel

The amount of money you intend to spend on your trip can tell if your bank balance is OKAY or NOT. If you plan spending GHS10,000, and you only have GHS15,000, this won’t be enough. Though some countries like South Africa won’t put this into consideration, generally, such a statement isn’t considered enough because your travel is taking almost all your savings.

In Ghana, where we find ourselves, one is expected to have enough money to pay for travel cost and have more left that he will return home to. Out there, they even travel on credit cards, monies that they are yet to make. Maybe we are just not lucky. The embassies decide for us how to use our finances when it comes to travelling.

So ask yourself: looking at my balance and travel cost, will the visa officer see it wise for me to spend such money on vacation? Your answer tells you that you have enough funds or not.

What’s your status?

If you are single with no dependents, then much would not be required from you. If you have other people to take care off, like your spouse, kids, and others, then you will still have to ask yourself if it makes sense to spend that much from your savings as someone with such responsibilities? If your answer is NO, then your balance isn’t okay.

Example: If you have three kids, and your spouse is unemployed, it makes no sense to spend GHS15,000 on a vacation while you have only GHS30,000. It’s only people with illegal intentions who will use the entire family savings for such a trip. You are not expected to have a specific amount, but once you consider your dependents and your entire savings, you should able to know if it’s the right time to embark on a vacation. The case is different from someone single, employed with no dependents. It’s enough for such a person.

Disposable Income

How much money is available to you monthly to be saved or spent? After deducting your rent, living cost, amount spent on dependents, how much money are you left with? What multiples of the money left are you spending on your trip? If after deducting all these and you are left with GHS 500, and you are spending GHS 15,000 on your trip, it means you are spending 30 months savings on your holiday. It’s advisable not to spend more than three months savings on vacation.

So no matter how much you have in your account, it’s your disposable income that is considered. If you have GHS200,000 and currently earn GHS200 monthly, you have no money. Nothing shows that you will return to Ghana to that GHS200 job.

Economic Situation

As the country’s financial troubles deepen, the more careful people are with their finances. So have a second thought about the current economic situation, take a look at your bank balance, then ask yourself if it’s wise to spend X amount of money from your balance for a trip.

Looking at the present economic status of Ghana, it’s not likely for a self-employed person with GHS20,000 to embark on a GHS10,000 vacation. That’s like collapsing whatever business you are doing just for a vacation. Only embassies who do not place so much emphasis on bank statements won’t have a problem with this. In the case of a salaried worker, this will be different.

Source of income

It’s not always about the balance in your account but also where the money is coming from. Though most embassies do not pay attention to transactions on a bank statement, the United Kingdom, for instance, may want to know where each cedi came from. So if you are in the habit of seeking for funds from friends to run your bank account, STOP. The moment you think of depositing funds that do not belong to you, it means you don’t have enough. You may want to consider a destination that won’t require much of your savings.

No matter how much money you have in your account, whether GHS 30,000 or GHS 3,000,000, make sure you have provided enough evidence of the source of those funds. It is better to explain why you don’t have money in your account at the time of making application and provide evidence of funds that would be available to you before your travel.

Fixed Deposits, Treasury Bills and other investments are documents that can be added to a bank statement as proof of your financial status.

Summary

AS said earlier on, bank statements requirement varies from country to country. But in general, once you ask yourself specific questions, your conscience should be able to tell you that you have enough or not.

QUESTION: How much am I able to save each month? Am I spending savings of too many months on this vacation?

ANSWER: YES means you don’t have enough. NOT REALLY means you have enough, NO means you have more than enough.

QUESTION: Considering my present job, my income, and money in my account now, will anyone doubt that I’ll return home?

ANSWER: YES means you don’t have enough, NO means you have enough.

QUESTION: I took money from friends to run my bank account. Looking at my income and the balance in the account now, will anyone believe that the funds are genuinely mine?

ANSWER: YES means your statement makes sense, NO means it doesn’t, and everyone will doubt funds are yours.

QUESTION: The way Ghana is HOT, does it make sense for me to spend X amount on holiday considering the money in my account?

ANSWER: YES means you have enough, NO means you don’t.

The above is on visa application in general, and some countries may consider other things well. Jetsanza.com will treat the individual countries in subsequent articles. I’ll also post on sponsored applicants as well.

If you are still not sure, contact me on Whatsapp +233249383939 for assessment (Paid service).

How To Run A Bank Account For Visa Application

Some people only remember they need a bank account after realising that they will need a bank statement for visa applications. There are others who also have bank accounts but do not use them until a visa application is coming up.

Bank Statements are automatically run as a customer transacts with the bank. Intentionally depositing and withdrawing funds with the motive of getting a ‘good’ bank statement for a visa application may negatively affect the outcome of your application as such transactions would seem unusual compared to the previous weeks and months.

Visa Officers are quick to conclude that the transactions have been made up purposely to obtain the statement for the visa application. Doing so may also not match your circumstances. A salaried worker is expected to have few deposits which are payments of their salaries. Taking funds from friends and relatives to top up your account would raise doubts and the source of those funds are going to be questioned by the Visa Officer.

To get the perfect bank statement, keep it real. Deposit funds as and when you have them, and withdraw funds when you need them. By so doing, the transactions will match your business and other sources of income. The receipts and invoices from your business will match the transactions on your bank statement without having to answer questions relating to the source of certain deposits.

If you are forced to deposit unusual sums of money that rightfully belongs to you, make sure you obtain and keep any document that clearly shows that you were paid such money for rendering a service, selling a property or item, winning a lottery, matured treasury bills and fixed investments, etc. Include this document in your visa application to clear any doubt that the Visa Officer may have.

Some embassies are only concerned about the balance shown on the statement and not bothered about the transactions in the account. There is nothing to worry about in this case.

Which bank statement is required for visa?

For the purpose of Visa Application, only official bank statements are required. Embassies do not accept interim statements. Most embassies require that bank statements are endorsed by the issuing banks.

Does immigration check your bank account?

Immigration officers do not check your bank accounts or bank statements. If immigration officers want to confirm if you have the means to support yourself financially while in the country, they may ask for the amount of money you are carrying. For some reasons, immigration officers only ask for the amount without necessarily checking and counting to confirm.

Do visa officers check bank statements?

Visa Officers randomly check bank accounts. Some embassies check all bank statements. This is the more reason why you have to obtain your bank statement from your bank without forging it in any way.

Do embassies verify bank statements?

Embassies randomly verify bank statements of visa applicants. Some few embassies verify all statements of visa applicants. Brazillian Embassy takes an official authorisation letter from visa applicants addressed to their banks to aid them to verify bank statements easily.

Can I Use Online Bank Statement For Visa Application?

No, Online Bank Statement cannot be used for visa application. Only hard copies of official bank statements obtained from banks can be used for visa application. Even if you have to submit the application online, you need to obtain an official printed statement before scanning for the online application.

How Much Bank Balance To Show For Visitor Visa

The balance needed in an account for a visa application varies from person to person based on several factors.

Bank Statement For Visa Application: How much balance is enough?

Acceptable Bank Statement For Uk Visa

What statement is accepted for UK visa application? UK Visas accepts all official statements issued by licensed financial institutions. Financial institutions are licensed by the central bank of your country.

Uk Visa Rejected Due To Bank Statement

Having a genuine bank statement is not a guarantee that a visa would be issued.

‘My bank statement is genuine, why was my visa application refused’ – Question from reader

How Uk Embassy Verify Bank Statement

Banks do not allow access to customers’ accounts via phone. UK, like any other embassy, sends the submitted bank statement to the bank either in person or by email for verification. In some cases, banks may call the customer to confirm if they have truly submitted the bank statement to the embassy to rule out any possibility of impersonification or unlawful use.

How To Get A Bank Statement In Ghana For Visa Application

Every bank account holder can obtain a bank statement from their bank. A Bank Statement is simply a printed record detailing every single financial transaction with the bank.

Banks charge customers a small fee for every single page the statement occupies. Most banks charge GHS5 per page.

There are two types of Bank Statements; Interim Statements and Official Statements. Interim Statements are requested by customers to crosscheck transactions performed with the banks. This kind of statement is not used for official purposes and can be easily accessed only through internet banking. Official Statements, just as its name, is used for official purposes such as visa applications. When requesting a bank statement, tell your bankers what you intend to use the statement for.

Only banks and financial institutions can issue Bank Statements.

How do I get a copy of a bank statement?

A bank account holder can obtain a copy of their bank statement from the bank they do business with. If the statement is not for official use like visa application, the customer can customer pulling the statement through their online if they are signed up to internet banking.

How can I get a copy of my bank statement online?

Customers who have signed up for internet banking can get a copy of their statement online. The online banking portal allows customers to select their preferred dates and save the statements in various formats including PDF and EXCEL. It should be noted that statements printed by customers online cannot be used for visa application.

What qualifies as a bank statement?

Everyone customer of a bank qualifies for a bank statement irrespective of their balance.

Can you fake a bank statement?

Yes, Bank Statement can be faked and many are serving jail terms for doing so. Do not fake a bank statement as the accompanied dangers can permanently affect your travel plans.

Salaried employee? These are the relevant documents needed to support your visa application

Akesse Sanza in Maldives
Akesse Sanza in Maldives

Jetsanza.com recently published about the documents self-employed people need to support their visa application. Today, let us look at what documents salaried employees also need.

If you are paid a fixed amount of money or compensation, usually monthly, by an employer, you are a salaried employee.

When making visa applications, salaried employees are to show their employment status, salary and evidence of receipt of salaries. Unlike self-employed persons, salaried workers are not to include business registration documents of their employer, unless the trip is in the interest of the company. If the trip is in the interest of the company, then the company will have to include their bank statement as well.

Documents needed by salaried employees

Appointment Letter

Also known as Employment Letter, it contains whatever contract the employer has with the employee. This tells the visa officer if you have a permanent job or you are on a contract.

Introductory Letter

Letter of Introduction reaffirms your employment and assures the visa officer that your job will be waiting for you after your trip.

Payslips

This contains details of how your employer arrived at your net salary.

Bank Statement

Bank Statements of salaried employees show receipt of their salaries and their financial strength at the time of making the application.

Problems faced by Salaried employees

No Payslips

In Ghana and some under-developed countries, employers do not provide payslips to employees. These employers do so because they don’t pay taxes on employees’ salaries, don’t pay their pension contributions and others. It, however, becomes a problem when employees need payslips to support their visa application. If you find yourself in this situation, contact your employer to discuss your needs and request to be provided with payslips for your paid salaries.

Salary on the table

It is very difficult to convince visa officers that you are a salaried employee if you are paid on the table. The easy way to prove that you are a salaried employee is by having your salaries paid directly into your bank account. Even if you are not provided with payslips, the descriptions on your bank statements are enough to convince the visa officer. If you have travel plans, tell your employer to send your salaries to your bank account.

‘Strange’ Deposits

Salaried employees who do not have other sources of income find themselves in trouble if they have many other deposits in their accounts other than their salaries. It’s not much of a problem if they are few, but having many of such deposits raise concerns that you are either hiding your sources of income or you are not a salaried worker as you claim.

If you have other sources of income, state in your application and provide documents to support them.

HOT DEAL: Discover UK in 5 days for only $780

Self-employed? These are the relevant documents needed to support your visa application

Akesse Sanza roasts Luwak Coffee Beans in Bali, Indonesia
Akesse Sanza roasts Luwak Coffee Beans in Bali, Indonesia

The outcome of visa applications are mostly dependant on the economic ties of the visa applicants. Most at times, self-employed applicants get confused as to how to prove their employment and finances when making visa applications.

It is impossible to include documents on your finances and not adding those of your employment, and the vice versa. Once you have indicated in the application that are working, you are expected to support with documents and present bank statements to confirm that you are earning money from your job.

How then do self-employed applicants prove their employment and finances? Let’s group them under these two sub-headings; Employment and Finances.

Employment

Proving your employment goes beyond telling the consular what you do. Visa applicants who are self-employed are to support their claim with business registration documents and show that the business is running.

Business Registration Documents

Business Registration Certificate is the first document expected from a self-employed visa applicant. This document shows your business name and its activities. It is tough to convince a consular that you are self-employed without this document. Most business owners are not aware of the importance of registering their businesses despite making good monies. They see the need to register their businesses when it’s time for a visa application.

While all businesses should be registered, some can present other documents to show that they are self-employed without a business registration certificate. Cocoa farmers can present their Passbooks in place of a Business Registration Certificate. Freelance Journalists can present their journalism certificates.

Embassies are concerned about your business documents because they have to be sure of your claim of being self-employed and also assess if your funds were acquired legitimately. So it’s not just about the money you have, but how you got it.

Proof that business is running

Registering companies is one of the funny things that Ghanaians do because of visa applications, and the embassies are aware of this. So owning a business registration certificate doesn’t mean you have a running business.

If your business is running, you are excepted to have documents of business transactions. Applicants who are not self-employed but claim to be, do not get anything to show that their business is in operation. Businesses that are running have invoices, receipts, contracts, bill of lading, Tax receipts, Tax Clearance Certificate, etc. depending on the nature of the business. Include any other document of business transactions that show your business is running.

Some self-employed applicants have problems showing their businesses are running because of how they are run. Groceries shop, barbering shops, hairdressing salons and many others (in Ghana) do not give receipts to their customers. It becomes trouble for these people to prove that their businesses are running.

If you intend taking trips abroad in future, then have your business structured in a way that you can easily show in your visa applications that you have a running business. Issue receipts to your clients and keep the duplicates, accept bank transfer and cheque payments as the narrations on your bank statement can confirm that indeed a business transaction took place. Accept receipts for purchases you make for your business, keep records of advertising contracts, ship and receive shipments in your name or that of your business, and have an online presence.

Tax Clearance Certificates are only needed when travelling for business or the visa application is centred on the business.

Finances

The only way to show that your business makes money is by adding your Bank Statements to the application. A bank statement is required to enable the embassy to decide if you make money from your business and if you have enough funds to travel. A bank statement presented to an Embassy should only contain funds you have legitimately acquired. Inability to prove the source of the funds in your accounts would mean they were acquired illegally or don’t belong to you.

Depending on the reason for your trip, you can add your personal bank statements, business bank statement or both. You can always add statements from both accounts if you have them. Some self-employed people do not have a business account because of the accompanying charges. Once your business is a sole-proprietorship and a small one, it’s not a big deal if you don’t have a business account.

Any other savings and investments you have should be added to support your financial status.

Conclusion

Make sure that your application answers these three questions:

  1. What document shows that I have a business?
  2. What document shows that my business is running?
  3. What shows that I make money from my business and that I have enough funds for my trip?

Sponsorship Letter For Visa Application: Sample, myth, FAQs and mistake to avoid

If someone is paying for your travel, you will need to include a Letter of Sponsorship from your sponsor.

Companies who are sponsoring employees on a trip can include a line in the Introductory Letter indicating the company’s financial commitments towards the trip. In this case, a separate Sponsorship Letter would not be required.

Letter of Sponsorships for visa applications are addressed to the Visa Section or Consular of the embassy or consulate concerned.

What a Sponsorship Letter should include

A Letter of Sponsorship must include but not limited to, the following:

  1. Relationship to the applicant
  2. Applicant’s date of birth or Passport Number
  3. Applicant’s purpose of travel
  4. Intended travel dates
  5. Reason for Sponsorship (Very important if the person sponsoring is not a parent/guardian)
  6. Sponsorship amount
  7. Sponsorship’s employment (Very important if sponsorship’s source of income is not easily explained by documents included in the application)
  8. Contact details

Sample text of a Sponsorship Letter For Visa Application

December 11, 2019

The Consular,
South Africa High Commission,
Accra

Dear Sir/Madam,

LETTER OF SPONSORSHIP
KYRIAN PATRICE SANZA

I write to confirm my commitment in sponsoring my son Kyrian Patrice Sanza with passport number G6865886 on a two-week vacation to South Africa.

I will make available to him $2,500 to cover his travel and stay while in South Africa and will bear any other cost that may arise as a result of his travel.

I work as a Travel Blogger and have attached documents relating to my blog and income to this letter for your kind perusal.

I can be reached on 0249383939 should you require further information.

Thank you.

Yours faithfully,
signed
Akesse Moise Sanza
(Father to Applicant)

In the above sample by Jetsanza.com, a father is sponsoring his son, and he doesn’t need to state why he has decided to use his money that way. But if a friend or someone else is sponsoring the applicant, there should be a line indicating the reason for the sponsorship. The same reason will serve as an answer to why he/she has decided to use the money that way.

An applicant who is being sponsored by someone other than parents must prove to the Consular through material evidence that the sponsor is committed to him financially. Add proof of funds received from the sponsor in the past.

Myths and mistakes to avoid when writing a Sponsorship Letter for Visa Application

Is letterhead needed?

Sponsorship Letter for visa application or any other thing should only be written on a letterhead if the company is sponsoring the applicant. The fact that your sponsor attached documents relating to his business does not mean the company is sponsoring you. Those documents are only serving as his source of income.

Writing the letter of the company’s letterhead means the company has an interest in the travel, and such interest should be stated in the letter. If the company has no interest in the applicant’s travel, letterheads should be avoided.

Sponsorship limited to one person?

The myth that a sponsor cannot sponsor more than one applicant, or need some time to sponsor a second applicant, has entered into people’s head. There is no limit as to how many people you can give money to travel at a time, or within a period. Once you have the means, you can even sponsor the entire Ghanaian population on a trip at a time. The only question a sponsor need to ask himself is: Can I afford to pay for all these trips? Once the answer is YES, then it’s okay to sponsor all the applicants.

READ ALSO: Visa Application: When can you be sponsored and what documents do you need from your sponsor

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change/switch sponsors?

If your previous application was sponsored by someone who is no longer paying for your trip, or you are travelling for a different purpose which has a new person paying, then you are free to switch sponsors. The person paying for the trip is referred to as a SPONSOR. It isn’t just for a formality for visa applications.

Can I have more than one sponsor?

YES. If two or more people are paying for your trip, you have to include all of them in your application as sponsors. They are to indicate in the sponsorship letters the amount they are contributing towards your trip. All sponsors must also include documents to support their employment and financial status.

My sponsor doesn’t have Bank Statement, what can I do?

Where is he/she keeping the money to be spent on your holiday? If your sponsor is the type that keeps money at home or unlicensed banks, then you should advise him/her of your travel plans and the need to keep funds at the bank.

My sponsor is ready to pay for my trip but not ready to give me his documents because he intends travelling soon.

This is another myth. Some people think they can’t travel themselves once they sponsor someone on a trip. You can sponsor hundreds of people and still be able to travel yourself once you can meet the financial demands. There are no limitations.

How much balance should my sponsor have in his statement?

Bank Statement For Visa Application: How much balance is enough?

Who can sponsor my application?

Anyone willing to pay for your travel.

Can I buy or use a fake bank statement?

No, it’s a crime. Dangers of using fake bank statements in visa applications

Can I add my bank statement as well?

Yes. If you are employed, you need to add your bank statement. If you are a student or not employed but have a bank statement, there is no need to add since you have no income. You should add it when it’s confirming a claim you have made in your application. E.g., You stated that your sponsor gives you GHS2000 monthly and this is clearly shown on your bank statement because he sends via bank transfer or direct deposit. In this case, you are to add your bank statement to your application even if you don’t have a coin in it.

My sponsor only has a bank statement, no other document to support it. What should I do?

Having enough funds to pay for your trip is not the only concern of the consular. Your sponsor must prove that he/she has legally acquired the funds. Embassies do not accept bank statements that have funds illegally obtained.

My sponsor’s bank statement is genuine. Why was I refused?

‘My bank statement is genuine, why was my visa application refused’ – Question from reader

‘My bank statement is genuine, why was my visa application refused’ – Question from reader

Bank Statements are vital documents when it comes to visa applications. Applicants must convince visa officers that they have enough funds for their trip.

Yes, you can be denied a visa even if you have a genuine bank statement with enough funds. Bank statements go beyond the account balance. In this article, Jetsanza.com highlights some of the factors that could cause a visa application to be denied despite having enough money sitting in the bank.

Your genuine bank statement caused your visa refusal because of one or more of the following:

Source of income

Having billions in your account isn’t the deal when it comes to visa applications. Consulars are interested in the source of income of the funds in your account. The UK, for instance, want to know where each pesewa or cent came from. So if you print your statement and include it in your application without evidence of how funds were generated, it’s like not including one at all.

How then do you prove source of funds? : You are best to answer this. You know where you got your monies from, and you should be able to provide documents as evidence. If you are an employee working for a company, you can prove this by including your payslips and even your Letter of Appointment (Employment Letter). If you are self-employed, you have to prove that you run legitimate business by adding business registration documents. The transactions in the accounts can also be supported by some of the company’ receipts and invoices. If you have too many transactions, you can include a few of the receipts and invoices to back that you have a running business.

Purpose of sponsorship not making sense

Your application can be refused if there are doubts about the person sponsoring your travel. If you are a student and someone other than your parents or guardian is sponsoring your trip, you should explain why the person has an interest in your travel. The Visa Officers are already aware that people go around begging for bank statements to support their visa applications. So if someone is genuinely sponsoring your trip, you should explain why the person is doing so. Failure to explain may see you in the same bracket with those who beg strangers for bank statements.

If your spouse or parents are paying for your trip, you need no explanation.

Suspicious transactions

Some people dump monies into their account to make a visa application. These deposits can cause your application to be denied. If funds are genuinely yours, then there’s no need to bring all into one account before the visa application. You can print multiple statements rather than trying to bring all your funds into one account few days to your application.

Everyone who assesses your application will assume that funds are not yours and won’t be genuinely available for your travel.

If for genuine reasons huge deposits hit your account, include evidence of the source of those funds. If you won a lottery, include copy of your ticket, if you had an investment maturing, add evidence. If you just took money from someone to have a good balance, then you are not far from being denied.

Funds not enough

As explained in the previous article, ENOUGH FUNDS is subjective. What is enough for George could be small for Enoch. So what you see as ENOUGH FUNDS may be very small based on your circumstances. How then do you determine how much bank balance is enough for you? Read ‘Bank Statement For Visa Application: How Much Balance Is Enough‘.

Dangers of using fake bank statements in visa applications

Though some might have succeeded in obtaining visas with fake documents, do away with fake documents and be honest throughout your visa application.

It’s good to explain why you don’t have a bank statement than forging one. Many applicants unknowingly included fake documents because they left their travel plans in the hands of connection men or visa contractors.

In the rest of this article, Jetsanza.com discusses some of the dangers involved in the use of fake bank statements.

1-) Prosecution

If you spend a day at the Fraud office at the Police Headquarters, you will count many people who have been brought there for forging bank statements in support of their visa applications.

Once arrested, court may fine and/or jail you if found guilty. Why put yourself in this danger to visit another country?

2-) Jeopardise subsequent applications

If you are lucky and not caught for the first time, it’s going to affect your subsequent applications. What do you do if you are to make a re-application because you were denied? What happens when the embassy calls you for an updated bank statement? What happens when you forget details on the forged statement and present a new one in a new application? The inconsistency would mean tougher hurdles to jump.

3) Travel bans

Almost all countries will ban you immediately after discovering that you included a fake bank statement in your application. The UK ban such applicants from entering the country for ten years. It’s better to use a year to explain your circumstances and why you don’t have a bank statement or why you don’t have enough in your account, than getting banned for ten good years. And I even doubt if they would ever trust you after the ten-year ban.

Compare these scenarios

Kofi and Ama applied for UK visas at the same time. Kofi used a fake bank statement while Ama used her genuine account. Both applications were denied, but because Kofi used a false statement, he was given a travel ban to the UK for ten years. Ama re-applied and provided answers to the concerns raised by the Entry Clearance Officer. She gets the visa.

In another scenario, if Ama is refused the visa because she doesn’t have enough funds, she can still get the visa in future when she has enough funds while Kofi keeps on serving his ten years ban for applying with a false statement.

READ ALSO: Bank Statement For Visa Application: How much balance is enough?