Weird Facts About UK Visa Applications

There are some weird facts about United Kingdom visas and the application process that even most frequent travelers haven’t taken notice of. Your No.1 travel blog Jetsanza.com has put together these facts for your attention and reading pleasure.

It’s about money

The UK Visa Application process is all about money. It’s not as if you are paying a connection man or a middleman to influence the outcome of the application but are official fees that either goes to UK Visas or the commercial partner.

You can pay if you don’t want to book an appointment to submit your application. You can pay if you need a VIP treatment at the application center. You can pay if you want your documents to be scanned on your behalf. You can pay if you want to receive your passport earlier than the usual 15 days. And one weird thing is that paying all these excess fees will neither guarantee you a visa, nor guarantee that you will receive your passport earlier.

Some of the fees are as follows:

  • Assisted Service with scanning of documents : GBP 23.63 / GHS 154.14
  • Express Courier Return : GBP 14.95 / GHS 81.00. Meanwhile courier companies in Ghana charge less than GHS12 / USD 2.5 for domestic deliveries.
  • Premium Lounge for those who hate queues and need VIP treatment: GBP 89.00 / GHS 490.00
  • Walk-in with or without appointment: GBP 89.00 / GHS 490.00
  • Applicants who can’t come during working hours: GBP 88.13 / GHS 490.00
  • Can’t go to the application center? They’ll come to you!: Fees quoted upon demand.
  • Priority? Need your decision within 5 working days? : GBP 220.00 / GHS 1,225
  • Assistance in filling form? They will give you : GBP 25.00 / GHS 136.00

One worrying situation people have found themselves in is choosing several of these valued added services without knowing if they really needed them. They are forced to pay these fees thinking that the more they pay, the faster or more likely their application would turn out positive. Others also think they are supposed to tick everything they see. Jetsanza.com will throw more light on what to tick in the next article so that you can apply on a more cheaper side.

Still about more money

If your application takes longer than expected, then you are not done yet with spending money on your application. If an application takes longer than expected to process, UK Visas usually send the applicant an email that the application will take some more days to process. When you wait for some weeks and you are not hearing anything, you will probably want to contact them. This is where you have to pay. You are required to pay for each minute you speak to a customer care agent or for any email you send. Weird right?

An applicant paying to contact UK Visas by email
An applicant paying to contact UK Visas by email

Visa issued ONLY for who you are at the time of application

If your circumstances change after a visa is issued, your visa can be cancelled. Example: If you were issued a visa because you were a cleaner, the visa will be revoked when you seize to be a cleaner. When you either become unemployed or change job from cleaner to be a trader, the visa will be revoked anytime they get hold of your passport, whether at the embassy or at any UK point of entry. Weird right? LOL

Applicants bear cost for Visa Officer’s negligence

“You have been denied because you did not include any evidence that you are a student”. Oh but you added an Introductory Letter from School and even included copy of your School ID. Probably the Visa Officer didn’t see these documents. Either it’s an oversight or negligence of duty, it’s the applicant that bears the cost. Now you will have to pay another visa fee to make a new application to draw their attention to the documents that you included because visit visa applications are not granted the right to appeal. So the only right you enjoy is to make a fresh application; fresh fees.

Frequent travelers list all their travels

If you are a first-time traveler, then the UK Visa application form is the simplest one. Completing the forms is a trouble for frequent travelers like myself. You have to list all the countries you have visited, date you visited and purpose of travel for each of them. Just imagine someone like myself who have visited South Africa, Kenya and Togo countless times. How do I recall all the purposes of each of the travels? If your passports are old and some stamps are fading away, it means getting to know the dates too would be problem. All these make it difficult for me to apply for a UK visa unless I really have something very important to do in the country.

And UK Visas are easiest to get

Upon all what seem to make UK Visas very difficult to obtain, it’s rather the easiest to get. While the US, Canada and even Schengen countries place priority on travel experiences, the UK rather grant people the travel experience. Though travel experiences may positively influence the outcome of your UK Visa application, it shouldn’t be a concern for first-time travelers. Just present your documents depending on your circumstance, explain why you don’t have certain documents, and be honest throughout with your answers on the visa application forms. It’s easier to obtain a UK visa by explaining why you don’t have a bank statement than including a fake bank statement.

Visa to Cuba: How to successfully apply for Cuban Visa in Ghana

Cuba, a country in the Caribbean, welcome Ghanaian visitors with open arms.

Cuba has one of the most straightforward visa application procedures for holders of Ghanaian passports. Travel lovers have taken advantage of the ease of getting a Cuban visa to embark on vacation and honeymoon in the country.

Jetsanza.com has made the application process easier by listing all the documents needed and the processes involved in this article. We hope this will save you time and money as you plan your trip to Cuba.

General Requirement

1. Passport

2. Two Passport Pictures

3. Birth Certificate

4. Affidavit: Declaration that you will return after the holiday

5. Police Report

6. Visa Form (To be completed at the embassy on the day of application)

7. Hotel Reservation: How to make a hotel booking to support the visa application.

8. Ticket reservation (Not a purchased ticket/confirmed booking)

9. Yellow Fever Vaccination Card

Self-employed

1. Business Registration Documents

2. Introductory Letter

3. Bank Statement

 

Employee

1. Letter of introduction from work

2. Payslips

3. Bank Statement

 

Visa Fees

Standard: GHS 303 (One week)

Express: GHS 606 (Same day)

 

Working Hours

Only Tuesdays 09:00 – 13:00

 

Embassy Location:

22 A Akosombo Road, Airport Residential Area, Accra

What to note

1. The embassy works only on Tuesdays, and you have to make sure you have every document in order not to prolong the application process.

2. The Affidavit must be prepared by either a lawyer or a Commissioner of Oaths.

3. Make photocopies of all original documents.

4. Visit the embassy early so that you can rectify any errors made on time.

How to apply for UK Visa to spend vacation in the UK as a student

Tertiary institutions will soon be breaking for a long vacation. Students who can afford usually choose to spend their vacation in the United Kingdom. It is advisable that you avoid middlemen, connection men or visa contractors at all cost when applying for visas as they may affect your travel plans negatively.

READ: Top Reasons Why You Should Avoid Visa Connection Men

Jetsanza.com, with the aim of making travel safe, easier and affordable for all, has put together how students can apply for UK visas for their holidays during their school’s long vacation.

Documentation

The GOV.UK website provides full guidance on documents needed to support visa application.

List of Documents required

Passport

Valid Passport. It recommended that it has at least two free leaves for visas and stamps. Using passports that’s full or without free pages for visa and stamps is likely to delay your application.

Proof of Studies

As a student, you should add documents to prove that you are in school. A letter of introductory from your school is a must-have document. Other additional documents that may support your status as a student are Academic Transcripts, Admission Letters and Student ID. If you have already paid the next semester’s fees, you can also add receipt.

Sponsorship

This is a very important aspect of visa applications as everything on travel is about money. Here, you demonstrate that you have enough funds to cover your trip. Almost all students are sponsored and as such students are not expected to have enough funds to pay for their trips themselves unless they are also working or have source of income. Your sponsor must demonstrate that he/she is capable of paying for your trip.

These are the documents you have to obtain from your sponsor:

Bank Statements (For the past 3 to 6 months)

Proof of income: If self-employed, business registration documents, Tax Certificate, invoices, receipts and documents relating to any other sources of income, if any. If your sponsor receives salary rather, add copies of his/her payslips, introductory letter from place of work, and Letter of Appointment.

ID: if sponsor has travel experience, include copies of his/her visas. Copy of sponsor’s ID should be included.

Letter of Sponsorship: A letter confirming his commitment to sponsor you. If your sponsor is anyone other than your parent, the reason for the sponsorship should be stated and must make sense (especially in this current economy where no one is expected to waste money). Remember to include your Birth Certificate if your parent is sponsoring your trip. This will confirm your relation.

Accommodation

If you have a host in the UK, he/she can send you a letter of invitation indicating that they have a place to host you. A letter of invitation must include the letter itself, proof of address, proof of employment and copy of ID. If your host is your sponsor, bank statement must be included.

If you don’t know anyone in the UK or do not have a host in the UK, it means you will be living in a hotel/hostel throughout your stay. Click HERE to book your hostel. Also READ how to make hotel reservations to support visa applications.

Print the hotel booking confirmation and include it in your application.

Flight Reservation

I have always argued why embassies require this as part of visa applications because one cannot confirm flights until visa is issued. Flight reservations also cancel within 2 days if payment is not made. This means that the embassies assess a cancelled reservation as part of the application. To the visa applicant, this gives you an idea of how much to spend on air ticket but fares are not guaranteed until purchased. May be this document helps the embassies to know the route you intend to use.

When making flight reservations make sure the date of arrival matches the check-in date of the hotel reservation.

Tour Itinerary

The Visa Officer may want to know how you intend to spend your days in the UK. You might have read or heard a lot about the UK that influenced your decision to visit the country. Write and indicate what you intend to do on each day of your stay in the UK. READ A sample itinerary of a two-week visit in the UK as a tourist.

Forms

Click HERE to register and complete the online application form. You are applying for a Standard Visitor Visa.

The video below by TLSContact can guide you further:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6QJTNKKme0

NOTE: You are not applying for a Study Visa, you are applying for a Standard Visitor Visa which is needed for your holiday.

After completing the online visa form, you will be redirected to the website of the Visa Application Center where you will book an appointment to submit your biometrics and supporting documents (That’s if you chose ASSISTED SERVICE). Remember to print all confirmations and documents checklist.

You can print the completed visa application but not required at the Visa Application Center.

After honouring your appointment, TLSContact will forward your documents and biometrics to UK Visas for a decision to be made.

NOTE: The decision to issue a visa is a sole responsibility of the Visa Officer. Do not make any travel plans until a visa is issued. Following these steps does not guarantee a successful application.

Where to apply

TLSContact, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel,
Emporium Building, 1st floor,
Accra

What to pack

  • Yellow Fever Vaccination Cards are checked at the Kotoka International Airport.
  • Hotel Confirmation/letter of invitation
  • Funds for your trip

READ: How and what to pack when traveling by air

Once you have been issued the visa, plan your stay ahead. Read a sample itinerary of how you can make the best out of your trip.

How to book hotel to support visa application when you don’t have invitation letter

Travel isn’t limited to people who have friends or relatives abroad. Visa Officers do not expect every visa applicant to know someone in the country they intend visiting.

People travel for various reasons. What you have read, heard or seen about a country might have influenced your decision to visit and you don’t need to know someone before embarking on this journey.

Almost all tourists who visit Ghana don’t have friends or relatives here. They lodge in hotels. That’s exactly what you will also do when in their country. Hotels are everywhere to welcome and serve tourists.

Most times people think that only people with invitation letters can apply for visas to travel. NO! Such people have these letters because they either know someone in the country they are visiting or someone has accepted to host them. If you don’t have anyone to host you, you are only left with a choice of living in a hotel.

But making hotel reservation to support your visa application can be very tricky. The little mistake could have your application refused or have the hotel charge you fees you haven’t budgeted for. Jetsanza.com has put together how you can make hotel reservation to support visa application.

You can start making your hotel booking through the search box below while being guided by the rest of the article. This booking platform by Booking.com provides a nice reservation confirmation that you can include in your visa application.



Booking.com

Apply well enough in advance

If you are applying for a visa with a hotel booking, do not wait to apply few weeks or days to your trip. It’s advisable to put in your application two to three months in advance. In this case, the hotel won’t put pressure on you to confirm your reservation. Know that you are not supposed to pay for your reservation until visa is issued. Hotels put pressure on you to pay if your check-in date is closer. One reason you have to put in your application early.

Check the hotel’s cancellation policy

Because you don’t have to make payment for your reservation until you have been issued a visa, you have to check the hotel’s cancellation policy if your visa application is likely to be processed before the end of the free cancellation period. Hotels charge a fee, usually first night, or even full reservation if you don’t cancel your booking before a specified date.

Know your dates

You might have already made a flight reservation as part of your visa application. Check on the ticket to make sure that the arrival date corresponds with the hotel’s check-in date. You are likely to key in your departure date as check-in date. Though you could be arriving same day, reconfirm from your flight reservation to make sure your arrival date is exactly as your check-in date at the hotel. Some embassies will request that you make changes while others will refuse your visa application right away for the mismatch.

You are encouraged to make booking for the full days of your stay. While in the country, you can reduce your nights in a particular hotel for another if you are not okay with their services or facility.

Consider the rate

Booking any rate at all shows that you have different intentions for your trip and nothing shows that you will stay in the hotel. It’s fine if your financial status matches the selected hotel. Select hotel within your budget. While searching for hotels, filter the results to show rates from LOW TO HIGH. Book what reasonably matches your financial status. Students are encouraged to stay in hostels when on a very low budget.

Note your selection

A male visa applicant was denied visa because he booked a female dormitory. Crosscheck your selection to make sure you are reserving the right room.

Proximity and accessibility

As a traveler visiting a country you haven’t been to before, you are expected to have researched a lot about it. If you are traveling to see specific tourist attractions or attend an event, you are to book a hotel or hostel closer to these places. If it’s expensive to stay closer, check if the tourists sites or event venue is accessible from the chosen hotel.

Secure your booking

You are not supposed to pay for your booking since your trip is not yet confirmed until visa is issued. You only have to secure you booking with a Visa or Mastercard. This serves as guarantee that if you don’t cancel your booking before the specified cancellation period, they will have means to charge you. Because you are applying early and have taken note of their cancellation policy, you won’t hesitate to provide your card details to secure your booking.

Book and Apply

After taken note of the above, go ahead and make your reservation. Provide correct contact details including email address so as not to miss important correspondence from the hotel. Print the reservation and include in your application. Make sure your name appears on the confirmation. When completing the visa forms, your address in the country you are visiting is the address of the hotel. Provide the hotel’s contact details as your contact details abroad.

What next?

If your visa application comes out successful, revisit your hotel reservation to see if you are still traveling on selected dates, make necessary changes if any. Remember to travel with a copy of the booking confirmation as authorities at various airports may want to see it. You may also need it to locate the hotel.

If your application is denied, cancel your hotel booking immediately to avoid charges.

Start making your hotel bookings with the search box below and feel free to contact us if you have difficulties.



Booking.com

(Written by Akesse Sanza. He’s a Travel Blogger, Travel & Tourism Consultant. Akesse has traveled to many countries including the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa and others by just making hotel reservations. This write-up is from his personal experience and others shared by travelers. Note that having a hotel reservation does
not guarantee a positive outcome of a visa application. You still have to meet other requirements)

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).

Things to note before traveling to a visa-free country

Holders of Ghanaian passports can travel to over 60 countries worldwide without visas.

Jetsanza.com made a list of the countries Ghana citizens can travel to without visas.

People still get deported when travelling to these visa-free countries because they assume that free means free and therefore go anyhow.

Below are some of the things you have to note when travelling to a visa-free country.

There’s still a border

Unlike moving from one Schengen state to the other where they are no borders, you still pass through a border when travelling to a visa-free country. You will pass through Immigration/Passport control, Customs, security and any other processes you pass through when travelling to other countries where visas are required. The only difference here is that you don’t need a visa. That’s all; nothing changes.

Prepare for interview

Because it’s a visa-free country and no one assessed your eligibility to travel, some countries will still interview you when you arrive at their airport. One of Jetsanza Explorers Shadrack Annor had a tough time entering Mauritius. I was interviewed in Singapore and Maldives before gaining entry into the countries. Prepare to face same. It’s usually simple for people travelling with a tour group.

Deportation from Singapore has reduced in recent years. It got to a time where Ghanaians were still required to hold a Letter of Introduction (Kind of Invitation Letter) before granting entry into Singapore. Today, almost everyone is allowed entry.

Cash

Not having cash on you? Then what are your intentions? To find a job and stay? Man, you won’t be allowed entry. As someone who is genuinely travelling for a holiday, you need funds that will be able to pay for your entire stay. During my visit to Maldives, I paid for everything in advance; my accommodation, food, water transport, and activities. In this case, no one will expect me to have cash. And honestly, I didn’t buy anything in Maldives, didn’t even see their banknotes. That was very bad of me.

Accommodation

You have no idea where you will be staying? You may not be granted entry. Book your accommodation in advance and carry the booking confirmation along. See how to book Hotel.

Tourist Voucher

If your destination requires that you hold a tourist voucher, get it.

Return Ticket

Not having a return ticket? Then there’s no proof that you will leave the country. You will be deported if you fail to present a return air ticket.

Yellow Fever Card

Countries like Kenya require that you hold a Yellow Fever Vaccination card. Lucky enough for Ghanaians, we are forced at the Kotoka International Airport to carry one to all destinations. Read more on Yellow Fever Vaccination cards.

Check Period of stay permitted

Most importantly, check the maximum period of stay allowed. While some allow a maximum stay of 90 days, others allow only 30. If you intend to stay longer, make sure you’ve confirmed the maximum number of days allowed to stay.

How to apply for a Schengen visa in Ghana

A Schengen visa permits the holder to travel through the schengen area for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. 26 countries make up the Schengen area and they have their borders opened. Travelers do not pass through passport control.

Though schengen visa gives you access to all the member states, you are to obtain the visa from the country which you intend visiting first.

You can apply for a Schengen visa up to 90 days before your planned date of travel.

Travel within the schengen area is like a domestic trip from Accra to Kumasi. Only an ID is required but sometimes airlines check to see if you still have a valid schengen visa. When traveling from Paris to Frankfurt, not even my Passport was checked.

The Schengen States

Below are the member states of schengen where schengen visas allow travelers to pass freely.

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Finland
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Iceland
  12. Italy
  13. Latvia
  14. Liechtenstein
  15. Lithuania
  16. Luxembourg
  17. Malta
  18. Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Poland
  21. Portugal
  22. Slovakia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Spain
  25. Sweden
  26. Switzerland

 

European countries that are not member of the Schengen States

  1. Bulgaria
  2. Croatia
  3. Cyprus
  4. Ireland
  5. Romania
  6. United Kingdom

Visa Requirement

The member states have uniform visa requirements except when you are visiting friends, family members or settling.

Below are the requirements for Schengen Visa:

General Requirements for all Schengen countries

  1. Appointment confirmation; if the embassy requires you book an appointment in advance.
  2. Completed and signed visa application form for Schengen visa. Most embassies prefer the signing date matches the date of submission.
  3. 1 recent passport picture with white background
  4. Visa fee; payable in Ghana Cedis
  5. Valid passport and 1 copy of the passport data page. It should have at least two blank pages for visa and stamps and must be valid for at least 6 months.
  6. Previous passports, if any or available
  7. Birth certificate
  8. Flight reservation for round-trip (not a paid ticket)
  9. Travel health insurance valid for all Schengen States. It’s always good for your insurance to exceed your intended number of days.
  10. Proof of accommodation / hotel reservation. Learn how to book hotel to support visa application here.

11. Proof of sufficient financial means for intended stay

  •  If you are paying for your trip yourself, personal bank statement for the past three to six months
  • If you will be sponsored by someone, READ HERE.
  •  If costs will be covered by the host/institution, it should be indicated in the invitation letter. Each country has a special document/invitation letter where such undertaking is made. See the country specific requirements for more details (coming soon).

12. Proof of social and economic ties to country of residence

  •  marriage certificate and birth certificates of dependent children, if applicable
  • current personal bank statements of the last 3 months
  • for children and students: official leave letter from school or university, including proof of paid school fees and reports
  • if employed: letter of introduction from employer and payslips of the last 3 months
  • if self-employed: business registration documents, tax clearance certificate, proof of active business (bills of lading, import declaration forms, invoices)

Minors

Applicants below 18 years of age are considered minors. If a minor is not accompanied by both parents: parental consent of both parents and copies of their passport/photo ID are required.

In case of sole parental custody, adequate proof has to be provided (e.g. court order, death certificate of other parent).

Additional requirements based on purpose of travel

Airport Transit

  1. Visa/residence permit for final destination. It almost impossible to obtain a transit visa when your final destination is a visa-free country.
  2. Proof of purpose of trip to country of final destination (e.g. invitation letter)

Business

  1. Signed invitation letter from inviting company
  2. Proof of inviting company is registered
  3. Verifiable proof of business with inviting company or proof of down payment, if applicable
  4. Letter from company in country of residence stating purpose of trip

Visit

Signed invitation letter and copy of host’s passport and residence permit. Invitation letters vary depending on member state. Details on how to obtain invitation letters from various countries will be published on Jetsanza.com soon.

Proof of family relation (e.g. birth certificate), if applicable

If purpose of trip is attending a funeral: additionally death certificate of the deceased and confirmation of appointment from the funeral home

Tourism

Travel itinerary. See sample here.

Medical Treatment

  1. Letter from local doctor stating diagnosis
  2. Letter from foreign hospital/doctor stating agreement to treat patient and expected duration
    of treatment.
  3. Overview of estimated costs of surgery/treatment.
  4. Proof of sufficient financial means for treatment and costs of living during the stay
  5. Proof of advance payment of at least 50% – receipt from foreign hospital/doctor

Sports

  1. Letter of invitation from organizer, inviting company or sports club
  2. Letter of introduction from Ghana Sports Council and/or respective sports association/federation that there is no objection for applicant to engage in tournaments or trials for transfers.
  3. Proof of sporting ability (e.g. CV, world ranking, trophies, selection for national team, personal records)

Cultural

  1. Letter of introduction of association and musician card & proof of musical activities
  2. For recording: studio contract & transfer slip for instalment of studio fees
  3. For lessons: contract stating duration and payment
  4. For festivals or concerts: detailed concert schedule, contract stating duration and payment

Internship/Training/Language Course

  1. Letter from host institution or confirmed registration
  2. Information on duration (working hours a week), if applicable
  3. Information on expected salary, if applicable
  4. Proof of payment of the course (for language courses/training)

Trade Fair

Visitors: trade fair ticket

Exhibitors: proof of registration at the trade fair and proof of payment

Letter of introduction from company in country of residence, company’s business registration documents, tax clearance certificate and bank statements of the last 3 to 6 months.

 

Application Process

Schengen visa application process varies from member state to the other. Process for each member state will be available on Jetsanza.com shortly.

READ: How to get Schengen Visa from the German Embassy

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

You do not need a sponsor if you are self-employed unless the trip is in the interest of your sponsor.

If you are employed, you also do not need a sponsor unless you are traveling on behalf of your company, or the trip is in the interest of any other person sponsoring you.

You need a sponsor if you are dependent of someone and such person is the perfect sponsor.

Visa officers usually doubt if a non-dependent is being sponsored. In this case, you have to give reasons why someone else is paying for your trip.

Documents Needed From Your Sponsor

Letter of Sponsorship

This is a letter addressed to the embassy indicating your sponsor’s commitment to pay for your trip. The letter must state the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant, and why he/she intends paying for your trip.

If you are not sponsored by your parents, it’s advisable to indicate why they are not paying for your trip.

Any relations?

If you are related to your sponsor, you can include a document to confirm this relation. If you are sponsored by your parents or siblings, your birth certificate should be able tell that indeed they are your parents or siblings.  In case of your brothers or sisters, include their birth certificates as well. If you are being sponsored by your spouse, your marriage certificate will confirm your relation.

If you are being sponsored by your uncle, sometimes your birth certificate can do the magic if he shares the same surname with your parent.

Bank Statements

Bank Statements are needed; usually three to six months statements from licensed banks. Though embassies accept statements from rural banks and microfinances, it’s strongly advised that you don’t use them in your visa applications. The balance of the statement is also important. Click HERE to read how to know if your sponsor is having enough balance in account.

Proof of employment and income

Funds in the bank statements must be defended with your sponsor’s source of income. If your sponsor is self-employed, business registration, invoices, tax clearance certificate and other any other document to prove a running business are required.

If your sponsor is a salary worker, then these documents would be needed rather as proof of employment and income:

  • Letter of introduction from employer
  • Appointment letter, if available
  • 3 to 6 months payslips

Any investments?

If your sponsor has any fixed deposits or other investments, you can include them for the embassy to know how strong he/she is financially.

ID/Travel History

Include a copy of your sponsor’s ID. If your sponsor has a travel history, especially to the country you are visiting, you can include copies of visas issued him/her.

Proof of remittances

If you are dependent of your sponsor, then you can add any proof of funds you’ve been receiving from him/her, if any. If your sponsor lives abroad, then definitely you have some Western Union or Moneygram receipts to include.

Traveling on behalf of a company?

If you are embarking on a business trip on behalf of a company, it means the trip is being sponsored by the company.

The company has to issue to you a Letter of Introduction and Sponsorship indicating their commitment and interest in the trip. The company’s business registration documents, tax clearance certificates and bank statements should be included in the application.

Though the company is sponsoring for your trip, you still have to include your personal bank statement and payslips which will indicate that you truly receive salaries from your employer.

How to get Schengen Visa from German Embassy in Ghana

Germany is one of the Schengen countries and as such issues Schengen visas for visa applicants traveling for short stay up to 90 days for business purposes, visits, holidays etc.

Only apply for a Schengen visa at the German Embassy if Germany is your main destination in the Schengen area.

Unlike other embassies, German Embassy has enough chairs for all visa applicants and even people accompanying them (It’s advisable to leave any other person home, unless minors or people who need assistance). They have nice reception right from the staff arranging your documents to the interviewer. They treat you as human even if they deny you visa.

There’s water to drink, books to whet your appetite for German tours and culture, and toys for the kids (didn’t see the toys last time I visited but they’ve been there).

Avoid the use of middlemen/connection men/visa contractors. They may affect your travel negatively. Read more about connection men HERE.

Germany/Schengen Visa Application Process

Schengen Visa Requirement

First make sure you meet all the schengen visa requirements and that your documents to prove are set. Click HERE to see all the requirements for Schengen visa. For country specific requirement, see the Checklist provided by the German Embassy on it’s website HERE.

Book Appointment

Unlike the Netherlands Embassy, appointment to apply for visa at the German Embassy is free. Click HERE to book your appointment.

You should receive an email after your booking. Crosscheck your email address to make sure you don’t miss the confirmation.

Prepare for interview

Based on personal experiences, the outcome of your visa application is highly dependent on your interview performance. Prepare well for your interview and really make sure you know what you are up to. I’ll be sharing with you more details on what to know ahead of the interview in my subsequent posts.

Honour your appointment

The appointment confirmation comes with no address but you can locate the German Embassy at No. 6, Kenneth Kaunda Road, North Ridge, Accra. The nearest landmark is Accra High School.

Depending on where you are coming from, take note of the traffic in town and set in early. You are expected to report at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. It’s advised you report early even an hour before time in order to be able to get additional documents, or photocopies that you forgot to make, or didn’t have idea of getting them.

Remember to have your visa fee on you. It’s EUR 60 and payable in cash and in Ghana Cedis only.

Collection of Passport

After the interview, your conscience should tell you if you are getting or not and I bet you that you won’t be surprised on the collection date. You will be given 4-working days to collect your passport. The date and time for collection will be indicated on your receipt.

How to successfully apply for South Africa Visitor Visa from Ghana without middleman

South Africa has become one of the favourite destinations of Ghanaians. Most Ghanaian travel lovers have visited South Africa already and a greater percentage of these visitors keep visiting.

The South Africa government recently promised Ghanaians a visa-free entry into the country but until that policy comes into force, Ghanaian passport holders will continue to obtain visas to enter the country.

In its bid to promote tourism, South Africa has made its visa application process very simple.

Below is a step-by-step guide put together by Jetsanza.com to help visa applicants obtain visas without engaging ‘Visa contractors’ or ‘Connection men’ who should be avoided at all cost.

Since most Ghanaians travel to South Africa as tourists, this article will focus on Tourist/Visit Visa applications.

South Africa Visa Application – Step-by-step guide

Documents needed

Visa Application Form

Visa Application Form (BI 84) must be fully completed in BLOCK letters and BLACK ink only (CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FORM). Not all fields on the form apply to you. Only complete those that apply to you and indicate N/A (meaning NOT APPLICABLE) in all fields that do not apply to you.

Passport

A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit (2 copies of Bio data page must be attached). Passport must contain at least 3 unused pages for entry / departure endorsements.

Introductory letter

Include an introductory letter from your Employer, School or self-introductory letter if you are self-employed. If you are self-employed, proof of self-employment must be added. This usually comes in the form of Business registration documents from the Registrar Generals’ Department.

Yellow-fever vaccination certificate

An international yellow-fever vaccination certificate is required for all travelers entering South Africa. Obtain this certificate from the hospital immediately you dream of visiting South Africa.  A copy of front page and page with vaccination details must also be attached.

Photographs

Two colour passport photographs

Flight itinerary

Flight itinerary is required. Do not confirm your bookings until you have been issued a visa or asked to do so. Make sure your travel dates on the flight itinerary match the dates of your hotel bookings or within the period you hosts expects you (that’s if someone is inviting you).

Proof of accommodation

If you have someone in South Africa you will be staying with during your stay in the country, the following documents are needed to serve as proof of accommodation:

  • Utility bill-in form of Recent Water or Electricity Bills(Rates and Taxes) or Tenancy agreement or Accommodation Lease Document from SA)
  • Signed Invitation letter from host
  • Certified copy of host passport or South African ID

For applicants who do not have hosts in South Africa can simply make a hotel reservation to serve as their Proof of accommodation in South Africa. Click HERE to make your hotel reservation or return to this page to follow the link anytime who wish to make your reservation. Booking.com accepts almost all cards/ATM issued in Ghana.

Proof of financial means

Applicants are to prove that they have means to support themselves financially while in South Africa. The Proof of financial means comes in the form of Bank Statements; recent 3 months original Bank statements certified by the bank. Statements that are not certified are usually rejected. Some banks including SG-SSB do not certify Bank Statements. In such cases, you are to talk to your Branch Manager and insist on this.

If you are a salaried worker, include 3 of your recent payslips.

If your trip is being sponsored, the following are needed:

  • Letter of sponsorship
  • Recent 3 months original Bank statement certified by bank
  • Sponsor’s proof of employment
  • Copy of sponsors passport
  • For Corporate clients ONLY: Written Financial undertaking by the Host(s) in South Africa / Employer in Ghana

Tourist visa applicants are still REQUIRED to submit personal 3 months recent certified bank statement, even if sponsored.

For Minors

Minors are also required to obtain visas. Below are the documents needed:

NOTE: All the above documents in a language other than English must be translated.

Submission at the Visa Application Center

Once you have all the needed documents, make the Visa Fee and VFS Service Fee ready when submitting the application at the VFS Visa Application Center. Note that the South Africa Embassy or High Commission only accept applications through the VFS. The Visa fee is GHS 136 and a ridiculous VFS Service Charge of GHS 315. These fees are increased regularly so make sure you check from the VFS website for the updated Visa and Service Fees or call VFS on 0302 746211.

The South Africa Visa application Centre is located at East Cantoments near NAFTI. Locate them at the address below:

VFS Ghana Private Limited
South Africa Visa Application Centre
Behind Marina Mall,
Airport City
Accra, Ghana

Note that, if you want your passport to be delivered to you at home when decision is taken, you can opt for it. It attracts a fee.

UPDATED: The Visa Application Center now requires that applicants book appointment in advance. Click HERE to book appoint to submit your South Africa Visa Application.

What happens after submission?

When the VFS receives your application, they will forward to the South Africa High Commission for a decision to be taken on your application. Decision to issue a visa is only the sole responsibility of the Consular. You will be notified by SMS or DHL (if you paid for courier) when decision has been taken and your passport is ready for collection.

You can also track the status of your application online HERE.

What to pack when traveling

Most (If not all) visa applications come out successful. Remember not to forget these when packing:

  • Yellow Fever vaccination Card
  • Return ticket (make sure days of stay corresponds to or less than the permitted number of days to stay)
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Funds for your stay (Cash and/or cards)

Still have questions? Click HERE to ask.