As borders open up and covid restrictions take a back seat, countries across the globe are geared up for an influx of travellers. And people are already looking forward to their summer travel plans. While an international journey and the experience in itself are a memorable one, the hustle is real — right from choosing the best suited destination to filling out the visa forms. And we’d all collectively agree that filling out visa forms is not an easy task. So we asked the experts, on your behalf, to share their insights on common visa application mistakes one should avoid making. Here is what they said:
* Ensure availability of documents beforehand
The first and foremost step in a visa application process is to make sure that you have all your documents in place. Emphasising on ensuring that all documents are in place, Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint MD, BLS International, says “Each country’s tourism website has a country-specific checklist for the documentation. These documents vary based on the requirements of different countries and need to be submitted along with the application form. If any of the documents are missing, there are chances of delay in the processing of the visa.”
* Avoid incorrect details and data mismatch
One of the most common mistakes that travellers make is not rechecking details they have entered. “Many of the visa applications are denied because of incorrect passport number, incorrect name as per passport and any other detail mentioned incorrectly in the visa form,” says Aggarwal. He also says it is pertinent to fill out official details correctly as mentioned in the passport and double check them before submitting.
* Regarding a Schengen visa
Quite a few times travellers have a layover in one of the European Union member states and since it is only a layover, travellers may get confused regarding the visas. “A Schengen airport transit visa is mandatory for travellers with a stopover in France, Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic. This mandate has been in place for many years now,” say the experts at VFS Global.
* Attestation of bank statements
More often than not visa applications require the bank statement of the visa applicant. The bank statement reflects the credit stability of the applicant for the travel and plays a vital role in the issuance or rejection of visa. “While most of the travellers are aware of this step, not getting these attested is a common error one should avoid,” says Aggarwal.
* Check the status of your passport
While applying for a visa, some countries also take into account the validity of the passport. Hence, ensuring that there is enough time before your next renewal is due is the responsibility of a traveller. “Most of the countries need a passport with a validity of at least six months from the date of expiry. So, one should check if the passport is close to expiry as, in that case, the visa application can get rejected,” says Aggarwal.
* Apply well before time
“Every country has a different turnaround time for visa processing, which also depends on the travel season rush. When you fill out a form at the last minute, it may lead to not following the checklist properly,” Aggarwal says. He also adds, “Many countries accept visa applications 90 days prior to your travel. So, applying for a visa beforehand helps you to get rid of any unforeseen delays.” “According to the revised Schengen Visa Code, effective 02 February 2020, you can apply for a Schengen visa up to 6 months before your date of travel. Particularly this year with higher demand and limited appointment slots available, we urge applicants to apply for their visa as early as possible,” say the experts from VFS Global. “Each country has a different timeline for its visa processing, and these timelines are clearly mentioned on their websites, providing you with the information required to apply for your visa well in advance. Be aware that during peak season visa processing can take longer than anticipated, hence apply early,” adds the VFS team.