British residents can travel to most of the countries in the world without the burden of applying for a visa. There are some notable exceptions such as Russia, China, and India, but in the vast majority of cases the experience of the border and immigration control comes down to being waved through. For others, matters can (and do) get much more complicated. There are so many different visas, all with their own sets of requirements and restrictions. The process can be so overwhelming many people dread the mere thought of it.
We look at some of the reasons why people dread the visa application and offer some suggestions on how to take control over the process.
Accept the fact that there are no guarantees. If you plan to visit a country where a visa is required, no one can give you any guarantees your application will be successful. By all means, you can take advantage of a visa service agency, but again a visa service agency can only do so much. Which means that you are at the mercy of the bureaucracy. The factors to be considered (and things that can go wrong) are many – what country you plan to travel to, what do you plan to do once there, how complicated the visa application process is, what kind of a visa do you need, what supporting documents you will need to submit, the list goes on and on. It is easy to get overwhelmed.
What can you do to get some semblance of control when the final visa approval is out of your hands? Inform yourself. Visit the embassy’s website and read up on how to fill out the application form correctly. Check (and double-check) what type of visa you will have to apply for and what supporting documents you will need to submit.
If for example, you need to submit a proof of funds, try to submit as many documents as possible such as credit card statements, salary pay slips or documents that prove you are a homeowner. This serves a dual purpose – to prove you do not only have the sufficient funds to travel but also that you have no reason to overstay your welcome and plan to return home. If anything is unclear, do not be afraid to ask questions. That is why the embassy’s staff is there. If the process seems too complicated or overwhelming, hire a visa service agency to aid you in the process.
Accept the fact that you will have to spend time and money. It might mean you will have to take time off from work in order to attend the interview at the embassy. Or you might have to collect the visa in person. It might mean some additional expenses such as visa processing fees or fees for the visa service agency. Once you accept the fact it is a bureaucratic process and that some time and money will have to be put aside for it to be completed, the process itself should be somewhat less frustrating.
Accept the fact the worst case scenario might happen – your visa application might get rejected. Again, this is the worst case scenario. And while it sucks and you might be tempted to unleash your anger on the embassy staff, try to keep your temper in check since unfortunately in a vast majority of situations that do not help your case at all. Try to be as polite as possible under the circumstances and ask how soon you can apply for a visa again and how you can improve your application so that it gets accepted the next time.