Every international traveller who has applied for a visa knows how challenging the application process is. Depending on your passport, applications can be an even greater challenge due to the risk assessment that countries can impose on your passport or country of residence.
Applying for visas often takes hours or, in some cases, days to complete and can be filled with confusing language and jargon. Requirements for visas are different from country to country, but also from one visa type to another.
Changing visa requirements
Visa requirements change regularly based on the interests of the country you are looking to visit. These changes can come at little to no notice and can throw your entire travel plans out if you are not careful. In addition, visa applications can ask you for documentation and information that is not required in other visa applications. This can often cause mistakes and errors, which can result in your visa being refused.
Lack of support
Embassies and Consulates are often not allowed to assist travellers in filling out their visa application due to legal reasons. This means that travellers are often forced to look for information elsewhere, either by asking questions to strangers on the internet or filling out what they think the visa application requires. This can lead to the wrong information being filled out causing the visa to be refused.
Issues with gathering documents
Gathering documents can be quite a challenge depending on your circumstances. Sometimes they can result in hefty fees to get the documents or have them certified. We had one client who was charged S$150 per page to get their documents certified before they came to us. Before submitting a visa application make sure you have all the documents that the visa applications require and in the specification required , as the Embassy or Consulate won't ask you to supply it — they'll just refuse your visa.
Most online visa applications are written in English and can be hard for anyone whose first language is not English. Throw in all the legal speak and even a fluent English speaker can be stumbling over the meaning of some of the questions asked. Unfortunately, answering any question incorrectly due to misunderstanding can lead to your visa being refused or even penalties as severe as committing fraud (which can mean jail time or fines of over $100,000 in some countries).
Applications are time consuming and finding time to complete them can be hard. Searching for the right visa to apply for and finding information on how to answer questions. Online visa applications are not built for convenience and can make you start again from the start if they timeout or you close the application and come back later.
Visa applications are becoming increasingly more complex due to the policies and laws that are being added to immigration systems across the world. To that end, we have mentioned just a few things that make visa applications complex, with many other circumstances that can come into play along the way.