Veracity, Vigilance and Vital Tips to Successfully Obtain Your Business Visa
Are you one of those corporate jet setters who live right out of a glossy-grey suitcase? You know the ones who fly halfway across the world for meetings and pitches; only to be back at work, bright and shiny, the next morning? The 21st century business travellers who do not know where tomorrow may take them but are ready nonetheless – with a cup of steaming coffee in hand!
Now, you may be the kind who relies on H.R personnel to book your air fare and plan your itinerary. Or you may prefer opting for self-booking platforms through the comfort and convenience of your smart phones or tablet? Perhaps you’re a first-time business traveller!
If you’ve answered yes to all or any of these questions, then this blog will definitely pique your interest. As an individual who is constantly traveling for work, you will be faced with the dreaded and cumbersome visa application processes. However, in the age of seamless technology, this process now takes less planning or energy to execute. Think about it. We have gradually seen the shift from brick and mortar agencies, to online travel agencies, travel agents, advanced booking options and ultimately self-booking tools. The digital realm has made it easy for us to procure what we need, when we need it.
Nonetheless, it is imperative for everyone to understand the basics of the visa application process. These small considerations will go a long way in sealing the deal; ensuring that you successfully receive your business visa. The tiniest of errors at this crucial stage will hamper the entire process and delay your work trip significantly. Given that work waits for no one, it’s imperative that you get your visa on time!
Here are a few tips to ensure you don’t fall prey to silly mistakes when applying for your business visa:
Fill up your visa application form thoroughly and carefully. Make sure all the details are up to date and factually correct. For instance, the travel dates on the form should coincide with the dates on your ticket. Furthermore, the signature on your form should match the signature on your passport. Make sure all the spellings are accurate. Lastly, ensure that each section is filled out. Don’t submit an incomplete form, but wait until you can answer the question reasonably. An incomplete form will immediately be rejected.
Apply for the correct type of visa. Since you’re traveling for the purpose of work, make sure it is a business visa and not a tourist visa. Even if you’re throwing in a bit of sightseeing and recreation, it is important to identify which category you fall under. Business visas will enable you to attend conferences, conventions, meetings and other business-related events. Make sure you have an official business invitation from your foreign business partner or said organization. It is imperative to provide proof of accommodation, proof of paid visa fees, travel insurance and your round-trip itinerary to ensure the successful acceptance of your visa application.
Double, triple check the validity of your passport. Make sure you are aware of the expiration date and renew it when the time comes. Depending upon the country you are visiting, the passport should be valid for at least 3 to 6 months, from the date of your departure. Do not ignore this validity clause, as your visa will be rejected or suspended. Furthermore, make sure you update the information on your passport in case you have just gotten married, changed your name or place of residence. Take into consideration that your passport isn’t a valid document until you have signed it. Lastly, ensure that there are sufficient blank visa pages for stamping purposes.
Be aware of the photo specifications of the given consulate you are applying to. Many consulates insist on photographs that have been taken 3 months prior to the application. Furthermore, ones that haven’t been used for any other visa application form. Make sure you strictly adhere to these stipulations and cross check with the consulate and/or your travel agent in case of a doubt. Your attire, posture and body language are important factors to consider. Make sure your hair is combed back and your ears are visible. Attach the given number of pictures, as specified.
When attaching bank statements, make sure they have a seal of authentication on them. All documents need to be notarised or else they will not be considered legitimate. Depending upon the consulate in question, the bank statement requirements will differ. For example, in the Schengen zone, you are required to provide a bank account statement – no older than 3 months and a letter of sponsorship. It is important that the authorities believe that you are financially capable of sustaining a life, in home country. A balance below the minimum amount will be perceived as a potential liability to them.
Make sure you carry all the specified documents for your visa interview. Be calm, collected and answer articulately. It is very important for you to be understood by the interviewer. The situation can be unnerving, so remember to communicate clearly and avoid fumbling on your words. Do not share any extra information, but speak when spoken too. Try not to sound rude or condescending when interacting. It is always good to be dressed formally, as first impressions matter.
Do not rely solely on web-based research. Rules, regulations and stipulations are constantly changing. Make sure you contact the embassy/consulate of the country you are visiting. You can even make your enquiries with a travel agent and/or an agency. It’s important to understand that estimates can vary, currencies can fluctuate and terms can change. So, make sure you’re aware of everything before you put in your visa application as one tiny mistake can lead to detrimental effects.
Our job, at Thomas Cook, is to equip you with all the information to make the right decisions and choose the correct courses of actions. We understand, that you may be delegating your visa application process to an agent, agency, colleague or family member. Nonetheless, it is important for you to be aware of the nuances and possible consequences of an application of this nature. A little diligence and responsibility is all you need to be successful in your endeavour. And of course, we are here every step of the way to usher you in the right direction. All you need to do is place your faith in our esteemed hands.