Counsel Corner

October 6, 2014

Why some visa applications fail

By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
VISA applicants are advised to be well prepared and understand that it is up to them to qualify for a visa during visa interviews by embassies’ consular officers.

To avoid unfavourable decisions on visa applications, most embassies urge applicants to follow the instructions which are readily available on their websites which are intended to guide them through processing different categories of visa applications.

Consular Advisory gathered that most applicants employ the services of agents to process their visa applications, thereby making it almost impossible for them to actually qualify for a visa during interviews by consular officers, because they are not familiar with certain information provided to the consulate on their behalf.

A brief interview with some of the embassies consular officers revealed that it is important for visa applicants to complete their visa applications and ensure that all information provided is in line with required class of visa sort.

It was also pointed out that ‘Do-it-yourself ‘ visa applications, is highly encouraged and applicants who do not want to fail visa interviews should practice the method to avoid confusion during interview sessions.

Interview sessions

Planning ahead is another key factor that determines the success of visa applications. According to sources, this is one issue applicants would need to deal with when planning for an application, for once a decision is taken in respect of your visa application, there may not be room for an appeal.

Shedding more light on what it would take visa applicants to achieve successful visa applications, it was noted that travel plans and ability to fund your travel to countries of choice are key factors.

Although, applicants do not need to have their travel plans, 100 per cent set before visiting embassies to apply for a visa, they are advised on the need for the consulates to understand what they are planning to do in countries they are migrating to and the ability to sustain their stay.

It is important to note that most embassies in Nigeria believe in a do-it-yourself’ style, which is basically the supposed reason why the U.S embassy and most other embassies in Nigeria have their visa application processing built on a ‘Do-it-yourself’ system.

In other words, applicants can conveniently apply and also book for a visa appointment on-line without seeking services of touts or supposed visa application consultants.

Processing your visa applications yourself would help you avoid a situation whereby you go into the interview section and give information contrary to what a visa consultant has filled in the application form online.

It is sad to know that most visa applicants go into the interview rooms without knowing what their travel consultants have filled in their application forms, and end up providing answers that are inconsistent with what the interviewing officers are seeing in their database.

In view of the aforementioned, applicants are promptly advised to ensure that articulation during interview session is maintained, for fact that interview is a big issue when it comes to applying for various categories of visa to countries of choice.

It is absolutely essential that applicants are armed with every bit of information submitted in their application forms and be fully responsible for them before attending interviews.

The applicant needs to fully understand that he/she is fully responsible for information in his/her application form, whether submitted by himself/herself or by a consultant.