We’ve all been there. We wanted to travel. We saved up months of hard-earned income to finally be able to get on that “big trip,” you know exactly what places you will visit and you’ve even single-handedly picked all of your clothes so you could look your best on your photos; and then all so suddenly, you have a major set back. A visa application and you are hopeful to have your visa approved.

Chances are, if you are a young, single and work an 8-hour job for a small monthly paycheck and from Nigeria, like I am, you dread a visa application, especially if that visa application is for a visit to any Western country like the US, Europe or Australia. And we all know why. Understandably, the disparity between the power of our money in comparison to the west is quite huge. So each time we intend to travel to these countries, we need, frustratingly, to prove our genuine intent and our financial capacity. It doesn’t help also that there are many Nigerian in these countries who violated their visa conditions (such as worked on a tourist visa and or overstayed their visa) in the past; therefore creating a bad reputation for the country.

I have traveled regularly to the US for the last 8 years and to Europe and Australia in the last couple of years. And I went through the same visa application procedure – and always got approval. Of course, I’ve had to thank my former employer for an outstanding reputation that backed me up on my business visa applications; but for my personal holidays, I had to go through the same rigorous visa application process to show my pure holiday intent and the supporting documents that went with it.  So having gone through many visa applications and had all of them approved, I can say that I have quite a number of experience in this dreaded area. I have received many questions on this blog about visa application and what to show or how to get approved and so I decided to share my experience on this post, in the hopes of helping you increase your chances of getting approved a visa.

Furthermore, keep in mind that no one can guarantee you a visa approval – not even a lawyer, immigration consultant or agent. And just because you and a friend are both single and both have the same income does not mean that you will both end up with the same fate. There are lots of things that are being considered and each and every case is different.

The burden of showing proof of your intent and financial capacity is your responsibility, and you should, therefore, ensure that you have 1) genuine intent (meaning, you apply for a tourist visa because you’re going as a tourist, not to find work there) 2) all the supporting documents ready or submitted.  At the end of the day, the consul will decide on your application based on your documents (and your responses to the interview, where it is required, like in the US).  If anyone is telling you they can guarantee you a visa for a fee, run away from them as fast as possible, because that is most likely, a scam.

All the agents or immigration consultants are doing is to help you “increase your chances of visa approval” by reviewing your documents before you submit to the embassy. You will need an agent to help you if you don’t know where to start (what documents to gather, or what the rules are for your own case).

You can contact Travel Wahala’s Visa experts if you need help with your visa application process. Send us an email hello@travelwahala.com

Credit: Thenomadcouple