From airline delays to being up-to-date with the latest airport security regulations, business trips can cause all sorts of headaches for even the most hardened road warriors.
But, one of the biggest challenges lies before you even get to the airport… Applying for your visa. Countless business meetings have had to be rescheduled and flights postponed endlessly due to business visas being delayed or declined.
Did you know that every year UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) rejects thousands of UK visa applications - not because the applicants are unsuitable, but because of inadvertent mistakes on the application papers? For the year ending March 2017, 3 million applications were received for the UK from travellers and immigrants globally with 372 000 applications being refused.
Write in blue ink on your forms and your application could just be dismissed. And if you fail to write neatly inside the provided boxes, you may as well not bother submitting your forms at all.
Flight Centre Business Travel account managers reveal the top mistakes that could see your next visa application denied. So enjoy the benefit of their experience and get it right first time.
- Waiting until the last minute to submit your application
Visa applications take time, particularly as the festive and holiday seasons approach. There are hundreds of applicants each day, and your file is just a number in a queue. Waiting till the very last minute leaves no room for error so if you’re declined because of missing paperwork, for example, you won’t have to time to rectify the situation or reapply.
- Leaving out a couple of important – or not so important – forms
If your application requires you to submit 10 supporting documents: do the math and count to 10. Not 9 forms and not 11 forms but 10! All documents must be originals – and include a photocopy for good measure as well. Failure to supply all the necessary documentation will lead to your application being rejected.
- Leaving blanks on your forms
Not sure how to answer question number 3.2a? Do you think it’s a bit silly to sign three times on every single page? Now is not the time to question authority. Don’t leave blanks, and make sure you sign everywhere you’re supposed to sign. Even if the question is not applicable to you, write N/A, do not leave it blank.
Missing just one signature or leaving a blank space is yet another reason your visa application could be declined.
- Lying about – well basically anything
Thinking about telling a little white lie about the type of business you’re embarking on, or perhaps considering applying for a leisure visa instead of going through the hassles of applying for the business visa you actually need? We would strongly advise you to reconsider. All information provided to foreign governments must be complete and truthful.
Even the smallest lie on your application could not only see your visa application denied, you could be banned from travelling to the destination forever.
- Having an out-of-date passport with no blank pages
Who cares if your passport is set to expire in five months and 28 days before you’re meant to travel? Chances are the country for which you are applying for a visa will.
Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months and have at least two open pages, or your visa application will be denied.
- Misspelling your name on documents
The government officials don’t need to know everyone calls you Liz even if your ‘official’ name is Elizabeth. The information on your identification documents must match the information on your visa petition exactly.
Before submitting any document, double-check the information you have provided because the simplest spelling mistake will see your application rejected.
As a frequent business travelller I’m sure you know the drill when it comes to visa applications. However, by the time you’ve finished reading this article, you can be sure that an embassy somewhere has somehow changed an application requirement or added another visa rule. Flight Centre Business Travel Consultants can help you navigate the minefield of the visa application process, get in touch today