Visa Application and Guidelines

Performing a visa application can be quite difficult, but with the right steps its achievable. In this article, we are going to be telling all you need to know about visa and its application, and also how to go about it.

What is a Visa?

Before we go into the procedures of applying for a visa, let us quickly take a look at what Visa is all about.

A visa is a travel document that gives one the permission to enter a foreign country for a specific period of time. It is normally applied for before traveling at the embassy, consulate or online. Although most times you can obtain a visa on arrival.

Types of Visa

Visa are classified based on the purpose of travel. Types of visa include;

  • Pilgrimage Visa; This type of visa is issued to people who want to complete a religious journey in another country. For instance, f a pilgrimage visa is the Hajj visa issued by Saudi Arabia to Muslims who want to complete the sacred journey of Hajj in Mecca.
  • Retirement Visa; This type of visa is issued to foreigners who have the intention of retiring outside their home country. This visa is issued only to those who have reached their retirement age, and it is given inform of a resident permit.
  • Digital Nomad Visa; this visa type is given to foreigners who qualify for a digital nomad visa. In order to qualify, you need to understand what a digital nomad is all about. A digital nomad definition varies depending on the country, but it is usually someone who can work for an individual client or company remotely. To apply for this type of visa, you have to identify countries with a digital nomad immigration program.
  • Refugee or Asylum Visa; This type of visa is issued to foreigners who are being persecuted in their home countries due to religious, racial or political reasons.
  • Official Visa; This visa type allows the holder to work as a representative of your country abroad.
  • Investment Visa; This type of visa allows you become a resident in another country if you make a significant financial investment. The required investment varies, but the result must be the same which is a positive financial impact and employment opportunities.
  • Family Reunification Visa; This type of visa is issued to you when your family or spouse lives or works in another country. This visa allows you to become a temporary resident in the country where your partner is working.
  • Working Visa; This visa is issued to a person who has gotten a job in another country. This types of visa is usually issued for a long-term purpose from one to four years, depending on the work contract.
  • Student Visa; This visa type is issued for educational purposes and is usually valid for the duration of study program. This visa can last from one to four years or even more depending on your course. This visa type will not allow you to work in the country you are studying unless the host country permits you.
  • Working Holiday Visa; This type of visa are short-term permits that can be considered a mix of the tourist and work visas. The sole purpose of this visa is to allow you to explore a foreign country like on holiday, while working to support your trip financially. Most countries have restrictions on what type of work you can do and how many hours you can work.
  • Medical Visa; This visa type is issued to a holder who is seeking medical treatment in a foreign country. Medical visas are short-term issued for the duration of the medical procedure and the patient’s recovery time. To qualify for this visa type, you will need to provide evidence from your doctor regarding your condition and proof that you have found a hospital and a doctor in the destination county you want to perform the procedure.
  • Transit Visa; This type of visa allows you to pass through a specific country while traveling to a third destination country. For instance, if you have a Nigerian passport and you are traveling to the US but you may need to pass through Canada during your trip, you will need a Canada transit visa.
  • Tourist Visa; This type of visa is issued for recreational purposes. This visa type is usually short-term, valid for three months, and you cannot work while on a tourist visa. There is usually no limit to how many times you can apply for a tourist visa for the same country— as long as the embassy/consulate grants the visa; you can freely travel.


Read Also: UK Visa Application and Guidelines


How To Go About Visa Application

They are 3 major ways you can go about a visa application, these methods include;

1. Visa Application at an Embassy

You can apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate of the country you want to visit. To do this you will have to;

  • Make an appointment
  • Collect a set of documents
  • Pay a visa processing fee
  • Enter a visa interview

Once you have done all these, the consular officer will review your application and decide whether to grant you a visa or not. Depending on the visa type, processing could take several days to months.

2. Online Visa Application

Another way you can go about visa application is through Electronic (online) visas. Electronic visa are usually issued as printable documents and are not pasted on your passport. If a country issues electronic visas, then there will be an official application website, where you can do the following;

  • Complete an online application form
  • Attach electronic copies of your documents
  • Pay a visa fee

Please note; before proceeding to apply online, always make sure that the website you are applying through is the official website of the country you want to apply to, because you may need to provide personal information during the procedure.

3. Visa on Arrival

You can also apply for a visa at the airport or other point of entry of the country you are traveling to. This is known as a visa on arrival(VOA). In these cases, there will be visa counters at the point of entry, where you have to apply, pay a fee, and then wait for the decision to be made before you can pass through. Depending on the country, it could take from a few minutes to a few hours.

Please note the following;

  • Not all countries issue visas on arrival
  • Countries that issues VOAs usually limit them only to certain nationalities.
  • Visas on arrival are usually only available at certain airports or entry points.


Reasons For Visa Denial

Just like i said earlier, applying for visa can be quite difficult, and even after going through the right processes, you still end up getting a visa denial. Below are some reasons why your visa maybe be denied;

  • Passport validity; Most countries will require you to have a valid passport with at least a three or six months validity period. However, whether this period begins when you enter or depart the country depends on your travel destination.
  • Passport Blank pages; The number of required blank pages on your passport differs from country to country, but it is usually two to four pages. Blank pages are required so there is enough space to stamp your passport and visa.
  • Vaccination requirements; Several countries require that you provide a vaccination certificate, otherwise you wont be granted a visa. The most common among them is the COVID-19 Vaccination certificate.
  • Criminal Record; Obtaining a visa with a criminal record is very impossible, only a few countries will grant a wavier for your criminal record when you need a visa.
  • Travel ban; All governments have the power to declare a person “persona non grata.” As a result, diplomats and non-diplomats will not be allowed to enter a specific country.
  • Inadequate health insurance coverage; In many countries it is obligatory for all visitors to have travel health insurance coverage, without it your visa may not be granted.

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