The Best Tips for Getting Your Visa Application Approved

Doing your visa application can be a piece of cake...or a long and involved process. It all depends on which country you're trying to get a visa for and the requirements for the visa. Here is a list of steps to follow to ensure your visa application process is as smooth as possible.

The Visa Application Process

Need a visa but haven't got a passport yet? Check out our passport tips page for all the info you need to get a passport.

  1. The first thing you need to do is find out whether not you even need a visa to visit your destination. For example, Australian citizens can travel to European Union countries or three months without a visa (check out our Schengen Visa tips for more info on EU visas). There are also many countries where you can buy the visa at the airport - you don't need to apply for it.

  2. Decide what type of visa you need. Most people travelling will need a tourist (sometimes called a visitor, or holiday visa). Other people who may want to work or study at their destination may need to apply for a working holiday visa, or a student visa.

  3. Find out exactly what the requirements are for getting your visa. You can usually find this information on the embassy website, but it is always a good idea to call and check. All visa applications will require the following:

    • Your passport
    • A completed application form
    • The visa fee

    Tip: Some embassies advise you not to buy your plane ticket until your visa has been approved. These embassies will asses your visa, and then if it is approved, will ask to see your return plane ticket before final approval is given. Always check this with the embassy when you first call.

    They can also include some of the following:

    • Proof of employment (in your home country)
    • Your bank balance
    • A health check
    • Social Security information
    • Travel Insurance
    • A letter of invitation
    • An itinerary
    • Any other reasons which show that you intend to return to your country and not stay as an illegal immigrant.

    It is also important to know that for many countries, it is only possible to get visas in your home country. You cannot apply for these type of visas abroad.

  4. Send your application.
  5. On approval, buy your plane tickets (if you have not already done so)

Tips for getting your visa approved.

  • Always try to include as much information as possible. If you feel something shows that visiting only for tourism purposes, and that you will return to your country on the dates you specify, include it.

  • If you are travelling to a country which is difficult to get a visa to, try to find out the latest information on approvals and processing times from other travelers. The Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Forum is a great place to find up-to-date information for specific travel information.

  • Apply for your visa as soon as you can. If for some reason your visa is denied, you still have a chance to contact the embassy, find out why it was not approved, and re-apply.

  • Always send your application (and passport) with registered post. You don't want your passport getting lost in the post right before your trip.

We hope these tips make the visa application process easier, and help you to get your visa. Remember, always ask for as much information as you can get, and always give as much information as you can.

› Visa Application

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