I am pretty sure that every Nigerian has thought about leaving this country at least once in their life. If you have, leave us a comment in the comment section, or head over to our travel question and answer section and join this discussion of what makes you want to leave this country the most.AtlanticRide Travel question and Answer
In this article, we will be talking about the general visa requirements, and all you need to know about visas and how to go about applying for a visa from Nigeria. I want to believe that you already have an idea of what a visa is.
Simply put, a visa is a conditional authorization that a country gives a foreigner in order to allow such a foreigner entry into the country. Note that a visa does not automatically guarantee you entry into a particular country.
Your visa is subject to entry permission by an immigration official at your point of entry. What this implies is that you can have your visa revoked at the very point of entry. The objective of this article is to provide you with the general visa requirements that are obtainable anywhere in the world. In this article, you will be provided with information regarding everything about visas.
Just sit tight and keep reading for everything you need to know about visa requirements are right here for you.
You will need a visa to travel to any country that does not have a visa policy with your own home country. There are countries that have visa policies and agreements allowing their citizens to freely travel between them without requiring a visa. For example, the United States of America have a visa policy agreement with Canada. This implies that the Canadians and Americans can travel freely to each other’s without a visa.
Related Article: 34 Visa Free Countries Any Nigerian Can Go To Absolutely Free
What to Do When Applying for Your Visa
When applying for a visa, the first thing you are required to do is find the official immigration website of the country you want to visit. On that website, you will find all the information including their visa application requirements. You will have to fill out the necessary travel visa application form. Once you are done with filling the form, you are either required to forward the form by mail or electronically.
Sometimes, your destination may require visa on arrival. In such case, you should not apply for a visa beforehand. At your point of arrival, you will be required to fill the necessary visa form and pay the required fee as well. You really need to make sure that the requirements on the website are keenly followed to avoid any rejection.
Visa Requirements when applyign for A Visa
You should bear in mind that every country has their own specific visa application requirements for all foreign nationals. If the country you intend to visit have a consulate in your current domain, then you have to find the requirements from them. In the event of no consulate, you should visit the relevant government website to find out.
The general visa requirements usually involve you filling out your visa application form, stamping your international passport, and providing other additional documents that will be required. Some of these additional documents that may be required include, letter of invitation, hotel booking, flight routes etc.
There are certain countries that have inadmissibility guidelines on the issuing of visas. Some foreigners may be termed inadmissible if have a criminal history, pose security threat, have serious financial problem, etc. For you to be granted entry into your intended country, your visa application requirements must be met 100% without any exception. If you fail to meet these requirements, there is a 100% chance your visa application will be denied.
The Supporting Documents Required For Your Visa Application
Here is a list of the needed supporting documents that will be required of you when filing your visa application. These supporting documents will be required at the embassy of the country you intend to visit. It might also be required of you at the point of entry into your intended country if it is visa on arrival. Some of these supporting documents include:
- A copy of the information page of your international passport
- Your letter of invitation
- Your photograph that must be in the specific size given by the visa office
- A proof that you can financially take care of yourself while in your intended country
- Your airplane or flight tickets
- The proof of your purpose of travel, and
- Your visa application fees
So, you have to make sure that these documents are available while applying for your visa in any country of your choice.
Visa requirements: What Is A Letter Of Invitation?
There are certain countries that will require visa applicants to present a letter of invitation. A letter of invitation is a formal letter that comes from the person you intend to visit in that country. The person will affirm that he/she is inviting you to visit in that country. Countries like United States of America and Canada are among those that require this letter of invitation.
The major purpose of this letter of invitation is to help immigration authorities confirm that temporal visit is actually the true purpose of your visa request. To make sure that you are not caught off-guard, confirm from destination’s consulate website the things that should be included in such a letter. It might also interest you to see this article if you intend traveling to the USA from Nigeria for more details.
What to Expect During Your Visa Interview
After filing your visa application, you will certainly be required to sit for a visa interview. Although, there are certain visa applications that can be approved or denied without you submitting for an interview. The consulate official or immigration officer may request that you submit for a visa interview. Below are some of the common questions that you are most likely to be asked during your visa interview:
- Why do you intend to visit at this particular time of the year?
- Do you have a past criminal record?
- Who are you visiting?
- Why do you want to visit that country?
- How long do you plan on staying?
- Where will you stay should your visa be approved?
- Do you have any health insurance cover for this journey?
- Have you booked your airline ticket?
- Are you travelling alone?
- Do have proper leave from your workplace (if you are employed)
- Will you return to your home country at the end of your visit?
How Much Is The Fees For Obtaining A Visa?
Visa application fees vary from one country to another. The best way to find out the fees is to visit your intended destination’s immigration website. You should never pay through third party individuals or companies as many people have been defrauded by so doing.
Visa Processing Times
Just as the fees for obtaining visa vary from one country to another, so also does the visa processing time. To be sure about the visa processing time of the country you intend to visit, you are advised to also check their official immigration website. For instance, the visa processing time from Russia to Canada takes approximately 8 days. If you are travelling from Canada to India, it might take you up to 15 solid days to process your visa.
Now that you have the general visa requirements, let now move over to the different types of travel visas.
Related Article: American Visa Application Requirements: All you must know
Types of Travel Visas And Their Specific Requirements
There are mainly two categories of visa, namely:
- Immigrant visa and
- Nonimmigrant visa
What Is An Immigrant Visa?
This is the type of visa you can apply for if you intend to permanently reside in a foreign country. In most cases, it is always a relative or an employer that can sponsor you by filing an application for you in the country you intend to immigrate to for you to meet the visa requirement. You should note that such relative or employer must be domicile in that foreign country. Individuals with special ability, great business investors, and some special immigrants can also file a petition on their own behalf.
If the immigrant visa sponsorship application is successful, it is forwarded to consulate or embassy of the country overseas for continued processing and issuance of the immigrant visa to the intending immigrant.
The Nonimmigrant Visa
This is the type of visa you can apply for as a tourist, business person, student, or a specialty worker who wish to stay for a particular period of time in your intended country. Therefore, nonimmigrant visas come in different forms which include:
· Travel/Tourist Visa
Travel visa allows you to enter a foreign country specifically for touristic or leisure purposes only. The visa only permits you to stay for a specified period of time as well. With this particular visa, you are not permitted to work or do have any business within your period of stay in your intended country.
For you to apply for a travel visa, you will certainly need a valid passport. This is because; your travel visa will be stamped or glued into your passport. For the eVisas, it will be linked to your passport number in the country’s travel database.
· Work Visa
This is another type of nonimmigrant visa that you can apply for in your intended country. With the work permit visa, you are eligible to take up an employment or engage in business activities in your host country. The type of work visa is totally dependent on the type of work and how long you will be staying in that country. For instance, your working holiday visa will allow you take up an employment offer while walking through your host country.
· Student Visa
As a student that is willing to study in a foreign country, this is the type of visa that you are going to be applying for. A student visa is also another form of nonimmigrant visas. It allows you as the bearer to register for a higher educational certification in your host country. This type of visa is only legible for the period of your academic activities in such host country.
Once your academic program is over, you are expected to leave your host country immediately.
Related Article: Countries That Allow Spouse to Work on Student Visa
· A Nonimmigrant Business Visa
If you intend to do business in your host country without joining their labor market, then you need a business visa for that purpose. With your business visa, you can attend business conference in your host country or do business with another company within your host country. To qualify for this nonimmigrant business visa, you must be able to proof that you are not receiving any income from the country.
· A Refugee Or Asylum Visa
This particular nonimmigrant visa is specifically meant for foreign nationals that are fleeing war, natural disasters, and unlawful persecution. A refugee or asylum visa can be granted to an individual that his/her life is at risk and the host country have certified and approved that. You should know that this asylum or refugee visa is very dicey, especially when home country of the asylum seeker is against such move.
It often lead to a face-off between two countries, hence the very dicey and uncertain nature of this particular visa application/.
· A Working Holiday Visa
With this working holiday visa, you are permitted to undertake temporary employment in your host country. Although, not all countries issue this particular visa application for holiday programs. The country of Australia is well known for this particular working holiday visa program.
· Transit Visa
This is the type of visa that you require to a country that is not your destination country. You will need this transit visa if you have a layover in a country of more than a few hours. The requirement for this transit visa is not as rigid as those of the other categories.
· An eVisa
`The eVisa or electronic visa is a digital visa that is stored in a database rather than stamping and gluing it on your passport. This eVisa is linked your passport number. You can only apply for this particular eVisa through the internet. Once you passed the online application and registration, you will be given a paper document to present while travelling.
The Description Of A Visa
The conventional traditional visas can either be stamped or attached into your passport. For the visa to be glued to passport, it is usually a small document that includes your place of birth, reason for your travel, your name, and the expiration date. For the stamped visas, they usually contain less information on them. These stamped visas contain basically your destination and the validity date clearly stated on it.
Countries That Have Visa Restrictions
You need to know that certain countries have visa restrictions in place so as to control and check the influx of visitors into their country. The reason for this visa restriction is to prevent unlawful immigration as well as other criminal activities. In such countries, visitors are well scrutinized by the immigration authorities. When you apply for a visa in such countries, it is always a different ball game. You need to have all the necessary information in order to successfully have your visa application approved.
Ways You Can Protect Yourself From All Forms Of Visa Fraud
Here, we will open your eyes to all the visa and immigration frauds that you must stay away at all cost. You should know that anything from attempting to immigrate to any country through illegal means amounts to immigration fraud. This also includes all fraudulent websites, emails, mails and communication that try to scam individuals. You need to also know that immigration fraud is not limited to only these areas alone.
Also read: 20 Ways for Spotting A Fake Travel Agency
What Are The Most Common Immigration Scams?
There are certain things that you really have to watch out for in order to identify a visa or immigration scam before it is too late. Lots of these scammers will appear to provide you with immigration services with unrealizable promises. You should know that these scammers may have online or local businesses that appear to be legitimate. Some of these scammers will offer to provide you with assistance in exchange for money.
Such services are readily provided for you on the official websites of the embassies or consulates of the country you intend to visit. You should not pay for any supposedly guaranteed green card from any group of people. There are some of these scammers that will go the extra length of calling your cell phone. They will be seeking your personal information or even requesting payment for immigration services.
There is no embassy or consulate that will contact you through a phone call. You can either receive notification of your successful entry through email or mail.
The Warning Signs Of Immigration Scams And Fraud You Need To Watch
Now that you have seen the common immigration scams, it’s time to consider the warning signs of these immigration scams. Some of these red flags include:
- Some of them will request for personal information or payment through a phone call.
- These scammers a times will request you to fill out sign blank forms
- They will also require you to pay some amounts for immigration documents that are free when you source them from the official consulate websites.
- Certain phone calls from supposed government officials to impress you.
While processing you visa application, it is always advisable that you go through the official government websites. You should always try to avoid the involvement of third parties while processing your visa application. When you are consulting with private attorneys, try to verify that your lawyer is experienced to practice and handle your case. Once you get the feeling that you are dealing with scammers, it is advised that you retrace your steps immediately.