What are some common mistakes made when applying for a visa?

by Juan José Herranz | August 7, 2020
travel equipment with passport, notebook and iPad

In 2018, the World Tourism Organization estimated that there were at least 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals in airports all over the world. Some of these tourists have had to apply for a visa. While getting a visa may be as easy as booking a ticket or grabbing a backpack, it is not simple for everyone. 

Visas are official travel documents that are mandatory to enter some countries. Since a visa is a privilege granted by the country destination, its approval depends on the criteria they set and several factors including the reason for the trip, the length of stay, the ability to pay for the stay, among others.

For this reason, a visa applicant should be careful in answering their visa application form to get a favourable response. Here, you will find, the most common errors and what to do to solve the mistakes in visa applications.

Mistakes with personal data

Making mistakes in personal data is the most common mistake.  Names, civil status, addresses, contact numbers, and passport numbers are just some of the mistakes that people commit while filling out the form.

It is important to double-check before submitting this information because it will help the visa agent in establishing your identity and evaluating whether you deserve the visa or not.

A field applicants should be more careful about is nationality. This mistake can have many consequences, especially when it comes to the eligibility of the person to apply for a visa.

approved travel documentation visa

Mistakes with travel information

One of the most important criteria to grant a visa is the time you are staying in the country. That’s why providing accurate travel information is important to get your visa approved.

This information includes your complete travel itinerary, dates of entry and exit from the country, accommodation details, the address of the place where you are staying, and if possible, a phone to contact you while you are in the country.

If you stay in the country outside the visa validity period, you will have problems with the authorities. Be truthful in providing details about your trip to avoid any troubles and severe penalties.

Incorrect documentation

Aside from completing the actual application form, it is important to provide documentation that will serve as the evidence to prove that all the information you have supplied is authentic.

Common mistakes include submitting a photocopy when the original document is required, not providing all the required documentation or sending an incorrect personal photograph (wrong size, blurry, with inappropriate clothing, or with wrong background). These mistakes may give the impression that you are not trustworthy to be granted a visa.

Not applying for the right visa

For every country, there are several types of visas depending on the purpose and duration of your stay, or the situation of the applicant. Choosing the appropriate type of visa before applying is crucial.

Each visa type has a different set of criteria and requirements which means that if you have selected the wrong visa, you are most likely to supply incorrect information and submit irrelevant documentation. Furthermore, each visa type has its conditions when it comes to how long can you stay in the country, the purpose of your visit and the maximum number of entries. Other restrictions might be the ability to work or study while in the country. 

passport and camera on top of a world map

How to apply for a visa online?

Most countries now provide electronic visa applications. The online visa is not only convenient for the applicant, but it also saves a lot of time and resources for the embassy.

When applying for a visa online, make sure to check the essential requirements of the country you are applying for. Before starting with the online form, also make sure you have your passport and copies of all required documentation ready with you to make your visa application easier.

Once you have prepared everything, you are ready to start filling the form and to submit all documents. Please, double-check the information in the application form before submitting it because a lot of online visa applications do not allow modification of already submitted documents.

What if I made a mistake on my visa application?

I made a mistake on the visa application form, what do I do? The best is to be careful when completing the form and submitting the documents. Read the instructions and requirements properly before starting the application.

However, if you have already submitted the application and made a mistake, some countries allow amending the form manually by submitting the amendment to the embassy or correcting the entries online.

Nevertheless, not all countries allow this.