The aim of this lesson is to look at the necessary steps for obtaining a visa.

These are the key aspects of a visa application:

  1. Researching what might be required to submit a visa application, where, when and how to do it
  2. Preparing the supporting documentation
  3. Preparing and submitting the visa application
  4. Arranging the visa interview
  5. Anticipate the questions which might be asked at the visa interview
  6. Put yourself in the position of the Consulate officer and write an objective email approving or denying a visa application

A visa is usually needed together with a passport in order to enter a foreign country.

The model country for our lesson is England, otherwise known as United Kingdom or Great Britain.

Not every foreign national requires a visa but for the purposes of this lesson, please assume that they do.

It is also not necessary for every visa applicant to attend for an interview but again, for the purposes of this lesson, please assume that they do.

Businessmen, workers, tourists, students, artists and diplomants all require a visa.

A visa must be applied for in advance to the consulate of the country you are visiting.

There will usually be a consulate office for that country in your home country.

The application can be downloaded from the website of the consulate or a printed copy collected from the consulate offices.

The visa application should be fully completed and submitted as required to the consulate offices for processing.

A lot of detail is required to be stated on the visa application form.

Your full name and address, date of birth, contact telephone number and email address.

Your sexual gender, status whether married, single, divorced or widowed.

The name, address and contact name for your present employer.

Your nationality and passport number, its date of issue and expiry.

Your reason for visiting England.  How long you will be there for.  Whether you know anyone there.  How the trip will be financed.  When you propose to go.

Additional information is asked about your health and criminal record.

The second step is to collate all the information which you might need to produce for the visa interview.

The applicant needs to be thorough in the preparation.

Evidence of funds in a bank account to finance the trip, of communication with a sponsor, of current employment or study, of the health and criminal record plus a proposed itinerary from a reputable travel agent  may all be necessary documents to produce at the interview.

The third step is to arrange the interview.  This will usually be done by an automated telephone processing system which will confirm the date and time for the visa interview.

Fourthly, a prudent visa applicant should anticipate questions at the visa interview and practice answering them.

The visa interview will only last a few minutes and the interviewing officer will ask likely no more than eight standard questions based on the information you provided on the visa application submitted.

It is a good idea to read the lesson related to this called ‘Describe a Visa Applicant’ and consider how you would write an email approving or rejecting a visa application for Antonio.

The visa applicant will not be notified of the result of the visa interview until several days later by email.

If the visa application is successful, the applicant will be able to travel to England within ninety days of the date of issue of the visa.  That is the fifth and final step.

If the visa application is unsuccessful, the applicant will be sent a detailed email or letter explaining the reasons for this and giving the applicant time and opportunity for an appeal.

The grant of the Visa by the Consulate is not an absolute guarantee that the immigration officer at the airport or other port of entry will stamp your passport and allow you to enter the country but it would have to take something exceptional to persuade that immigration officer otherwise.

This lesson has attempted at least to set out what an applicant must consider when a visa application is necessary.

None of the steps should be underestimated.  All of them should be meticulously planned for, just like a military operation, job placement interview or a school examination.

Keep in mind also that money is at stake and the hefty fee paid to the consulate to seek the visa will not be refunded if the visa is denied.



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