A visa is a Latin word "charta visa" which means a document that has to be seen.
Formally, a Visa is defined as a document issued in the form of a stamp in a passport that permits a person to visit another country.
It is also defined as a document granted by the consulate of a country one would like to visit.
Having a visa simply means that you are eligible to enter the country for which the visa was issued.
As a Ghanaian passport holder, there are a bountiful amount of countries one could visit on a free visa but the United Kingdom isn't one of them, unfortunately.
Although Ghana and the United Kingdom have maintained a healthy relationship before and after Ghana's independence, formalities of a Ghanaian stepping on British soil must be professionally followed.
Before one could apply for a United Kingdom Visa, it is a requirement to read in-depth the type of Visa desired. The types of Visa include a work visa, business visa, a study visa, family visa, transit visa, settlement visa, and even a visitor visa.
Once you are sure about the type of Visa you would need, then meeting the following Visa application processes is a necessity.
Fill The United Kingdom Application Form
Do not attempt to fill this form if you are yet to decide on the type of Visa you want.
When your Visa type decision is made, make sure that your manual Application Form is not an old version but a new version.
This can be verified by checking the Home Office website, to be sure you're filling the right version of your Application Form.
Online, you can visit the Visa4UK website and fill your application form appropriately.
Should you have any difficulty in understanding the questions, a translator or an immigration lawyer could be contacted for help.
Once the application is filled and submitted, please do well to print and keep a copy for future use(Visa Interview).
Note that the information given on the form comes into play during your Visa Interview. Try to stick to answers that conform with the information given on the Visa Application Form.
You will need two high-quality portrait pictures to accompany your documents. These pictures must be of your face up to your shoulders and should be taken within the last month or two.
This is quite a simple part of the Visa process.
To qualify for a Visa, you must ensure that your Ghanaian passport is valid.
Your passport must have a blank page for your Visa stamp. The validity of your passport relies on its authenticity for three months beyond the trip.
Simply put, you must make sure that your passport doesn’t expire in the next 6 months before you attempt to go for a visa. You can as well renew your passport, just in case you’re unsure.
Proof of Financial Stability
The consulate during the visa interview needs to be assured that you can afford to live in the United Kingdom financially stably.
This means you would have to provide proof stating your financial stability. This could be in the form of work payslips or bank statements dated six months back.
Proof of Accommodation
You must provide a document, stating information on your place of accommodation. If you are planning to visit friends or family, you'd need their address to complete the document.
Should you be staying in a hotel, you would need proof of reserving a room in advance
You however do not need to reserve the hotel for your full stay for the consulate to issue your Visa.
Detailed Travel Plans
Your travel itinerary is of the utmost importance. A business person would need to provide information on his agenda; appointments, place of meetings, etc.
A tourist would need to state places they'd like to visit whether museums or zoos with specified dates.
This enables the consulate to understand what the scope of your stay is and verify if you deserve the visa at the time.
Require Medical Tests
You will be required to go through a medical examination as part of your visa process.
This test is in two parts. There is a chest x-ray done first before a blood test. This blood test is to ensure that there are no vaccine-preventable diseases in your immune system.
For example, you'd need a Covid-19 vaccination and a tuberculosis test would also be needed.
Remember we said you needed to be sure of your Visa type? Well, it comes to play here.
If you are on a student visa or a work visa, it would mean that you would be staying for more than six months.
This is why the United Kingdom government would need your biometric Information particularly your fingerprints. This is needed to keep tabs on your information and easily trace your movements when you finally arrive in the country.
United Kingdom Visa Invitation Letter
Acquiring a visitor or family Visa, you'd need to submit an invitation letter from a friend or relative who is a legal resident or a citizen of the United Kingdom inviting you to stay.
It also means that this person is obligated to have resources to cushion your stay. This person needs to have a registered home.
Another option could be that this legal resident or citizen would send the letter straight to the embassy.
Although Visa Fees vary from 93 pounds sterling upwards, the amount required would depend on the type of Visa you're requesting.
Payment could be made in pounds or the local currency following the exchange rates laid out on the Home Office website.
After payments, it is important to keep the receipt for your Visa Interview.
It is advisable to apply for your UK Visa three months ahead of your trip which will allow considerate time for consulting and processing of your Visa.
Should you be on a work visa, it is important to attach a letter from your company of employment as proof.
If you're self-employed, you would need your business registration documents stating you are the owner of the business.
On a student visa, the consulate would request your letter of admission from your education provider.
In winding up, a letter of permission from a parent or guardian is required should you be a Ghanaian passport holder under the age of 18.
We hope this information has been of great help. Please do have the best of travels.
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