A convenient guide to applying for a stress-free visa
I have seen many people struggle with visa applications and from my experience applying for a UK visa; I have come up with the following helpful guidelines:
Opting out of paperless bank statements:
– If you plan to apply in the next six months or a year, choose to receive paper bank statements for all your savings and checking accounts.
– Find out your bank’s policy on printing original statements (with your bank logo, address and account number). Some banks can only go back a few months without having to submit an order. These orders may take several weeks to complete.
Timing is everything:
– Do not apply for a visa or visa renewal too soon. The UKBA has recommendations on when to apply for visas and these recommendations should not be exceeded. Applying for and receiving your visa earlier will mean your visa will also expire earlier. This can cause problems when applying for permanent residence in the future.
– Remember that the “application date” is the date you mailed your application. To ensure it reaches UKBA on time, invest in First Class Postage or Royal Mail Next Day Delivery, which currently cost around £6.22 for a package of up to 500gms with tracking information.
– The UKBA is notoriously slow when it comes to processing applications, so be aware that you could be waiting anywhere from a few months to a few weeks. As your application will require your passport, you will not be able to travel during the processing period.
– UKBA does speed up some visa applications. If you find that your life is hanging in the balance (eg an employer is waiting for evidence of your right to work in the UK) then you can fax a forwarding request to the office processing your application. Please note that all requests to expedite requests MUST BE SUPPORTED WITH EVIDENCE. This can come in the form of a letter from your employer, a letter from a doctor, etc.
In case you want a final check on whether or not your application is in order, consult with an immigration attorney. I ran into a few, but I found Wisestep.net the best of all I have consulted. They gave me 100% correct information when I was stressed about applying for a visa even though all my documents were in order.
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