I seem to be applying for visas constantly these days as my travels increase. Let’s be honest the visa process for most countries is not the easiest thing to do, but I do understand why they have to check everyone and make sure you have the correct documentation.

I always like to be prepared before I even head down to the embassy to apply or enquire for a visa. I always make sure that I have some key documents with because it might be possible to apply for the visa on the day I visit the embassy. If you can do the application then do it, it’s always best to get it in as early as possible – if you make any errors then you have time to fix them.

So what are the documents I bring with me? Well, here’s a list of what I seem to be asked for at 99% of the embassies I visit.

  • A valid passport – your passport needs to have at least 6 months remaining on it from the time you plan to enter the country. You would be surprised how many people get caught out by this.
  • A return/onward plane ticket, this is to prove that you’ll be leaving the country as you have promised. The catch hear is that f you buy the ticket but get denied the visa you’re going to be seriously out of pocket. So what I do is use a flight reservation for visa service. They provide me with a document for flights for a minimal fee and it works everytime.
  • A Hotel booking. This is similar to a plane ticket because again you could lose money if the visa is denied. So again I use a visa reservation service, they provide documents showing that I have a reservation in order for me to apply for my visa.
  • At least 4 passport photos, you’ll only need 1 or 2 but it’s always a good idea to have more if needed.
  • Proof of funds, many countries ask you to prove that you have enough money to pay for yourself once you enter. So have a recent bank statement with you to show this.

Of course every embassy differs from what they require but I am sure most of the above will be on every checklist.