Documentation or the process of organizing your documents for an interview or submission at an embassy is critical in the acquisition of a visa. A visa applicant should ensure that he meets all the requirements requested by the embassy before submitting his application.
That is why it is important to plan your trip in advance and have all the necessary documents in time before submission.
Whiles some embassies still interview visa applicants, others now rely on the authenticity of the documents submitted to assess your application. This is the more reason why you should ensure that your document is authentic, meets the requirements and relevant to the type of visa you are applying for.
Applicants scheduled for interviews at the embassy are sometimes allowed to submit additional documents by the consular officer, this is a discretional power exercised by the officer, he may choose to give you that opportunity depending on the type of visa you are applying for. Applicants are advised to always ensure that they have all the documents requested by the embassy before applying for their visa, failure to submit the required document may result in a visa refusal.
A lot of applicants are refused visas because they submit fake documents. Most of the documents that are detected to be fake includes, marriage certificates, birth certificates, company registration documents and bank statements, others also employ agents to prepare their documentation. Some of these agents engage in all manner of fictitious activities in order to convince the applicant of their expertise in visa acquisition. Some of these agents' erase refusal stamps from the passports of their clients, others also pull out pages with such stamps or affix other visa stickers on such pages all in the name of concealing the refusal. All these are serious offences which may lead to the confiscation of your passport or your prosecution by the Visa fraud and documentation unit of the Ghana Police Service.
The German embassy, for instance, invites the police department in charge of visa fraud and document fraud unit to arrest applicants who submit fake bank statements, other embassies would also invite the Ghana Immigration to confiscate your travelling document in case they suspect there is an erasure, a thorn page or a mutilation of your passport.
In submitting your application, the applicant is advised to submit genuine documents since most of the documents are verified by the embassies through their internal process and fake documents might lead to your application being refused. Submitting of fake documents may lead to a particular embassy blacklisting you and if you are not lucky your information may be shared with other embassies which might affect your subsequent plan to travel.
Please ensure that you crosscheck your documents anytime you ask an agent or a third party to help with your travel documents, go through the documents with the person, ask questions and be convinced of the answers he provides. A lot of people do not check their documents to find out the information provided by the agent or the third party and this normally would result in an outright refusal if a consular officer finds out you have no idea of your trip.
There have been instances where a visa applicant appears before a consular officer and has no idea about the purpose of his trip, his travel date, hotel address and other basic information captured in his application. A visa applicant should take much interest in his documentation, providing the Mustapha Jimah.
The writer is a former consular officer at the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana and currently the CEO of Musjima Ventures. His interest is in travel matters and migration issues. For enquiries call or whatsapp me on 0262677946