Processing a UK visa demands critical assessment of documents and presentation of facts because the UK visa application is one of the strictest and highly scrutinised visa processes. The UK visas and Immigration department receives hundreds of thousands of visa applications every year across the globe that unfortunately do not meet the visa requirement.
Above is UK visitor visa approval and refusal by country in 2019. These are just the top 8 countries that had the highest rate of refusals of which two African countries top the list with Nigeria coming 5th on the list. On the list is Algeria getting 45.47%, with Ghana 42.63% and Nigeria 32.16% refusal rates. With five (5) African countries among the top 8 countries that is quite unfortunate.
Based on the above information, I asked myself what we are doing wrong as Ghanaians. Is it based on our race? Absolutely not because of our race but because of our inability to meet the right Visa requirements, hence the basis for the refusal.
Some countries have very low refusal rates, for example, South Africa with 3.11%, Ukraine 9.29%, Indonesia 3.42% and the rest. I have shared the link to the full report at the end of this article.
Below are some important tips to get your visitor visa application approved by the UK Visas and Immigration. Due to the lengthiness of the article, I had to break it into two parts thus Part 1 & 2.
- Short and Simple Itinerary
- Clear Itinerary
- Include Leave Approval Letter
- Salary Deposits In your Bank Account
- Avoid Large Undocumented Deposits in your Bank Account
- Your United Kingdom (UK) Trip should not exhaust all your SAVINGS
- Travel History
- Detailed Cover Letter
- Proper Documentation from the Sponsor
- A Change in Circumstances Since your Previous Visa Refusal
Short and Simple Itinerary
Be realistic with your itinerary. Avoid long itinerary that will raise any suspicion. A tourist visa application that states a stay period in the UK for a month or more makes it look like you will be living or working in the UK rather than site seeing.
Living expense in the UK is also quite expensive so staying for more than a month means you would spend so much which you may not have a bank statement to support. A realistic itinerary for UK tourist visa should be 7-10 days maximum. Your Visa stands a high chance of been granted if the above is complied with.
A clear itinerary state what you intend to do and where you intend to stay. If it is a hotel or an Airbnb, make sure you have done proper reservations so that the Entry Clearance Officer can verify when the need arises.
Specify a detailed itinerary in your cover letter attached to your application. The dates, cities and day-to-day activities in each city should be clearly stated. If your itinerary is too long, attach an additional page to your cover letter.
Include Leave Approval Letter
This point does not apply to a self-employed individual (Entrepreneur) but rather someone who is an employee of another individual, organisation or institution. A leave letter confirms your employer’s approval to be absent from work for the period stipulated on your application form. This provides extra proof of return to current employment after the duration of stay elapses.
A leave approval letter is a very important document which you cannot omit in your application. It shows you have strong ties with your country and you have the obligation to return to your country after your trip to the UK.
Your leave approval letter should clearly mention that you have been granted leave to travel to the UK and you will return to your current job after your vacation. This letter must be on the company letterhead signed by the Manager-In-Charge. You must have your HR or manager write this letter specifically for your UK travel. If you cannot obtain a leave approval letter, have your employer at least mention your leave details in the employment letter.
Salary Deposits In your Bank Account
How can you state a monthly income which does not even appear in your bank statement?
No matter the amount you have in your salary account as compared to your savings, always attach your salary bank statement. For clarity sake, try to have a separate salary account and a savings account. A UK visa can easily be rejected just because of inconsistencies in bank statements. Aside the employment documentation you have to prove, the bank statement must confirm your monthly salary.
Your employer has to deposit your salary into your bank account with a narration that would easily be identified as salary and this can be done while making the transfer. The salary in the bank statement confirms that you are genuinely employed and have a steady source of income. Secondly, it also proves that you have genuinely saved up to travel to the UK and that funds were not borrowed specifically for this purpose.
You can definitely withdraw money from the accounts for expenses, family and any order need that may arise. If you receive a pay cheque as well, you can personally deposit it every month into your salary account.
Avoid Large Undocumented Deposits in your Bank Account
Large amounts in excess of your income can be deposited into your account that is if you have just one bank account. However, if you have a salary account and a savings account, it is advisable you deposit it into your savings account. Even with that you have to explain and show proof of source of the amount in question.
If possible and in the event that your salary is not enough to apply for the visa, avoid depositing large amounts just to inflate the bank account balance. If you already have large deposits in the account, make sure you attach proof of source of those deposits.
For example, if it is an investment you had that you have redeemed, get a letter from the investment company confirming the deposit the amount in question and attach letter to your application. If you sold a property (Land, House or a Car) attach a sales deed to your application. If you received money from rent, attach the signed tenancy agreements from your tenants.
Please find the link to the Part 2 below;
UK Visa Success Rate – https://ukvisa.blog/2018/11/23/uk-visa-success-rate/