Please if you haven’t read the part one of this post don’t worry, you can read that one after this or better still visit that post by clicking on the link below. I divided it so that it won’t be a single long write-up.
Your United Kingdom (UK) Trip should not exhaust all your SAVINGS
Any prospective traveller wishing to visit the United Kingdom should make sure that he or she would have enough funds after the overall cost of the trip has been deducted from one’s account. For the purposes of clarity an example of how compare your trip cost to your savings has been done below.
- Convert your monthly income to pounds
For example, if I earn GH₵3,000.00 it will be equivalent to £372.84 at an exchange rate of GH₵8.05 to £1.
- Convert your bank balance(s) to pounds
For example, if your bank balance(s) which represent your savings is GH₵21,000.00 it will be equivalent to £2,609.87 at the same exchange rate.
- Calculate the total cost of your trip to UK, this includes Flight cost, Accommodation, Feeding, and Transportation.
For example, if you are traveling from Ghana to the UK for 7 days let’s assume some figure for analysis sake but it won’t be too high or below the actuals.
Flight – £600.00
Accommodation – £180.00 (£30/per night for 6nights)
Feeding – £105.00 (£15/per days for seven days)
Transportation – £40.00
Total expenditure = £925.00
From the above scenario, the total expenditure is not even half of the savings which is the ideal situation. But in a situation where the total expenditure is more than half of your savings or several times your monthly income, know that your visa will be refused. It is not realistic to exhaust all your savings on one trip to the UK. You would need to preserve at least half of your savings for emergencies.
Sometimes waiting in order to accumulate enough savings seems to be a very uncomfortable position to find yourself. However, when the unexpected happens, you need to come to terms with the act of waiting. You sometimes feel the urgent need to apply with the little we have in our accounts and risk refusal which results in wait for several months to apply again. It is advisable to wait and get enough funds in your account before applying than to be refused on this same basis. Also, note that all refusals will go a long way to affect your future UK applications.
I also advise that even if you have someone ready to sponsor the trip by taking care of the entire trip expense, whether it is a gift or bonus from your employer, you have to still have enough funds in your account, at least twice the cost of the trip. This also proves that you can take care of all the expense you incur during the trip in case your sponsor decides to eliminate himself entirely from the picture.
Travel history is basically about countries you have visited in the past and proof of your travels are usually found in your passport except for visa free countries. There is always the need to state or attach your travel history to your application. There are some countries that it’s easy to gain a travel visa to build your travel history. You need to build your travel history if you do not have any travel experience and I advise you visit countries that issue visa before entry but not the visa free countries. Getting just a visa in your travel passport does not amount to a travel history, you have to actually visit the country irrespective of the duration.
Why do you need a travel history?
Travel history indicates that you do not have illegal immigration intent. This is the reason someone with a UK visa gets a USA visa so easily in Ghana. You can give it a try if you are in Ghana and want a USA visa. I am ready to assist for free with the process.
I personally do attest to the above. I was granted visas to Netherlands and UK without having huge account balances because of my USA travel history. Just take your time and build your travel history. When you have a good travel history, you can apply for your tourist visa to the UK without an ‘invitation letter from a UK resident.
Detailed Cover Letter
I always tell my clients that, visa application submission format is not the same as interview format because with the interview you are there to defend your documents and give more explanation to issues when needed but with the submission format, your documents do the defending for you. Therefore, you need to make sure every anticipated question or issue that may arise during the review process by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) is answered perfectly in your cover letter.
The UK application form you fill online may not ask all the details that you want to convey. Therefore, a cover letter is a way for you to convey that additional information and convince the visa officer that you are genuinely seeking entry as a visitor and not a potential illegal immigrant.
The cover letter should state a brief itinerary, your financial ableness to take care of the trip expense, a bit of your travel history and your intention to return. The cover letter should not be more than one page. Try bulleting your issues rather than using paragraphs. Try to be brief and precise with your writing. Avoid using terminologies that they are not familiar to them (ECOs).
Proper Documentation from the Sponsor
You can definitely have someone in the UK inviting you to spend some time with them and that person can be classified in this writing as a sponsor. Therefore, if you are using a sponsor for your UK visa, you must have the following documentation from the person inviting you. The chances of you not getting the visa is high if you do not have all the required documentation from your sponsor. The documents are as follows;
- You need to get a letter from the person inviting you affirming to the fact that he/she would arrange your accommodation, transportation and other expenses while you are in the UK
- Sponsor’s bank statements for the last 3 months (must indicate employer pay deposits and have no large undocumented deposits)
- Sponsor’s British passport’s main page
- Sponsor’s British postal poll card
- Sponsor’s utility bill
You need to have more than just an invitation letter and so make sure you have all the above (not some) documentation to enable you stand a high chance of being granted the visa.
A Change in Circumstances Since your Previous Visa Refusal
A refusal with a ban means you can definitely apply for an entry visa again only if the reasons and circumstances by which you were refused has changed. If your circumstances have not changed since your previous UK visa refusal, your visa may be refused again. Multiple visa refusals can lead to blacklisting and permanent ban. It is wise to not apply at all than dealing with a visa refusal the second time.
Reapply for your UK visa only if there is a considerable change in your circumstances. Also, work to correct the mistakes or errors that led to the refusal before you reapply.
The UK visitor refusal rate in Ghana is too high and as a Ghanaian who loves to travel and also knows the perks of traveling, it is my sole wish that everyone who has the capacity to travel gets the opportunity to do so.
You have to do a thorough assessment of your documents and see if you meet the requirement before you apply. Kindly note that a UK visa refusal can be avoided if you adhere to all the basic requirements.
I will be writing on Schengen visitor’s visa very soon. I will educate you on all the necessary requirements you will need to enable you qualify for a Schengen visa as well as knowing which process works better with each embassy.
If you’ve had a UK visa refusal in the past, kindly leave a comment and state reason for refusal. Consultation is free.