Travelling abroad can be an exhilarating experience! It all starts with choosing an international tour package and then getting your visa approved followed by locking in cheap flight tickets and finally taking off. Out of all these tasks, applying for a visa can be a daunting process.  However, with the right knowledge and careful planning, getting your visa can be a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Here are some visa application tips to keep in mind before you apply for a visa:

Do I even need a Visa?

One of the most important visa application tips would be to check the visa requirements of the country you are visiting. While, some countries offer visa-free travel to Indians, there are some other countries that offer a visa on arrival for Indians. For instance, countries such as Nepal, Bhutan, Seychelles, Fiji etc. offer a visa free access, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand, Bali, Qatar, etc. offer a visa on arrival facility for Indians.

Check out: Islands Indians Can Travel To Without A Visa – Visa Free Islands For Indians

What type of visa do I need

Once you have established whether or not you require a visa, the next step is to ascertain the type of visa you need. The type of visa you need to apply for depends on the purpose of your visit. Tourist visa, visit visa, business visa, student visa, etc. are some examples of different types of visas. Applying for the appropriate type of visa has to be one of the main visa application tips you cannot ignore as you will be required to arrange for documentation as per the visa type.

Also Read: Common Reasons For Your Visa Rejection

Right time to apply

Different countries have different processing times for visa applications. The processing time for a visa can be affected by the number of applications and vary from a few days to several weeks. For example, a Dubai visa generally takes 2-3 days for processing (depending upon whether you apply under the normal service or opt for express service), while a Schengen visa can take up to 15 to 20 working days. Applying too early or too late could result in your application being delayed or even rejected. Consider applying at the right time (atleast a month prior to your trip) as one of the top visa application tips to get travel visa approved on time.

Know More: How early can you apply for your Visa

Online visa process or offline

Is the visa process online or offline? Since visa application process differ from country to country, some countries such as Dubai, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. have a 100% online visa application process from submitting documents online to receiving the visa in the inbox. Whereas countries such as Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Schengen states, Singapore, etc. require physical submission of visa documents and biometric data. The US on the other hand requires an in-person interview wherein the visa officer will question you about your trip and your intentions for travelling. Please note online visa applications are usually faster and require less documentation but for certain types of visas, offline applications are required.  

Also Read: Countries that offer E-Visas for Indian Passport Holders

Documents Required

Depending on the country you are travelling to and the purpose of your trip, the documents you need for visa processing also vary. Some countries require fewer documents for online applications, while others require more for in-person applications. Generally, you will need to submit your passport, recent photographs (as per visa photo specifications), and supporting documents. These may include a travel itinerary, hotel bookings, bank statements, income tax, employment proof , and a letter of invitation along with a copy of your host’s passport (if visiting family or friends). Please ensure you have all the necessary documents for a successful visa application.

Also Read: Mistakes that can get your visa rejected

Passport Validity

Before applying for a visa, make sure to check the validity of your passport. Most countries require your passport to be valid for at least 3-6 months after your trip ends. Along with passport validity, countries also require a certain number of blank pages in your passport. For an easy visa application, ensure that your passport meets the visa requirements of the country you are travelling to. It is one of the easy visa application tips you should keep in mind.

Expired Passport? Read about Passport Renewal Process India

Don’t have a Passport? Apply Passport Online!

Sufficient Funds

Having sufficient funds for your trip is important, especially for the countries that require you to have enough funds to cover your stay. This visa application tip is very important for ensuring a successful visa application. The balance in your account should always be equivalent to the trip cost. For example, it is recommended to have atleast 3 to 4 lakhs in your bank account for a US and UK visa application. Same rule applies to other major countries Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Schengen countries etc. (2 to 3 lakhs in your bank accounts). Apart from your bank statement, you can also submit your other financial investments such as share certificates, property agreements etc. These documents will strengthen your visa application. Countries like Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, etc. don’t have strict financial requirements and are easy to obtain.

Read More: How much Bank balance is required for your Visa Application

Flight Tickets

Requirement of flight tickets depends upon the country you’re applying for. With countries that do not require any confirmed flight bookings, it is generally recommended to apply for a visa first and then book your tickets once the visa is approved. Australia, Canada, UK, and the US are among the countries that don’t require confirmed booking reservations. Instead, you can provide a travel itinerary, that includes your tentative travel dates, places to visit, things you’ll be doing in the visiting country etc. Countries such as Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, and Schengen States etc. require you to submit confirmed air tickets for your visa processing. Always check with the respective Embassy or travel agent if confirmed tickets are required or not. Also, if required, try to book refundable tickets only so in case of visa rejection, you can cancel the ticket and get refund.

Also Read: Do I book the Flight Ticket or get the Visa first?

Travel Insurance

While travel insurance is not a mandatory document requirement for all countries, it is strongly recommended to purchase a travel insurance for your entire trip. The travel insurance can protect you from unexpected events, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost baggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. With reference to visa application, the Schengen countries require proof of travel insurance as a condition of entry. Research the specific requirements of the country and purchase travel insurance accordingly before you travel.

Read More: Is Travel Insurance required for travelling abroad?

Take the Help of a Travel Agent

If you’re not sure about the visa application process or if you’re applying for a visa for the first time, it’s always recommended to take the help of an experienced travel agent. Since they are well aware of all the rules and regulations about visas, they can help you with the visa application process, provide correct, updated information about visa requirements, fees, and mistakes to avoid for visa application and even help you prepare the necessary documents thereby increasing your chances of visa approval.

How Akbar Travels Can Help You In Obtaining A Visa?

By following these visa application tips, you can increase your chances of a successful visa application and travel with confidence. Remember to research the specific requirements of your destination country and stay updated on any changes in visa regulations. With the right preparation, you can navigate the visa application process smoothly and set off on a memorable journey without worrying about the dreaded “how to apply visa” dilemma. And if you ever need a helping hand, you know we are always here to help you.

We hope, we have cleared all your doubts about visa applications in India. If there is anything we have missed out on or if you have any more queries, please write to us in the comments below and we will be more then happy to help.

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