I lied about my travel history and it boomeranged!
I had the opportunity of visiting Canada in 2018 but I lost it. I had made provision for everything required for the application. All I needed to do was just to collaborate with a travel agent to help with application process, especially with the documentations.
We started the application process and everything was going on well. However, when it got to stating my travel history, I was advised to lie. Although I have been to South Africa and Dubai in 2016 and 2017 respectively, I have never been to the United States or United Kingdom. The agent told me mentioning USA or UK as part of the places I had traveled to would improve my chances and portray my profile to have western exposure. This would give my application an edge and appeal to the Consular that I have sufficient travel experience.
So, we did as advised and the agent told me to start my countdown to Canada. You can only imagine the joy I felt. I was already imagining the different places I would visit in Canada. I was hopeful that I knew everything would turn out right. However, to my surprise, my application was denied. It was denied based on the ground that I lied about my travel history, and this attracted a 5-year inadmissible ban on my profile to Canada.
Dear Explorers, keep in mind that keeping a good record will only improve your chances of getting your visa granted. You should consult an experienced Travel agency regarding your involvement in providing you with the services needed to meet your Immigration purposes.
Birdview Travels and Tours, we strongly believe that our expert team of travel
advisors with in-depth knowledge of valuation will do justice to that in order
to achieve your dream with the utmost professionalism.
Preparing for a Visa Interview - What you need to know
Many people are nervous about going to the Embassy for their visa interview, but don't be! Although each experience is unique, knowing what to expect can be extremely beneficial in managing those feelings.
There are a few important steps you must take before going to your interview.
- Check the website of your local embassy for documentation requirements.
- Fill out the online form.
- Bring all of the required documents.
- Prepare well in advance for possible interview questions and how to answer them
- Dress formally on the day of the interview. Wear neat, clean clothes because first impressions count a lot.
- You should also arrive early at the embassy. Appointments in the early morning are usually the best.
- Be composed and give detailed replies to the questions asked.
Keep in mind that conditions or variables evaluated by visa officers for granting visas change on a daily basis, but they always point to two primary factors: “Home ties” and “Economic Status”.
It is strongly advised that you offer enough documentations that demonstrate a convincing home tie while also demonstrating your economic/financial standing.
How my F1 visa was denied twice and approved the third time
For the first time, I applied for an F1, which is a student visa to study in USA. Counselling, or family therapy to be more specific, was my field of study. Career-wise, it is now a very popular and lucrative earner in the United States, however, in some countries, it is still a developing industry. So, you can predict what my odds are. I did, however, have all documentation in hand, so I was pretty much following the rules.
The visa officer was disrespectful, did not even look up or make eye contact with me, threw my documents back at me, and simply stated that my application had been denied. There was no explanation provided.
After a month, I applied again. This time, I had the same documents and everything was in order, and the visa officer was an older gentleman who was really courteous and friendly. He took his time and went through all of my documents, which gave me hope that my visa will be approved. Then, very kindly, he said to me, “I’m sorry sir, but I will be unable to grant you a visa because your field of study affords ample opportunities for employment in the United States. As a result, I’m not confident you’ll return”. I concurred with him. Just that I didn’t have any other way of convincing myself that I would return.
After another month, I applied for a third time. I wasn’t upset this time since I just wanted to finish the cycle of three and be done with it. I simply rolled out of my bed and dressed in the same clothing I slept in. I didn’t have any supporting documents with me other than my passport and the required documentation. When I arrived, the Immigration officer looked at me and asked what course I was going to study abroad. “Your visa has been issued”, he stated as soon as I replied. Bam…!! The entire procedure took less than a minute.
While some may consider it as luck, others may think it is an algorithm that determines if one’s visa will be accepted or not. By and large, many won’t know how the visa procedure works until a Travel Consultant explains it in full. In any case, keep your head up and consult the experienced and competent Travel Advisors.
A property valuation report, similar to a CV, can help a visa officer construct a strong mental picture of who you are. It shows how much you have invested in landed properties, which can also serve as a strong home tie and assessment of their economic and financial condition. This document demonstrates the amount of wealth in your possession, and which would be a strong pull-factor for you to return to your home country once the purpose of the visa issued has expired.
Though many people do not provide this document due to ignorance or a lack of a mindset, it is prudent for a savvy candidate to do so, especially if it is a non-admission visa application or the first document you submit for assessment prior to a physical interview, or if you are meeting the consular physically.