Our quick tips for visa applications to UK, Schengen and US.

Quick visa tips in Ghana

You can find here a list of quick visa tips about UK Visas, U.S. Visas and Schengen Visa to help you with your visa application. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information or make an enquiry.  
  • U.S. VISAS

UK quick visa tips

The law does not set any minimum amount you must have in your account. Having a large bank balance is not necessarily consistent with a strong financial circumstance. Neither is a low bank balance dispositive of a weak financial circumstance. In essence, your financial circumstance is determined by your total monthly income minus your total financial commitments. The balance is then assessed against the cost of your visit to determine whether your proposed visit is justifiable in the light of your personal circumstances.
Yes. It is always advisable to provide your bank statement or other evidence of your financial circumstance even if someone is paying you. Your ability to show your financial circumstance is independent of any proposed sponsorship from a third party. The ECO is likely to refuse your application if you fail to establish that you have sufficient economic and financial ties. This will be the case even if the ECO is satisfied that your proposed sponsor is willing and able to pay for your trip.
Yes. Another person may pay for your visit to the UK provided there is evidence of a genuine personal or professional relationship with the person. This person may either be inside or outside the UK and may be your relative, friend or employer. However, their claimed sponsorship is not the only criteria for assessing your eligibility for the visa. It is your personal circumstances in your home country that counts most in assessing your eligibility. Therefore if the officer finds that your friend or relative has sufficient resources to maintain you in the UK, but question marks hover around your claimed personal circumstances, your application will be refused.
Yes, in part. Whiles travel history may count in assessing your intentions for a visa; it is only one of the many other factors the ECO may take into account. The ECO may take account of your travel history in addition to your personal circumstances. Again, not all travels count as travel history for the purposes of the Rules. A pattern of travel to countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Schengen countries or Switzerland may be evidence of genuine intention. However, a single travel to a specified country may generally not count as travel history much the same way as repeated travels to a non-specified country. A “pattern” denotes “order”, “systematic”, “sequence”, etc. To qualify as travel history, there must be a sequence to the travel.
To make an application for a UK visa, you must complete and submit an online visa application form at www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk.  After completing the Form, you must book an appointment to submit your application and biometrics. The visa application website does not have the facility to accept cash payments. You can only make payment by credit or debit card. In Ghana, most ATM cards with the “Visa” or “Master Card” logo should be able to make the payment. After making the payment, print a copy of the Form and the appointment confirmation and submit same together with all supporting documents at the visa application centre at Movenpic Hotel, Accra.
You may appeal against a refusal if the visa you applied for carries with it a right of appeal. If you have a right of appeal, the Notice of Refusal will state so together with information on procedures to file the appeal. You cannot appeal a decision to refuse a visit visa. Others like “family member of a settled person” visa have a full right of appeal. EEA Family Permit generally has a full right of appeal. Whiles a direct family member of an EEA national has a full right of appeal, an extended family member of an EEA national has only a limited right.
If you have been refused a UK visit visa, you must make a reapplication for a visa. You will have to complete a new application form, pay visa fee, and submit your biometrics. To succeed in a reapplication, you must either show that there has been a significant change in your personal circumstances since your previous application; or that you have compelling new evidence to support your new application. If you fail to establish either of the conditions, your application will be refused.
An EEA family Permit is a type of entry permit issued to nationals from non-EEA countries who are family members of EEA nationals residing in the UK and exercising treaty rights. The EEA Regulations provide that the ECO must issue an EEA Family Permit to a person who applies for one if the ECO is satisfied that the person is a family member of an EEA national and the EEA national is residing in the UK in accordance with the Regulations.
The EEA Regulations create two classes of family members of an EEA national. The first class is the direct family members of the EEA national. These are:
    (i) spouses or civil partners;
    (ii) children under 21 of the EEA national or their spouse/ civil partner;
    (iii) dependent children of 21 and over of the EEA national or their spouse/ civil partner;
    (iv) dependent parents and grandparents of the EEA national or their spouse / civil partner.
The second class is the extended family members of an EEA national. A member of an EEA national’s household who are accompanying the EEA national to the UK or wishing to join them there can be considered as an extended family member. So also are:
  • a relative of the EEA national or his spouse / civil partner and on serious health grounds, strictly require the personal care of the EEA national or their spouse/ civil partner; or
  • a relative of the EEA national and would meet the requirements, (other than those relating to entry clearance) in the Immigration Rules for indefinite leave to enter the UK as a dependent relative of the EEA national were the EEA national present and settled in the UK; or
  • a partner of the EEA national (other than a civil partner) and can prove to the ECO that they are in a durable relationship with the EEA national.
To prove that you are related to the EEA national, you must provide evidence of the claimed relationship. This includes birth certificate or adoption certificate, marriage certificate, phone records, emails, letters, and photographs. However, the submission of any or all of these document may not necessarily guarantee that the ECO will be satisfied that you are related to the EEA national as claimed.

U.S. quick visa tips

A refusal under section 214 (b) means that you failed to satisfy the consular officer (CO) that you have sufficient ties to your home country to justify entitlement for the visa classification you applied for. This provision of law assumes a visa applicant to be an intending immigrant unless he or she is able to establish to the satisfaction of the CO that they are entitled to one of the visa classifications provided for under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
No. You cannot appeal against a refusal under section 214 (b). You may however submit a new application for a visa. You may reapply at any time after your initial refusal. However, you must be prepared to satisfy the CO that your circumstances have changed since your previous application or that you have provided information not submitted in your original application.
You may reapply at any time after your refusal. However, since ties are considered to be things that cannot generally change overnight, allowing a reasonable period between your previous refusal and your next application may better strengthen your case. What is reasonable is relative is relative and may depend on the circumstances of each case. However, a period of between 6 months and a year may be considered as reasonable. In considering whether to reapply, you may consider whether you explained your situation accurately at the interview or whether the CO overlooked something in your application. You may also consider whether you have any additional information you can present to establish your ties.
Whiles the CO may request to see your document at the interview he is not bound to do so. In fact, in a majority of cases, the CO may adjudicate your eligibility for the visa without looking at your documents. Since the B visa is generally not a documentary application, your eligibility for the visa is not conditioned on the strength or weight of your documents. Nonetheless, it is always important to carry along your documents even if you think the CO will not look at them.
You must show that you have a residence in a foreign country you do not intend to abandon. You must also show that your intention is to enter the U.S. for a definite period and for a legitimate activity relating to business or pleasure. In assessing whether you have a residence you do not intend to abandon, the CO will usually look at your permanent employment or business, meaningful financial and economic connections; close family ties, social or cultural associations and any other factor that will induce you to return to your home country.
Depending on the reasons for the refusal, you may within one year from the date of refusal adduce further evidence tending to overcome the ground of ineligibility on which the refusal was based. This is usually called a Reconsideration of Visa Refusal. You do not need to pay visa fee for filing a reconsideration request. You must file your request with the consulate that refused you a visa.
The DV lottery usually opens for entries at the beginning of each fiscal year which commences on 1st October. It usually opens in the first week of October and runs for a period of one month or thereabout. Each entry year has its own rules. However, you may likely be required to submit your entry for the DV program electronically at dvlottery.state.gov. You can make your entry at any time within the entry period even though you are advised not to wait the last minute before submitting your entry since heavy traffic may delay its submission.
Yes, someone may help you in filing your entry. However, you are encouraged to complete the entry form yourself, without a “visa consultant,” “visa agent,” or other facilitator who offers to help.  Some agents may claim that they can get special attention for your lottery registration if you pay them to handle it. Others may claim that your chances of being selected will be increased if the entry is filed on your behalf by someone resident in the U.S. There are no truths in these claims. There may be nothing wrong in paying an agent to help you complete the registration according to instructions. Yet, that is the only help they can offer; but no more.
You can make an application for a B visa by completing and submitting a Form DS-160, paying the required visa fee, submitting your biometrics and appearing before the CO for a personal interview. Currently in Ghana, you may pay your B-visa fee at any designated branch of Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank and submit a receipt of payment at your interview. The current fee for a B visa is $160 payable in Ghana Cedi. In completing Form DS-160, you must state your full and true name, date and place of birth, nationality, the purpose and length of your intended stay, your marital status, and such additional information as may be necessary to determine your eligibility for a visa.

Schengen quick visa tips

To qualify for a Schengen visa, you must generally establish three things. One, you must show justification for the purpose and condition of your stay in the Schengen territory. Two, you must show that you have the intention to depart the territory before the expiry of your visa. Three, you must show that you have sufficient means of subsistence for your visit. Though there are other requirements you must meet, these three frequently account for a number of Schengen visa refusals.
You must provide documents showing the purpose and condition of your stay. If you are visiting as a tourist, you must provide information detailing your plans for the visit. These may include a travel itinerary, hotel and flight booking, etc. You must also explain your purpose well at the interview with clear knowledge about your plans for the visit. You must show sufficient knowledge about any places you wish to visit, the duration of your stay, entry and departure dates, and why the Schengen country is your preferred tourist destination. You must provide your answers in a clear and coherent manner to assure the consulate that you have sound reasons for your visit. If you visiting a family or friend, you must show that there is a genuine relationship between you and the person. Evidence may include phone records or other proof of social media communication. You must show adequate knowledge about the person including the nature of the relationship, the last time you met the person, how often you communicate, and information about the person’s work, family and other personal details.
Generally, you must show that you have a stable socio-economic situation in your home country. You may prove this by reference to your bank statements, employment letters, pay slips, business documents, etc. You may also provide ownership of real estate by title deeds, land certificates, indentures, leases, etc.
For students, the consulate may not reasonably expect you to have a stable economic situation. Your intention to depart may therefore be assessed in the light of your family’s economic and social circumstances. The stronger your family’s economic or social circumstances, the more likely it is for the consulate to accept your intention to depart.
If you are refused a Schengen visa, you are entitled to appeal against the decision. You must lodge the appeal against the Member State that refused your application. The appeal will be conducted in accordance with the national law of that Member State. The Notice of Refusal will usually provide you with information regarding the procedure to be followed in the event of an appeal including the competent authority and time limit for lodging such an appeal. There is no requirement to pay a fee for lodging an appeal against a refusal of Schengen visa.
Yes, you may do so. You may, instead of lodging an appeal against an adverse decision, submit a fresh application. However, you must be prepared to submit new evidence which was not originally provided in your previous application. If you provide the same set of documents or fail to provide new evidence, there is little chance that your new application will succeed. If you decide to make a new application, you must complete a new visa application form, pay visa fee and submit yourself before the consulate for a personal interview.
The option to apply for a review of a Schengen visa refusal is always provided by the national law of the Schengen country. Not all Schengen countries provide options for a review. Your Notice of Refusal will usually specify whether you have an option to apply for a review. You do not need to pay any fee for a review of a decision. In reviewing a decision, the consulate may either sustain the original decision (i.e. to affirm the decision of the earlier officer to refuse your application) or withdraw or change its negative decision (i.e. change its decision to refuse you by granting you a visa). You will usually have the right to appeal against the decision to refuse your review application, but not the original decision to refuse.
To submit a valid application, you must submit a completed and signed application form, a photograph that meets standard requirements, a passport or travel document with at least two blank pages and a validity period of not less than 3 months after the intended date of departure from the territory. You must also pay your visa fee and submit your biometric data. As a general rule you must submit your application in person.  Some consulates allow for walk-ins while others allow submission of application by appointment only. However persons who are known to the consulate for their integrity and reliability may be exempted from appearing in person. Such persons may submit their application through a third party or by post.

Ghana visas and permits

A person applying for a Resident Permit to stay in Ghana for a substantial period may be granted this permit for not more than 4 years if the applicant is applying for the first time. However, where the applicant is not a first time applicant, this permit may be granted for a period not exceeding eight years.
One of the conditions for the grant of a Residence Permit is that the person may have been lawfully admitted to Ghana at the time of the making of the application. When granted, it is also subject to the condition that the person to whom it is granted shall not undertake any employment or engage in any business, trade or profession except as may be specified in the Permit.
A foreign national, including the spouse of a Ghanaian citizen may apply for an Indefinite Residence Status provided they can satisfy certain requirements under Ghana’s immigration laws. A person with an indefinite residence status is entitled to remain indefinitely in Ghana, enter Ghana without a visa and to work in Ghana either as a self-employed or as an employee without a work permit.
A Right of Abode is a status granted to a Ghanaian by birth, adoption, registration or naturalisation who by reason of their acquisition of a foreign nationality has lost their Ghanaian citizenship. It may also be granted to a person of African descent in the Diaspora
This status allows a person to remain indefinitely in Ghana, enter Ghana without a visa and work in Ghana either as a self-employed or as an employee even without a work permit.
A person may subject to obtaining an appropriate license develop, manage or develop and manage a free zone if it is a body corporate registered under the Companies Act, 1963 (Act 179) or a partnership registered under the Incorporation of Private Partnership Act, 162 (Act 152). The application must be in writing, and be submitted to the Secretariat of the Free Zones Board. It must also specify the zone to be developed.
A citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to their citizenship of Ghana. This however could only be possible if the national law of the foreign country allows their citizens to hold the citizenship of another country in addition to their citizenship.
An application for registration as a dual citizen must be addressed to the Minister of the Interior. The registration as a dual citizen shall be in Form 10 which can be purchased at the Ministry of the Interior or any Diplomatic Mission abroad.
You must support your application with copies of the biodata pages of your Ghanaian passport and foreign passports. Remember to include four recent passport photographs and a copy of your naturalization certificate.
Yes. You must be of full age and capacity to renounce your Ghanaian citizenship. The application must be supported by copies of the bio-data page of both the Ghanaian and foreign passports, four (4) recent passport photographs on a white background, your CV and a copy of naturalisation certificate or such other document showing that you will be granted a foreign citizenship upon renunciation of your Ghanaian citizenship.
You must be of full age and capacity to qualify to be granted a certificate of naturalisation by the Minister with the approval of the President. In addition to other conditions, you must have resided in Ghana throughout the period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of the application. You must also show that you have during the 7 years immediately preceding the period of the 12 months, resided in Ghana for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than 5 years.
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