Common Mistakes in Applying for Schengen Visa in Nigeria
Applying for a schengen visa in Nigeria is not a child’s play but it could be made relatively easy if the applicant pays attention to details and gather enough information before proceeding to apply. A lot of schengen visa applications get rejected day in day out and it has been observed that certain errors committed during the visa application process such as the filling of forms, the process of obtaining documents as well as the interview stage are responsible for majority of visa application rejections. The importance of correctly filling forms, avoiding omissions and been honest during interviews cannot be over emphasized. All applicants must know that for a visa application to be rejected, there must have been a reason which most of the time could have been avoided and so they must pay due attention to every step of the procedure.
Although it is also important to note that even when an applicant possesses all required documents and has taken all the necessary precautions, some parts of the process may still be made strenuous to such applicants due to some reasons such as being Nigerian. This is as a result of the attitude and behaviour of Nigerian applicants in the past. A lot of Nigerians have travelled and extended their stay illegally thereby causing the Schengen countries to further tighten their reins on Nigerian who wish to travel into their countries.
This article is designed to highlight the common errors that may pose a threat to the approval of your Schengen visas as a Nigeria thereby providing tips that will increase the chances of your Schengen visa approval. Overall, the good news is that you can influence your chances by avoiding these common mistakes and making use of the important derived thereof.
Common Mistakes that could Jeopardise your Schengen Visa Application in Nigeria
The most common and popular mistakes is in the filling of forms. This ranges from the use of irregular signatures to dishonesty and incomplete filling of forms. Therefore, this first section will cover all mistakes as regards filing of your Schengen visa application forms:
- Irregular Signature: it is extremely important to stick to a particular signature when filling your Schengen visa application form. On no occasion, should you change signatures or alter existing signatures. This is a major reason why your visa application could be rejected and must be avoided completely. Also ensure that this signature is the same with what you use for your documents especially those you will be attaching to your Schengen visa application form.
- Unfinished or blank forms: another common form related error is the act of not completely filling your forms. When filling, make certain that you leave no empty space in your visa application form. In the case where you have no response to a question asked or such question is not applicable to you, simply fill the space with “N/A”( not applicable). Do not leave any space blank.
- Avoid Dishonesty: always fill your forms honestly and correctly. Avoid lying or withholding information while filling your Schengen visa application form. Being dishonest earns you a very high risk of getting your visa application rejected. Usually, an investigation will be carried out on all information that you tender and as such truth will be revealed. This could not only lead to inability to travel to that particular Schengen country of choice but may also jeopardise your chances of ever getting you visa application to other countries approved too.
Besides mistakes connected to filling of application forms, there are also those linked to documentation. These include:
- Incomplete documents: the inability to provide all required documents may also result in rejection of an applicant’s visa application into the Schengen area. Ensure that all necessary documents are attached to your application. For example, you may be required to provide a letter from your employer confirming permanent appointment, a school admission letter, travel insurance documents, your passport or any other document depending on your purpose of visit. Also it is important to provide a passport photo that is clear and has the desirable background colour. All these make up a lot and can affect an individual’s Schengen visa application process.
- Providing unsolicited information or documents: another common mistake that could lead to your Schengen visa application been rejected is the attachments of documents that were not requested in the visa application form. Some applicants out of eagerness or anxiety about the visa application will decide to add some additional documents even when those documents were not requested. As simple and harmless as this may seem, it is capable of jeopardising such individual’s chances of having their visa application approved. Ensure you only provide documents that are requested in your application.
There are also some common errors that are a result of an applicant not meeting some requirements of the Schengen visa application process. These includes:
- Inadequate funds: The lack of sufficient fund to cover your accommodation and travel expenses is a major reason that may lead to your visa application being rejected. Usually, you are required to provide a bank account statement that will verify your ability to take care of yourself while in the Schengen country. It is therefore pertinent that you have enough funds in your account to cater for your living expenses while abroad. This amounts to you having at least fifty dollars ($50) to spend per day for the duration of your trip and additional amount to cover for your flight expenses and accommodation. This is especially important for people travelling as tourists.
- Age factor: in some cases, an applicant may meet all other requirements but still get rejected due to their age. The embassy may decide that a person is too young to travel and will be unable to support themselves when they travel or that they may refuse to return to their home country since they do not have lots of responsibility in their home country to return to. In such cases, an applicant should try and provide supporting documents to show their commitment to returning to the home country after their visit and/or write to appeal for consideration.
- Inadequate health: also some Schengen countries may request for specific health statuses that must be satisfied for an applicant’s visa to be approved. In this case, one must ensure that such health requirements are met and provide supporting documents where required before proceeding to apply for the visa.
- No evidence of Language Proficiency: it is important to provide evidence of language proficiency for Schengen countries that require prove of language proficiency. Inability to produce this could lead to rejection of the visa application of such individual.
Some other visa application rejections occur as a result of errors committed during the interview process. These are really common errors and applicants must take note to avoid them, they include:
- Lack of confidence during the interview process: travelling to a Schengen country may require you to appear at the embassy for the presentation of documents and verification of information. During this process, an interview is usually conducted where you are asked a number of questions as regards your application and your reason for travelling. To scale through this stage conveniently, you must have a lot of confidence. Your confidence is well boosted when you take note of the following;
- Prepare all your documents before hand and have them well organised.
- Check out for frequently asked visa interview questions especially your reason for travelling and intention to return and have all your answers ready
- Appear neat, simple and presentable. Ensure you put on well ironed cloth and look responsible.
- Exude confidence (Please do not be pompous or overconfident). Put your head up and make sure you make eye contacts with your interviewer. Avoiding eye contacts may bring about suspicion.
- Be audible and communicate in simple/clear terms: during your interview, always ensure that you speak loud enough for the interviewer to hear you. Avoid using complicated language or unnecessarily complex grammar to communicate. If you do not understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or explained.
- Inadequate evidence to show commitment to return to Nigeria: this is one of the most important reasons why visa applications are rejected. Ensure you provide enough evidence and proof that you will return to Nigeria after your visit. Let the interviewer know that you have a job, a family and maybe some estate and properties that you manage and require your attention back in the country. Inability to convince your interviewer of your return will most likely lead to your visa application been rejected.
- Be cautious as not to appear as an enemy of the state: sometimes during the interview, applicants may say some things that will make them appear as an enemy of the state. Avoid making statements that show your dislike for the country you are visiting. Also ensure you have no criminal records. A visa application may be denied if the applicant is found to have ulterior motives for visiting or may have been involved in crime.
From the above, one can see that having enough funds to travel or simply filling the forms correctly is not enough to be granted a visa, all other factors must be put into consideration and adequate precaution must be applied throughout the entire visa application process. As earlier stated, get all your documents ready, prepare for your interview and take note of mistakes to avoid during your visa application process. With this, you stand a better chance of getting your Schengen visa approved in Nigeria.
All the best in your Schengen visa application.
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