The general belief out there is that you require to build up your “travel resume”, just the way you will build up your “professional resume” in order to get visa from countries like United States Schengen countries (Italy, France, Germany etc) and United Kingdom, while this holds water for the earlier mentioned countries or group of countries, it is not entirely correct for the United Kingdom.
Just to be clear, a bit of travel history will always be invaluable…I’d rather say helpful. I said helpful because I have never seen a United Kingdom visa application that was denied solely for Lack of travel history, it is actually never mentioned (though you’ll be naïve to believe that it isn’t one of the Big factors) United Kingdom as a country tries really hard to play by the rules and that extends to the visa processes so all you have to do is to ensure that you play by the rules and you just might get the visa even in the absence of a “travel history”.
This is exactly why I’ll advise ambitious virgin passport holders to skip United States (which depends a lot on the Visa officer’s gut feeling) and Schengen countries (that are particularly not transparent about their processes) and apply for a United Kingdom visa, as a first time visa applicant, you stand the big chance to get it if you prepare a good application. Preparing a good application, however, is not that easy as there are common mistakes that people keep repeating. This article, therefore, tries to explain 5 of the most common mistakes. So without further ado, we’ll delve right into them.
1. Unexplained “Money Lodgement” – There is a general perception that you’re required to have plenty of money which is demonstrated by your Bank account balance, isn’t that why they ask for your bank statement? A friend who earns Eighty thousand Naira a month was applying for a UK visa, he got a family member to deposit two million Naira into his account so the balance will be impressive…terrible mistake!!! Lots of applications get denied based on this particular reason.
Yes, they need to know that you have a good bank balance, but these guys aren’t easily fooled, they need to know that you earned it so they’re more interested in the transaction flow, they’re interested in your salary, how much it is and how steady it is, a big bank balance is good only if builds up over time not when an unexplained lump sum is deposited. Such deposits look fishy, if for whatever reason you have an unexplained money lodgement, you need to add an explanatory note to your application to detail how you came to such lump sum.
I’ve seen folks get denied because their quarterly profit sharing payment came in without an adequate narration, irrespective of what the narration says, I’d strongly advice that you explain it. Folks with irregular salary (you earn 120k this month and the 280k the next month) can easily fall prey to this, so my advice is to explain, you can never go wrong doing that, get whatever support documents there is to corroborate your explanation, your pay slips, employment contract or whatever that can explain your irregular salary.
2. Non Corroborated Accommodation – You are expected to prove that you will visit UK and leave at the end of your stay without recourse to public funds, if you consider that one of the major items of expenditure is accommodation, you will understand why they are so heavy on this one. Whether you are staying at a hotel or a friend’s or a family member’s, you should prove beyond reasonable doubt that you can/are allowed to stay there, besides stating this on the invitation letter, you should show that this friend or family member actually owns the place and that they can actually accommodate you comfortably, this means that you will have to include ownership documents like rental receipt, mortgage document or title documents. Utility bills are a good addition, though not sufficient when presented alone. I’d usually recommend that this accommodation be provided by the inviting party, this actually suggests that if the relationship is not direct enough (brother, sister, maybe Uncle) then it’s probably not good enough. A friend or acquaintance inviting you is not fishy but however does not hold much water especially for a first time applicant so I will strongly advice against it. If you intend to use a hotel booking, there’s that temptation to book a room on
Utility bills are a good addition, though not sufficient when presented alone. I’d usually recommend that this accommodation is provided by the inviting party, this actually suggests that if the relationship is not direct enough (brother, sister, maybe Uncle) then it’s probably not good enough. A friend or acquaintance inviting you is not fishy but however does not hold much water especially for a first-time applicant so I will strongly advise against it. If you intend to use a hotel booking, there’s that temptation to book a room on booking.com, one that you can cancel free of charge after you’ve gotten the visa.
The challenge with this is that they know you can cancel the booking free of charge so they usually do not take such bookings seriously. I always advice to book directly with the property and make a deposit, even if the deposit is refundable, they tend to take that more seriously. If you are booking through a third party like a booking site, ensure you get a booking confirmation from the property as most times the booking detail is not relayed to the property until a few days before the intended stay, this will help you avoid a situation that the hotel is called (they actually call the hotels) and they deny having your booking.
3. Affordability of the Trip – Insufficient Funds – A client earns N90,000 per month, his monthly living cost is N40,000, he has no dependents and his bank balance at the time of application was a little above N600,000. The proposed UK holiday was supposed cost about N550,000, if you think about it, he can afford to pay for the trip and have more than his living cost remaining but then the entire trip will cost him a little more that half his annual salary. It gets you wondering, who spends half his annual income on a holiday? Clearly he’s embarking on a holiday he cannot afford. This is a no brainer but you’ll be surprised how often folks make this mistake, sufficient funds is not just about your bank balance, it is equally about affordability, it really has to add up.
4. Inadequate Ties to Guarantee Return after the Planned Visit – The client from above had a N90, 000 job and wanted to spend over half his annual income on a holiday to the UK, do you think he’ll think twice about staying back in UK if he gets the visa? He has no dependents, he’s not married and he has a 90k job, put in different words, he doesn’t have much to come back to. It is important to always seat back and analyse the big picture. As much as a super paying job is not required, it can be very important in establishing ties to your home country, even if you get it all correct, if they are not convinced that you will leave at the end of your stay, then there will be no stay.
5. Incomplete/Low Quality Documentation – For a first time applicant it is important that you present original documents where possible. From your invitation letter, through accommodation documents to proof of income documents (employment contract, payslips, bank statements etc). Plenty of folks falsify these documents, and they usually do so by providing copies and not the originals so you’ll be avoiding a lot of scrutiny by providing originals. The original documents will be returned to you so don’t let that deter you from using them. You won’t believe the amount of applications that are declined based on low-quality documents submitted
Guest Post By Chike Nwogu
A Travel Consultant at Bespoke Vacations
‘I Tested Positive To HIV After Gang Raped By 3 Men – Chef Ayomide
Nigerian chef, Ayomide Idowu, who is also a male rape survivor, has taken to his Instagram page to tell his story.
The openly gay young man recalled how he was allegedly gang raped by 3 hoodlums at the age of 19 because of his sexuality and how he eventually contracted HIV.
Ayomide revealed his life never remained the same as he was also arrested and victimized by the police.
In his words;
“I could remember last 5years ago
What I pass through from 3 hoodlums
I was thoroughly beaten and gang-raped
All because I’m Gay…they took advantage of me
I was 19years old boy then, I suffered humiliation
Arbitrary arrest from police,inhuman degrading treatment,I lost my precious Home at the age of 19years..no parents no family…it really hurts to be an orphan….after I lost my virginity from the raped….having unprotected sex from those hoodlums I WAS TESTED POSITIVE….being positive my mood changed…I started my medication and think less…I stay away from smoking and alcohol…I eat Good fruits and vegetables…thanks to God I’m a testifier now
I’m undetectable my CD4 850 viral load 10
It really worth testimony 🙏🤦im looking healthy and stunning…being HIV positive is not the end of life…it reveals the other side of you…my aims of sharing my life threatening story as an orphan,so that people can learn from this…. 5years living positively”
See his post below:
Actress Osas Ighodaro Celebrates Her 30th Birthday With Emotional Post
Nigerian actress, Osas Ighodaro penned an emotional note via Instagram as she clocked 30-years-old on Monday.
To mark her birthday, the single mother of one posted a monochrome photo of herself as she wished for people to continue praying for those who lost their lives during these turbulent period.
“Thank God for another year. Happy Birthday to me. If you know me, you know I absolutely love birthdays but this year it certainly hits different. I’m overwhelming grateful for life and thankful to God to be able to see another birthday bc unfortunately many haven’t and won’t have that opportunity.
I am hopeful for better days for myself, those that I love and hold dear and most certainly for my country Nigeria. I pray for unity, peace, harmony and togetherness. We all deserve it.
My birthday wish is to please continue to pray for those innocent lives lost. Please remain hopeful and focused because I truly believe better days are soon ahead by God’s grace.
Peace, Love and Blessings.”
See her post below:
Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday
An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.
Why stay at an exotic resort
Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:
Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.
Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.
Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.
Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.
You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.
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