My recent experience in applying for a Tourist Visa to Greece at the French Embassy was a breeze. I stayed only for 15 minutes and left. Everything was done fast! Checking my original and photocopied documents, visa payment, fingerprinting and photo taking were efficiently carried out. I believe I cooperated well in the fast processing as I came prepared and was hundred percent certain I had all the documents in my checklist.
I wish to share some effective and tested strategies to make your visa application stress-free: 🙂
1. Communicate clearly. When planning for visa application, be clear of your objective and how you will carry-out your plan. Read as much as you can and make sure you understand everything you have read. If there is any gray area or any question you have in mind it is best to write the Embassy rather than make assumptions or ask around. Write to them directly. I believe that’s the reason why they put the email address in the contact details. Making calls is easier and you can receive an immediate answer. I think depending on your need, you can use both. The advantage of written communication is that there is black and white. Written communication can be used as supporting details during the application. For instance, I printed my communication with the Greek Consulate and handed to the French Embassy to be clarified that Greece is officially represented by the French Embassy in Singapore.
2. Arrive early on your appointment date. Sometimes I want to hug myself because I can be punctual :-D. The product of hard labor is now bearing fruit ;-)). I was at the embassy 30 minutes earlier :-). I think 10-15 minutes is okay. Arriving early in any appointment is always a positive thing. You have all the time to check your documents. You don’t need to hurry that makes you put in a relax mode. I am always nervous every time there is a milestone to be achieved. Not to mention, I am a citizen coming from a third world country where visa rejection appears to be normal but it should not be that way.
3. Keep your documents organized and in order. It should be done in accordance to the requirements listed in the checklist. There are requirements that you must submit a set of original and photocopies. For instance, passport, employment pass, travel insurance, bank statement. It is best to have extra copy just in case there will be a need. For personal reference, I keep a set of copy of all those requirements that I sent.
4. Present your self well. It need not be you have to look extravagant. It means, dress modestly and appropriately. While good grooming is very important it is your attitude that counts most. Be confident (but don’t overdo it) and just be at your best self :-).
5. Be polite and be sincere. You can be sincere and impolite at the same time. I have been to several embassies and I get quite shocked every time I would witness an applicant raising his/her voice (shouting, actually) and arguing with the Visa Officer. I would somehow get perplexed and end-up asking myself why they have to behave like that? I mean, would rudeness makes you get what you want? There is a culture of arrogance everywhere, as in everywhere. Humans are being mutant. Having been a frequent applicant of several embassies, I can attest that Visa Officers are actually easy to deal with, you only need to be cooperative and be receptive. It’s all about human relations. Putting ourselves in their shoes would make us understand how frustrating their job sometimes can be. While waiting for my turn I was keen to observe what was going on, a Visa Officer was requiring something to the applicant who have been to the embassy for the nth time! And yet, still could not bring and show proof of that requirement. Something was obviously wrong, right? Another unforgettable experience, I was queuing to get a visa at the Myanmar Embassy and the beautiful lady in front of me was terribly insisting to accept her driver’s license because she left her National Identity Card and driving home would be a waste of time because she lives somewhere very far! I wish to reiterate this, Visa Officers I believe want to make things easy for the applicant because in doing so it will make their job easy for them as well. It’s a win-win solution actually. Reminds me of my experience at the High Commission of New Zealand – the Visa Officer allowed me to just email some other requirements so that I would not need to take another leave from work.
Did I miss something? Feel free to share your experience during visa application. Let’s help one another make everyone’s dreams come true :-D. And it starts when the visa gets approved by those countries that requires it. C’mon, getting a visa does not have to be a pain in the neck ;-).
Stay tuned for upcoming post: Schengen Visa in just 5 days! 😀