Are your supporting documents valid?

Firstly, let’s consider the primary document which is the application form. You should know that sometimes these forms get phased out and are replaced with newer ones; or existing ones get updated and the public is not necessarily notified. It is your responsibility to ensure that you use the current forms.

I recall using an old application form for quite a while, when I just stated out facilitating visas, and even recommending it to a colleague as the current one, all the while there was an updated one with better features. Fortunately, both the old and the new forms were used then, until the old form was eventually phased out. When I started using the upgraded one, I saw how much more straightforward it was.

An application was refused, recently, for just one reason. The company status was inactive on the database of the Corporate Affairs Commission, and no one had a clue. You may ask why it was not checked before the application process began. It was not necessary to check because the company was, and still is carrying out business consistently, and seemed to have no cause to be listed as inactive. However, it had pending obligations at the CAC that reflected on the status.

Some documents may require servicing or renewal to remain valid, even if they may not be reissued or upgraded, like the CAC certificate, Identity cards, travel passport, passport photographs, receipts, bills membership certificates etc . Always do the due diligence to check if a document issued once remains valid forever, or if it requires periodic upgrades or outright renewal before using it as a supporting document.

Documents like bank statements also have a window of validity. So a bank statement should be mo more than two weeks old at the time of submission. Health certificates for diseases like tuberculosis, yellow fever, and recently COVID-19 have validity windows. So also do travel insurance and health insurance.

Finally, I will share this just for clarity. I got a call from a first time traveler asking if he needs a passport to travel from Nigeria to a West African Country. I answered yes, of course, and proceeded to explain the primary use of a passport. Shortly after, he called again to ask if he could go from Nigeria to another West African county with an ECOWAS passport. Now here is the thing. An ECOWAS passport grants the holder entry into any of the ECOWAS states, but there are exceptions. A country like Côte d’Ivoire does not permit entry with an ECOWAS passport, it has to be an International passport for entry to be granted.

It is worthy to note that exceptions like this come up now and then, and before applying for a visa or embarking on a journey, you should get the latest information about your application or destination. I wrote quite extensively about documents in the complete visa application guide which will be available as an e-book in a few days. Look out for it. In the meantime, you can get expert assistance for your visa application here

Cheers to your travel dreams come true….



Visa requirements change constantly but we make every effort to keep the information accurate and up to date. We provide links to official sources wherever necessary, so you can conduct your own due diligence to verify the visa requirements before you begin the application process or set out to visit any country. We shall not be held liable for any damages incurred as a result of using the information in this article.

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