You’ve paid your visa fees and double checked your documents before submitting them, only to find out that your visa has been rejected because your status as a freelancer doesn’t exactly scream job security. In spite of years of building up networks and gaining clients who rely on your work, the lack of an organisation’s name tagged on to your CV can affect your visa approval.
Here are some steps you can take toward securing your visa:
Letter from client: If you’re working on anything long term with any clients, make sure to get written confirmation from them ensuring your role as a serious contributor. This becomes equivalent to proof of employment, which is essentially what visa officers look for first.
Proof of jobs: If your freelance work has tangible results, include printouts of your work as part of your documentation. The bigger the publication, the most secure your job status. Freelancing may not be a steady income but your portfolio is definite proof of saying that you work in the big leagues.
Don’t leave anything out: Be sure to include documents like tax returns, bank account statements and property evidence to emphasise the fact that your job is legal, that you make a living from it and that you are able to support yourself.
Letters from your host: If you are going to visit friends and family anywhere, make sure to get a letter from them confirming your status of accommodation. If you have a sponsor, be sure to include correspondence from them as well.
Return tickets: Your return flight tickets are one of the prerequisites while applying for a visa, especially for countries that do not have a very powerful passport. If you are flying on to another country, make that absolutely clear in your application letter.
Travel visa service: It is not necessarily true that applying for a visa via a travel visa service will guarantee approval, but for those who find the process stressful, it is worth it. Your agent at the visa service will also be able to give you tips about how to make sure you do everything you possibly can from your end.
Copies: In addition to submitting the required number of copies to the embassy, make sure you have a set of the submitted documents yourself, for your reference. In case you are asked about any document, you need to have it at hand.
Interview: In some cases, being called for an interview is actually a good thing. Instead of looking at it as a foreboding event, look at it as an opportunity to explain your situation to an officer in person. In many cases, an interview has helped people get a visa approval.
Do your research: Different countries have different requirements for visas. Even if you do apply for a visa via a visa service, make sure you do your own research and know what is required from you. Always read the details of the application carefully and if you have any doubts, call the respective embassy to ask questions.
While a sharp increase in digital nomads around the world has made countries aware of the nature of different jobs, it has also made visa criteria stricter. Ultimately, your visa approval depends on the officer handling it, but you can always take steps to ensure you have done what it takes.