With my #strugglepassport I have to pray long and hard before taking any trip that involves or requires me to have a Visa. When I have to get a Visa too, unless I know it’s a one-time thing, I make sure it’s the longest possible time I can get that Visa for so I do not have to rinse and repeat the procedure for as long as I can avoid it.
When I got an invitation to a wedding in Spain I almost looked left and right and tried to run away from going but since it is what it is and I would have been side eyed from here to kingdom come if I didn’t go, I ended up starting the application for my Visa for Spain via London…Read on to find out about the Visa wahala (trouble)
Now unfortunately for me, and fortunately for England, my visa had just expired. Unfortunate for me because I needed to go through London to get to Spain and I had a couple of things to do there. Fortunate for England because had it not been for this trip, I would have held off as long as I could before getting that Visa as I do not go there as often as I would like to justify paying for the Visa fee right this moment Anyways so lets talk about the British visa first.
British Visa Application:
You can only apply online using the following link which is pretty detailed so I am not going to
cut and paste what you can read on that website.
What you do need to know is that you can only PAY for said visa online as well. Please do not make the mistake I made and use a credit card authorized in any other country APART from Ghana. They will refuse the card, possibly block it (causing you wahala) and your application will lock itself. Once your application locks itself up you have to wait 2 weeks before you can Reapply. Notice I said reapply not the application unlocking…REAPPLY!!! So all the work you have done to fill in the information if this happens, you will have to do again. Having gone through that FUN process I can tell you AVOID it!
So how do you pay for the Visa online using a Ghana credit card? Go to your bank or GT and purchase a prepaid card. Now depending on how long you want your visa to last for obviously the prices differ. Make sure that you put more money on the card than just the right amount for the Visa application fee as they also charge you a transaction fee, which I believe is about $35.00. So my advice is to add at least $50 extra to whatever your visa fee is. Get the Visa prepaid card BEFORE starting your application.
You do not need a passport picture as your picture and fingerprints will be taken on the day you submit your application. (Save the money).
Once you have filled in the application and submitted it online, on the day of your “interview” make sure you have all your relevant paperwork and supporting documents and make TWO copies of your passport biometric page. Luckily for you there is a Printing shop right next door to the Consulate office so you can get it done there BEFORE joining the line you don’t want to join the line and be sent back out.
You may take your phone with you BUT it has to be switched off.
There is a Premium lounge section (if you got £89 to spare) but this does not get you priority, it just provides for ease of application. For priority application you can get this done for (£150) this guarantees you receipt of a response (the response could be a bounced visa) in 5- 7 BUSINESS days. I didn’t go either of those route but the normal route wasn’t too bad.
My normal application took about 12-15 total days to be processed and I picked it up from the same place I dropped it off, you can have it couriered (£14.95).
Unlike the British Visa, you DO need 2 passport pictures for your Spanish application and a BOAT LOAD of information (supporting documents to prove WHY you need to be in Spain.
You also need to Photocopy ALL the pages of your 2 most recent passports. Yes you read right, Photocopy ALL the pages (not all the used pages but ALL the pages of your 2 most recently used passports).
The Spanish Visa is a Schengen visa which means once you have the visa (if you opted for Multiple entries) you can enter into any country in Europe (Except UK of course). But Schengen about that life, you need to show WHY you want to be
where you say you want to be else “BANANA”!
As I was going specifically for the Wedding, although I would have loved to tour the surrounding areas I did not want to give them an excuse to “bounce me visa” so I only opted for a single entry (mi np3 asem/I don’t want trouble). I plan to go later though and we can tour the
other surrounding areas, for now, however, we will party in Spain !!!
There is a Premium lounge section here as well and unlike the British side I say TAKE IT!!! For GHC 40 you are in and out of there in about 45 minutes (depending on the day and time you pick). I went mid morning (no appointment times its first come first serve and they only serve
the first 20 people so keep that in mind). Also unlike the other countries Spain did not include an interview. I believe for Italy you put in your paperwork then get a day to come back for the Interview. The total visa fee for the single entry plus Premium lounge came to GHC 385.00 ($96.25)