Jetsanza.com puts together this piece as part of its effort to make traveling easy, safe and affordable by providing the needed guidance to assist travelers do away with Visa Contractors/Connection men and the associated problems.
Bank Statement is considered as the major document when it comes to visa application though some countries do not place much emphasis on it.
Many are always left asking, how much balance is OKAY? Maintaining a good balance in bank accounts is one of the many funny things Ghanaians do all because of travel visas.
While some countries may require you to have certain amount of money in your bank account, your personal circumstances may be used by other countries to determine if you have enough.
NOTE that this article treats all countries in general and separate articles for each country will be posted later on.
The amount of bank balance has to do with many factors and your conscience should be able to tell you if you have enough funds in your account.
Your balance and your travel
The amount of money you intend to spend on your trip can tell if your bank balance is OKAY or NOT. If you intend spending GHS10,000, and you only have GHS15,000, this won’t be enough. Though some countries like South Africa won’t put this into consideration, generally, such statement isn’t considered enough because your travel is taking almost all your savings.
In Ghana, where we find ourselves, one is expected to have enough money to pay for travel cost and have more left that he will return home to. Out there, they even travel on credit cards, monies that they are yet to make. May be we are just not lucky. The embassies decide for us how to use our finances when it comes to traveling.
So ask yourself: looking at my balance and travel cost, will the visa officer see it wise for me to spend such money on a vacation? Your answer tells you that you have enough funds or not.
What’s your status?
If you are single with no dependents, then much would not be required from you. If you have other people to take care off, like your spouse, kids, and others, then you will still have to ask yourself if it makes sense to spend that much from your savings as someone with such responsibilities? If your answer is NO, then your balance isn’t okay.
Example: If you have three kids, and your spouse is unemployed, it makes no sense to spend GHS15,000 on a vacation while you have only GHS30,000. It’s only people with illegal intentions who will use the entire family savings for such trip. You are not expected to have a specific amount but once you consider your dependents and your entire savings, you should able to know if it’s the right time to embark on a vacation. The case is different from someone who is single, employed with no dependents. It’s enough for such person.
How much money is available to you monthly to be saved or spent? After deducting your rent, living cost, amount spent on dependents, how much money are you left with? What multiples of the money left are you spending on your trip? If after deducting all these and you are left with GHS 500, and you are spending GHS 15,000 on your trip, it means you are spending 30 months savings on your holiday. It’s advisable not to spend more than three months savings on a vacation.
So no matter how much you have in your account, it’s your disposable income that’s considered. If you have GHS200,000 and currently earn GHS200 monthly, you have no money. Nothing shows that you will return to Ghana to that GHS200 job.
As the country’s economic troubles deepen, the more careful people are with their finances. So have a second thought about the current economic situation, take a look at your bank balance, then ask yourself if it’s wise to spend X amount of money from your balance for a trip.
Looking at the present economic status of Ghana, it’s not likely for a self-employed person with GHS20,000 to embark on a GHS10,000 vacation. That’s like collapsing whatever business you are doing just for a vacation. Only embassies who do not place so much emphasis on bank statements won’t have problem with this. In the case of a salaried worker, this will be different.
Source of income
It’s not always about the balance in your account but also where the money is coming from. Though most embassies do not pay attention to transactions on a bank statement, the United Kingdom for instance may want to know where each cedi came from. So if you are in the habit of seeking for funds from friends to run your bank account, STOP. The moment you think of depositing funds that do not belong to you, it means you don’t have enough. You may want to consider a destination that won’t require much of your savings.
No matter how much money you have in your account, whether GHS 30,000 or GHS 3,000,000, make sure you have provided enough evidence of the source of those funds. It better to explain why you don’t have money in your account at the time of making application and provide evidence of funds that would be available to you before your travel.
Fixed Deposits, Treasury Bills and other investments are documents that can be added to a bank statement as proof of your financial status.
AS said earlier on, bank statements requirement varies from country to country. But in general, once you ask yourself certain questions, your conscience should be able to tell you that you have enough or not.
QUESTION: How much am I able to save each month? Am I spending savings of too many months on this vacation?
ANSWER: YES means you don’t have enough. NOT REALLY means you have enough, NO means you have more than enough.
QUESTION: Considering my present job, my income, and money in my account now, will anyone doubt that I’ll return back home?
ANSWER: YES means you don’t have enough, NO means you have enough.
QUESTION: I took money from friends to run my bank account. Looking at my income and the balance in the account now, will anyone believe that the funds are truly mine?
ANSWER: YES means your statement makes sense, NO means it doesn’t and everyone will doubt funds are really yours.
QUESTION: The way Ghana is HOT, does it make sense for me to spend X amount on holiday considering the money in my account?
ANSWER: YES means you have enough, NO means you don’t.
The above is on visa application in general and some countries may consider other things well. Jetsanza.com will treat the individual countries in subsequent articles. I’ll also post on sponsored applicants as well.