3 Common Visa Processing Hold Ups

Monday, June 8, 2015

Preparing for travel or relocation abroad is a time-intensive process that involves plenty of paperwork and planning. When dealing with visa processing, there are various hold ups you may be faced with that can hinder your departure plans. Of all the scenarios that can occur, there are three very common visa processing hold ups that you should prepare for in the event that they come your way.


All government visa-processing agencies are busy with cases to process. It is very common that you will be on a waiting list for your visa or travel documents to be completed. Depending on the size of cases before yours, this will greatly affect how long it takes to get your case processed. The more legible you complete the required documents and the more essential documents you include with your file, the better chances you have of getting your visa processed quickly without any hold ups. If you find that it has taken longer than the advertised time for your visa application, it is always a good idea to email the government agency in charge of your file. Keeping track of your postal package and bank account will also be a good indicator for when your file has been received and paid for.

Every so often there are human errors that can occur when dealing with visa applications. Processing delays can happen if your file gets lost in the system or your application has been sent to the wrong address. If you have moved and you have not updated your new mailing address, there is a chance that your application can get lost in the mail or sent to your old address. If this is the case, make sure to have all your mail forwarded to your new address and check in with the local post office to see if they are holding any of your mail. If changes to your address or other important information has occurred after filing your visa application, get in contact with the government visa and passport agency to update your information. If you are suspicious of your file getting lost or misplaced, make sure to contact the visa-processing agency by email or by telephone if they have a customer service line. If your file has been lost, you want to give yourself enough time to either get a refund or start a new application before your intended dates of travel.


With some visas, you may receive a letter from the visa and passport agency asking you to respond or send them supplementary documents. If you haven’t corresponded in the timeframe requested for important documents, your case will be delayed. If you are on holiday or are unable to respond in the specified timeframe for various other reasons, you should plan ahead so that a trusted friend or family member can mail off any required documents for you. In the case a signature is required, you may be able to request an extension on the deadline for your response.


Although there are no definite dates that you can be given of when to expect your completed visa application back—as processing times vary depending on your circumstances—there are ways to manage your visa application and keep track of its status. You should be able to reach the government agency in charge of your visa application via email, but keep in mind that the response time may be quite slow due to high customer inquiry volume. Try to stay patient in the time it takes to get your visa application back, but if you feel you will not have your documents returned to you by the date of your intended travel, you may need to contact the visa application agency frequently or hire an attorney to investigate your case.