Sometimes, even though you have done everything correctly, your visa will not work for a specific amount of time. This is called a processing period.
Most visas have a very short processing period before they can be used. For example, most working visas allow you to begin employment immediately after approval. With some student visa types, you are able to start school right away!
Other less urgent visas may require you to wait several days or weeks until you can use the document. These longer term delays are much more common with higher priority documents like those that apply for entry into Australia as a visitor.
There are a few reasons why an individual might experience a long delay in using their visa. It could be due to something beyond their control (like a lost passport) or it might indicate that someone needs to verify the information on the visa before it can be used. This can mean verifying your employer’s identity, proof of residence such as a lease or house payment, etc.
This article will discuss what things you can do when your visa is experiencing a prolonged stay. But first, let us talk about how to know if your visa is still valid so you don’t need to waste any money traveling while it isn’t working for you.
It is your responsibility as an international traveler to make sure that you know what country you are in and how long you will be there. You also have a duty to ensure that your visa is still valid while you are abroad. If it has expired, you cannot enter the country!
If you need to visit another country, you must first confirm that your current visa does not expire before you travel. This can easily be done by contacting the nearest diplomatic mission of the country you intend to visit.
They will be able to tell you whether your visa is expiring at its next renewal date. Sometimes this information is available through mail; other times, you have to call them directly to find out when it expires.
It’s best to get this info well in advance of your intended trip so that you have time to prepare. Diplomatic missions usually keep tabs on their citizens’ traveling plans, so don’t worry about oversharing details with others unless you want to hear “I wonder why he/she doesn’t trust us.”
Another way to verify visa status is to use Vistapedia, a website dedicated to helping travelers learn more about the world’s countries. You can go to Vistapedia and click on the link for ‘Country Reports – United States’ to read more about our nation’s consulates around the globe.
Make sure that you have checked your passport recently! If it is running low on expiration date, then there could be issues with your current visa.
It’s best to make an appointment at your local VISA office or through their website so that you can check in person and they can confirm all of your documents.
You may also get some tips about how to fix your visa situation and what might need to be done next.
If your passport has only one week left until it expires, this could mean trouble!
Reminder: never pay any money online for visas or other document services! It is very easy to scam people and steal their identity, even from well-known companies.
We recommend using trustable sources instead like visiting your local embassy or consulate, speaking with someone directly connected to international affairs, and/or looking up “how to verify visa status” on Google.
It makes sense that when you go through airport security, they check both your personal belongings and your passports. The same goes for when you board the flight- those are important documents!
If you do not have your visa in your passport, then the airline will need to be aware of this before flying. They can deny you boarding or even a refund because of this!
It’s also their responsibility to keep you off the plane while they figure out what happened to your visa. This could mean missing the next leg of your trip or even being denied entry into the country altogether.
Luckily, there are some helpful steps you can take to determine if your visa has been processed. Here are them:
Check your current expiration date on your visa
Make sure it is still valid and functioning by confirming all details such as number, city, state and country.
Verify that it is still in your passport using the exact name and setting up an appointment at your nearest VFS (visa facilites) location. If you cannot confirm this information, then your visa may have expired.
Logically speaking, if your visa expires, you would not be allowed to enter the country so this test should always come first.
It’s very important to make sure that you don’t have an expiry date for your visa, or it could be considered fraudulent.
If your visa has what's called a “use by” date, this means there are specific times when it will expire. For example, if yours says October 2017, then it'll actually start working once November comes around!
So if you find out that it’s about to expire at some point in the future, give yourself a few more weeks before assuming something wrong has happened.
Make sure you have checked all of your cards recently! If you do not see any changes, then it is likely that your cards are working and there is no issue with processing.
However, you should still check your bank statements as some banks may take longer than usual to process transactions. It could be due to many reasons, but mostly because they need to verify the information given by the buyer before updating their records.
This also applies to when you put money onto your card- make sure that it has been verified! Credit card companies usually ask for your name, address, phone number, and proof of identification in order to add funds to the account.
Sometimes, your credit card company will require you to pay an additional fee to process your visa. This is not always mentioned in detail when you apply for the card so it may be hard to know if this applies to you!
Usually, these extra processing fees are for another country where your card was used or to verify your identity. However, there is one very common cause of a visa application taking longer than expected- most people do not know what a “Visa Processing” means!
If you find that your bank has sent you an email stating that your visa has been processed but you have still heard nothing from VISA, check out our article dedicated to how to know if your visa has actually gone through! In that article, we talk about some potential reasons why you might hear back from them later.
Sometimes, unfortunately, things take longer than expected at the financial institution where your credit card was originally accepted. This is very common when there are seasonal or temporary lulls in business for an organization.
Since most major banks have their own internal systems for processing refunds, expiration dates, and other important information, they can sometimes run into issues during this period.
It’s also possible that personal reasons such as illness may play a role. Many of these institutions have staff members who work part-time as well, so it’s not necessarily known how much time each individual has to devote to customer service.
If you notice a significant delay while using your card, make sure to contact the issuer immediately! They might be able to offer some help.
Recently, there have been many reports of stolen credit cards that are being used to purchase merchandise online or in-store. Companies such as Shopzilla and Verified Identity Protection Services (VIP) can help you determine if this is happening with your account!
By adding an additional layer of security to your financial accounts, VIP and others can detect when someone else uses your information for shopping.
By speaking directly with the bank that handles your VISA card, they can also confirm whether your card was successfully hacked and/or reported. If it was not, then there may be other ways to try and prevent fraud!
These companies will also work to ensure that no one using your info gets any kind of special treatment while buying things. For example, people who use your details might receive lower prices than usual because vendors know they cannot risk getting ripped off.