Blue, Red, but Green. Anything but Green!
Yes we know how that feels and how much owning a green passport is a travel lover’s biggest burden. So much paperwork. So much planning. And then the biggest worry: visa application. Denied or Approved. Most people have their hearts thumping as they open their package nervously, hoping that their application has been granted, like it’s a job/school application. And then there’s all the money spent and the treatment at immigration because of the color of your passport.
There’s no denying it is that much harder with a green Nigerian passport to fulfill your wanderlust, especially when travelling from Nigeria. You can’t just get up and go. However, we believe that shouldn’t stop you. A good number of the members of the TripZapp team are green passport holders and still make their way around the world. So here are a few tips we’ve put together to help with the daunting visa problem.
- Plan Ahead:
This is the most important tip of all and sadly a lot of Nigerian’s Achilles’ heel since we like to wait last minute. But with a green passport, it is absolutely necessary to plan way ahead of your trip to allow enough time for visa processing. Planning and making visa arrangements on time helps you avoid the risk of providing incorrect or insufficient documentation for your visa application or depending on quack agents who promise shortcuts which happens as you tend to rush or get desperate as your travel date approaches. So decide a date for your trip and begin your visa processing at least 2 months ahead. It’s so much less stressful without the pressure of knowing your travel date is coming up soon.
2. Do It Yourself:
Applying for a visa isn’t really as difficult as it is made to seem. Most of the time you don’t need an agent, you can do it yourself. All the information you need to apply for a visa can be found online now or you can call the consulate for information. They actually pick up and are quite helpful. Just follow the instructions given by the embassy and ALWAYS indicate strong ties to your country so you don’t appear to be a flight risk. It is safer to apply by yourself but if you are totally clueless about visa processing and what to look out for, please use an agent but ALWAYS check through your documents to ensure they are all yours and are in order to avoid rejection or worse-a Ban.
3. Test the waters:
If you are an adult newbie traveller, then you are likely to face more visa scrutiny than other people. The embassies have no information to determine your credibility or likelihood of your return so you are likely to face rejections if you attempt the more stringent embassies like USA, UK, or a Schengen State. Seems like no way around? Here’s how to get around that problem. Try out other countries first. There are a lot of gorgeous countries that are easy travel to with a green passport (e.g Dubai or South Africa) and some that don’t require a visa at all such as Ghana, Tanzania and Mauritius. Start with those and collect some stamps. This will give you some credibility when you apply to the tougher embassies. Besides who says you need to visit those countries, there’s the rest of the world you have yet to explore.
4. Get a Passport Wallet:
Do you get those subtle glances when you're walking down the immigration check point with your green passport or the extra scrutiny from immigration officers? That can be avoided by getting yourself a passport wallet. No one needs to know what passport you are carrying till they open it. Plus it can make for a very stylish fashion accessory. You can shop one of ours soon.
So don’t let the color of your passport stop you. Go see the world!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts, tips or your green passport tales (We all have ‘em)