SJ Mobilità – Blog

October 3, 2020

Passport – Things to keep in mind for International travel

Filed under: Travel,Visa — jani @ 7:56 pm

About Passport:

It is a travel document, usually issued by a country’s government to its citizens, that certifies the identity and nationality of its holder primarily for the purpose of international travel. In India passport is usually issued for 10 years for Adults and 5 years for minors.

Validity Requirement:

When you apply for the short visit visas to the consulate, ideally it has to be valid for at least 6 months from the return travel date to ensure you have a smooth travel to the destination country. Some countries might ask for 6 months validity from the travel start date or even for a year. Do check the passport validity requirements before you apply for visas and then before you travel.

It’s not just the validity period, it also has to be the number of empty pages available in the passport. Ideally for short visit visas, it has to have at least 2-4 pages being completely empty sans even the immigration stamps. For work permits, some countries require 4-8 pages being empty. Some of the countries like UK, might require having minimum of 2 pages (front and back of the single paper to be empty) due to the security codes present on the visa vignette, otherwise they cannot stamp the visas). Ideally ensure at least 2-3 papers of the passport to be empty on both sides of the respective papers.

In terms of work permit applications, countries like US/Europe, it can be valid from few months to 1 year. For these countries, visa is not issued as per passport validity and they go ahead and issue the maximum period of the work permit from 1 year/4 years/10 years. Only requirement for them is passport has to be valid until the complete process is done. When the passport expires before the visa validity, you can apply for a new passport. When you travel all that you need is to ensure, you carry both old and new passports since the work permit/visas are in the old passport.

For countries like Europe/few Asian countries, there is post landing formalities for work permit as the residence/work permit gets stamped only after landing in the destination country. In this case passport cannot expire until the post landing formalities are done. If it expires before landing, then you might have to reapply for the passport and have to reapply for the work permit with the new passport, which again adds unnecessary cost to the corporate/individual.

For countries like Malaysia, the passport has to be valid for full 2 years in order to get the maximum period to be issued, as the work permits (EP) are issued for a maximum of for 2 years. If you don’t have the 2 years validity, then your work permit gets issued only until the passport validity date, which means, you have to reapply for the work permit, once your new passport comes through which would add additional cost for you.

For countries like Singapore, the visa has to be transferred to the new passport, if the old passport expires and your visa is still valid. This also adds additional cost to you, as Singapore doesn’t accept travelling with the visa in the expired passport, even if you carry the new passport along with it.

Physical Condition:

Passport cannot be physically damaged while applying for visa application specially while travelling.

Ensure the passport is kept safe, so that physically it’s not damaged.

The paper from the passport cannot be torn no matter what.

You/your kids cannot scribble on the passports.

Ensure, if the lamination from bio or address page is coming off, ensure to get a new passport.

If there is any accidental physical damage to the passport, better get a new passport and travel or else you might get into problems at the destination country

It’ s also important that you ensure, the passport is not damaged while travelling, then there is a possibility of you getting stuck at the destination, until your new passport comes through.

It’s better to apply passport in your home country which might be easier than applying at the destination.

Happy Travelling…and Stay Safe…..

July 3, 2020

How to Read Different Visas

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 12:50 pm

There are visas which are read in different ways depending on the countries:

1st –  These are Straightforward Visas. For example UK, USA visas, where you have a visa validity start (Valid from) and end date (Valid Until) which is self-explanatory. The visa is valid for a specific period of time and you have to travel and return within that period.

2nd  – These are similar to Schengen visas, where you have a start and end date of validity (Valid From and To) and also there is duration of stay in Days along with number of entries. This means you can travel within that specific period of time but the duration cannot exceed the total number of days granted. For Example, Duration (start and end date) might be granted for 6 months and days might be given only 30 days, which means within that 6 month period, you can stay in the country only for 30 days only.

Besides you also have to check the number of entries granted. It can be single, double or MULT (multiple), so if there is single entry issued then you can travel only once and your stay cannot exceed 30 days. If double entry is granted, you can make 2 trips and the duration combining both travels cannot exceed 30 days. For multiple you can make multiple trips but cumulative duration of stay cannot exceed 30 days.

3rd  – These are entry visas, where you have a start and end date (issue and expiry date) and there is also remarks where specific duration is granted, most of the time it’s issued for 30 days or more, depending on the country. In this case, you can travel any day as long as, it’s within the validity period, however you can return even after the expiry date of the visa and you cannot exceed 30 days or the number of days granted. In short you need to land in the destination within the validity period but return can be before or after the visa expiry date, but ensure to comply with the duration granted for the trip.

In brief when you travel, please don’t stay in the country till the last day of the expiry date, always keep few days buffer to keep any natural calamities/delay. If you end up on the last expiry date and you are stuck at the airport, do remember being a foreign national you have to procure an emergency visa and then travel, this is going to complicate the situation further.

If you need any further advice, am just an e-mail away, do reach out to me at

July 2, 2020

Schengen Visa Compliance

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 5:55 pm

Many of us are aware that the short term visit visa (Tourist/Business) which is issued by any of the Schengen countries can be used to travel to other Schengen countries as well. The following countries come under the Schengen Region: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

There is also a Schengen visa compliance that needs to kept in mind before you choose to apply for visa.

  • First apply to the particular Schengen country where you intend to visit.
  • 2nd point – if you happen to travel to multiple Schengen countries on a same visit, then choose the country where you are spending most number of days.
  • 3rd point – if you are travelling to multiple countries and duration for each country is the same, then apply to the country where you are landing first.

The greatest mistake that most of the applicants make is to apply for the country that has less processing time than the actual country that you wish to travel. This is the biggest mistake that you can make and it’s a Non-Compliance to the Schengen visa policies. Please never do that. Make the right decision and apply at the right consulate for a safe and compliant travel.

Good luck.

If you need any help, do reach out to

July 1, 2020

Why should you Re-Validate before Signing the Visa Application

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 6:07 pm

This is an article for all those who have assistants to help you out with your application like corporate honchos/celebrities. Many of the times I have noticed that you sign the application but don’t verify whether the application details are filled out correctly by your assistants.

Mostly we have seen that the Previous Travel or Rejection history of the applicant gets missed out or is incorrect. Even though the mistake is not intentional, if the application is submitted with incorrect details it can get you banned. There is no apology or sorry that will help you to get the ban revoked.

To give an example, Once there was a top management employee whose application got rejected because he didn’t disclose that his previous application for the same country had been rejected earlier. His secretary filled up the form. She wasn’t aware of the fact and missed disclosing the previous rejection details. During the verification of the application the consulate found evidence of the earlier rejection and his application got rejected again due to incorrect/false information being provided.

My advice, please fill up your application by yourself, if not at least verify the details before signing if it is filled by someone else. When you sign the application, you are certifying that you have checked that the application details are correct, accurate and no false details are provided. Treat it like a legal contract, you would never sign a contract without reading it and the same is the case with your application.

If you need any help, am just an e-mail away, do reach out to me at

June 30, 2020

Can I Reapply if my Visa Application is Rejected?

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 5:24 pm

Many of the applicants have one and the same question when their application is rejected by the consulate. Can I reapply? Or When can I reapply?

The answer is, it depends on which category of visa that you had applied and the reason why it got rejected. Most of the tourist/business visa application gets rejected due to lack of sufficient  documents as per the checklist. If that is the case, then you always can reapply by providing the missing documents along with all the documents that you had submitted earlier. Yes, you have to reapply as fresh application and yes, you need to pay your fees again and your earlier fees are not going to be refunded. Hence ensure that you validate and verify before submitting the application to avoid such rejections.

If the application gets rejected for work permit cases, few can be reapplied immediately and there are few where you have to wait for a certain period (ex: cool off period of 1 year). The cool off period varies from country to country.

The third and final scenario, when your application gets rejected because you have given the false information. There are times it may be intentional or sometimes it might have been a overlooked mistake. Irrespective of that, if the rejection is due to false details, whether it’s intentional or not, Sorry you cannot reapply as you might have got banned. The ban period depends on the country, for example UK bans for 10 years. Yes, 10 YEARS.

Hence my advice, ensure NEVER, EVER submit a fraudulent application or provide any false details. Please don’t think you will escape the eyes of the consular officers. They are trained well enough to pick up those.

Be honest with your application, that’s going to help you with a good track record for your future visa applications with a positive outcome

Best of luck

If you need any help, am just an e-mail away, I can be reached at

June 29, 2020

Importance of complying with Consular Checklist

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 4:33 pm

Consulate requires different documents for different categories of visas. There are some countries where  the consulate checklist differs with the jurisdiction. Hence it’s important to ensure to comply by the consular checklist as per the respective jurisdiction.

There are multiple concerns raised by the applicants in terms of sharing the documents

  • Why does the consulate need these many documents?
  • I am a corporate honcho and I don’t want to share my financial documents
  • Sense of entitlement that the consulate has to approve
  • Celebrities from different fields refusing to share any documents thinking they are entitled for a blanket approval

You might be a VVIP in your country, but remember consular officers do not know who you are as they are from different country, don’t expect everyone to know about you even in your own country

To make it simpler, no matter who you are, share all the documents requested by the consulate as you do not want to get a rejection due to that

You are not entitled for any visas unless you comply with the country guidelines and consular requirements, hence ensure to share as much as relevant detail possible to get the positive outcome

The officer has every right to reject an application if you have not provided the documents as per the required checklist

If you need help in terms of the right document , do reach out to

June 26, 2020

Importance of Self Supporting Letter with a Personal Visa Application

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 5:15 am

The common thing that I notice with most of the applicants are the fear of rejection when applying and then anger if the application is rejected.

Usually people are more worried/fearful when applying for a visa to US/UK & Europe rather than Asian countries.

But you need not fear if your application is genuine. If it’s not genuine then don’t even bother to apply for the visa. If you think you will get away with it, you are mistaken. The consular officers are trained to identify such fradulent applications.

There are times however when the documents may not be able to give a clear picture to them to justify why the application should be approved. That’s why it helps if you can add more details in a self supporting letter that gives a clear picture of why the application should be approved.

The self supporting letter should include the below details:

  • Passport details
  • Employment details Evidence (Employment id/HR letter)
  • Financial Supporting Documents (Pay slips/bank statement where salary is credited)
  • Day wise itinerary (from the day you land till the day you depart at the destination)
  • Flight booking confirmation
  • Hotel booking confirmation for all the days
  • Medical Insurance for the entire duration (Recommended)
  • If you are invited by someone locally, then share their passport/visa details and their credentials along with their contact number
  • Sponsorship letter if the local sponsor is sponsoring your trips.

Please note that the supporting letter should only include relevant details and not become too long and unreadable. There are also people who are hesitant to share the flight/hotel confirmation as they don’t want to book before the visa issuance. My advice is that if you are actually planning to travel then please go ahead and book but ensure you apply for a visa at least before 90 days, so that you have time to react in case of delays etc or reapply in case your application gets rejected. It is always recommended that you book flights that allow schedule changes or cancellation in case you need to make changes.

If you need help to prepare the supporting letter , do reach out to

June 25, 2020

Facing US Consular interview

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 2:25 pm

Many of us are petrified to go to the US consulate for a visa interview as there are many horror stories about the questions asked and how difficult the whole process is. But that is not the case, as long as you are applying for a genuine reason and are not falsifying any data then you have a good chance.

The criteria of approval is actually very simple, basically they check if you are going to the US for the reason you gave and can support yourself while you are interviewed by the consular officer. For non-immigrant visa’s they also look at how likely you are to return and not overstay your visa.

You should be prepared to answer the following questions about your trip and yourself before you visit the consulate:

  • Employer name
  • Your designation
  • Purpose of travel
  • Annual Salary
  • Which visa category you are applying under?
  • Where are you going? (City & State not USA, the officer knows you are going to US that’s the  reason you are at the US consulate)
  • Duration – Be precise with the dates
  • Why is it important for you to travel?
  • Will you be getting paid in US?
  • If you are visiting the client, then their details
  • Who is sponsoring the trip and their details

Important notes to keep in mind during the interview:

  • Concentrate on the questions asked.
  •  Answer the questions clearly.
  •  Keep it short & to the point while ensuring you provide all relevant details
  •  Respect their time
  •  Be genuine
  •  Be transparent
  •  Be honest

Being prepared with the above details will help you to get a positive outcome

Best of luck.

If you need help how to help the employees for the consular interview, do reach out to

June 24, 2020

Personal Interview with Non US Consulates

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 8:28 am

When you apply for a visa for countries other than the US, their consulates can ask you to visit them in person for an interview. There is no need to worry if you are called for a personal interview as this could be for various reasons. For example it’s mandatory to have a personal interview in person or through video calling if you are applying for a visa to Argentina. In the same way, Other consulates do the same based on various internal criteria (including but not limited to random selection).

It’s imperative that the employee prepares himself/herself on the below questions before you visit/have a call with the consulate:

Employer name

Your designation

Annual Salary

Which visa category you are applying

Where are you going? (Exact location in the destination country)

Purpose of travel

Duration (Dates)

Important notes to keep in mind:

Respect their time

Concentrate on the questions asked

Answer the questions clearly

Keep it short, however ensure to answer all the details required for the officer to make a decision

Be genuine / Transparent & Honest

If you need help on how to prepare the employees for the consular interview, do reach out to

June 19, 2020

NOC (No Objection Certificate) to the Consulate

Filed under: Visa — jani @ 4:44 am

NOC is a document which is shared to the consulate by the employer while filing the personal visa application of the employee. The sole purpose of this letter is to provide no objection for the employee’s travel as it’s personal. Some of the consulates do require this document.

Do keep the below pointers while issuing the NOC:

  • Employee Details (Name {As per the Passport}, Date of Joining and Current Designation)
  • Work Address (Complete address)
  • Approved leave details as per the travel dates
  • Local HR SPOC details (A person who can verify the details mentioned in the documents provided to the consulate)

It always helps to give as much detail as possible to the consular officers and be transparent with the application details

If you need any further support in preparing the right consular documents, reach out to

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