The Invite letter is the most important document for the business visa application. You cannot apply for a business visa unless the destination entity (own company branch)/client invites the employee for a purpose which is mostly for a meeting/discussion or anything which doesn’t involve any productive work. This also depends on the country guidelines as some of them might allow productive work for a shorter period on a business visas well. Do check the individual country guidelines for the activities allowed before applying for the visa.

Few pointers while preparing the invite letter

  1. Brief details about the destination company, it can include the latest achievements (Many of the consular officers may not know about your company)
  2. Employee Details (Name {As per the Passport}, Designation, Travel Start and End Date, Location of Visit, Purpose, Sponsor details & POC (Point of Contact) details at the destination country)
    • In terms of purpose, many of the letters that are submitted to the consulate just mentions business meetings, which is incorrect. Please remember there are millions of business visa applications and no two applicants will have the same purpose. So please give at least a line or two about the actual business meeting (Eg: To attend the annual review meeting to discuss the goals for the next financial year). Be very specific and do not use the generic word which is the ultimate mistake that you can do on an invite letter.
    • POC (Point of contact) details at the destination – The contact details of the POC at the destination is who knows about the employee’s visit in the country. Do include the Name, Designation, official email address, office direct number along with personal contact number. If immigration officer at the destination airport has to verify, most of the time the flight lands at odd hours where the person may not be in the office. Hence it helps to have the direct personal number otherwise, the employee will be detained at the airport till they are able to verify through the local POC.
    • Travel Dates – Please put the exact start and end date, it cannot be approximate timelines like months or weeks, if the travel dates are not finalized please do not travel or apply for a visa.
  3. Day wise itinerary – This is a good practice to include it in the invite letter, but if this is more than a week and the letter exceeds a page or two then, would recommend to add this as an addendum to the invite letter. This is another great help to the consular officers to make a quick decision
  4. Giving Guarantee – (Taking responsibility) to ensure the employee is repatriated back as per the expected return date and ensuring employee doesn’t overstay in the destination country

Please note there are times employer/employee do not want to give as much details as possible as they think they are entitled to get the visa without providing any adequate details

Do remember the consular officers have a higher responsibility to ensure they allow only the genuine visitors in the country and they cannot afford anyone who tries to enter the country illegally or someone who might have a plan to harm their citizens. You might be the VVIP in your company but it doesn’t matter to them as they are just doing their job to ensure they approve the right ones. All your information provided to the consulate is confidential hence please help them to provide as much as details and in turn that will help them to make a quicker and right decision.

Best wishes for a safe and compliant business trip….

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