Thursday, October 30, 2008

WHM visa: 6 basic documents needed

It often amazes me when I come across certain queries on the net, posted by aspiring Working Holidaymakers. They sent out questions asking for minimum bank balance and application procedure and interview techniques. One person even wanted a copy of holiday plan that he can duplicate!

I am completely flummoxed... How can anybody just post questions on a forum and EXPECT magic solutions to be offered to them, if they are not even willing to do basic research? A visa is a serious matter. It's not a lottery or a charity. You are entering alien domain, another country and naturally, you need to be prepared. Wouldn't you prepare before taking an exam? And instead of relying on somebody's views, it is always best to do the research by yourself.

But then, not all people might have unlimited access to internet (may be you are based in a town where internet speed is not reliable) - nor can many have the leisure of time to sit for weeks or months and do research before actually applying (which is what I did). So, for those people who genuinely do not know where to start, please find below the 6 basic documents you need to apply for WHM.


If you want to browse a comprehensive site on Working Holidaymaker visas of the world, go to


1. A bank balance of a min. 5000 pounds - original bank statement shd be given.
The UK site says it is min. 2600 pounds, but I know lots who got rejected after showing that amount… so it is always better to show more. Even if you have a sponsor, the amount shd be in YOUR account... recently, my friend got rejected because her sponsor's (her father’s) money, over 10k pounds, was not in HER account.

2. Detailed holiday plan
I mean, DETAILED... bcos if the holiday plan is very brief or general, the visa officers will immediately conclude that the applicant is not very serious abt holidaying in UK… they will decide that you want to go to work.

3. Future job offer
from existing/new employer OR letter from your parent/husband/wife/fiancée saying that you will return OR similar (up to your personal situation)

4. A one-way flight ticket (mandatory) or a return flight ticket (excellent)
Yes, you have to do this, it’s a great way of proving that you are returning back. You definitely need to put aside the amount and take this step if you badly want to get the WHM visa. Many have got the visa without keeping this, but I am talking about current times where things are complicated, and esp. in India, they expect return flight ticket printouts.

5. Personal covering letter with a promise to return back.
This is important. I heard it from a lot of consultants that most applicants just keep the required documents. Trust me, it pays to to write polite introduction letter about yourself. It might make the officer know more about you and then make a decision.

6. Proof of accommodation.
If you don't know anybody, a confirmed booking at a hotel or a hostel - for a minimum of 2-4 weeks - is more than enough. If you do have relatives' place to stay, get them to give appropiate sponsorship letters, including council tax documents. Looking back, I see that most of my friends had problems only when they showed letters from their relatives offering them free lodging and boarding in UK!


The above 6 things are COMPULSORY, no matter what other tells you, you HAVE to have these in your documents folder (along with your completed application form, passport, and photos)

You are, of course, free to keep more documents that might help your case. Many say that a NOC letter from current employer is a big plus (however, you can get it only if you have a good rapport with your superior!). Other documents that might help are graduation certificates, PF account proof, savings scheme certificates, property documents or FD passbooks (in your name preferably) - all in ORIGINAL.

If you want to browse a comprehensive site on Working Holidaymaker visas of the world, go to

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Diwali!

I stood in my rooftop terrace and watched in glee as colourful fireworks exploded on th sky above. They were like mini-rocket bombs! I usually find it difficult to laugh while coughing in all that cracker smoke, but no one can resist smiling at the colours above... specks of green, red and gold dotting the sky. My legs refused to move, even though I realised that it was actually dangerous to stand like this, barefoot and clothed in a cotton dress. It was like being in a battlefield, with all the sounds and smoke - a happy battlefield, if there is one!

After half an hour, I finally came downstairs and sat before the comp. I tried to concentrate and finish my work, I had a few deadlines at work... had to finish a couple of stories for the magazine I was working for, yet, it was difficult to. The sounds of firecrackers were defeaning... and I, who can't work if a mosquito burped loudly, didn't mind it at all!

Perhaps that's Diwali. It catches upon you, and you just can't avoid it. I am not big of festivals, but this one is very tough to ignore.

Generally I make a point never to go out during Diwali season... you never know when you are going to step on a landmine, oops sorry, firecracker. But Diwali comes to you... the way you start when an especially loud cracker goes off, when your pet hides under the bed for 3 continious days, when you feast on sweets and dosas non stop, when you get a weekday off from work, when kids ... Diwali is there in your life.