The December Visa Bulletin is issued twice a year to both visa holders and non-holders, offering them information on various issues and changes to the visa system. This includes issues such as the increase in penalties for fraud, the extension of credit limits to spouses, and new requirements for proving citizenship or identity. This article will focus on the latter issue of proof of identity when applying for any type of visa. Many people have become increasingly aware of the need to prove their identity when shopping online and using other financial services. As well as this increase in awareness, there has also been an increase in cases where fraudsters have used false details to apply for their own cards and have then been refused.
A person's identity is often the basis of their trustworthiness and in some cases can be the difference between getting credit and not getting credit. For this reason, credit and debit card fraudsters target those who have poor credit histories. One way they do this is by asking questions about your financial history, checking to see if you have had any recent credit transactions. Another method is to use what are called “phantom numbers” on credit and debit cards to obtain credit without actually using your name or details. This is one of the ways that criminals obtain cards and use your name, with your money and identity being used for their own benefits.
This problem has been given its name, phishing, and it needs to be addressed. In the UK we have seen a significant increase in the use of social media websites, including Twitter and Facebook, to try and trick those who are thinking about applying for their own cards. This process has been dubbed as “phantom number harvests”. There are some steps that you can take to reduce the risk of your identity being stolen. Below we will look at some of the steps that you can take to reduce the risk that your account could be hacked.
Firstly, before you apply for a UK visa or any other type of visa you need to make sure you have a copy of your identification, your employment proof, your bank statement, and your date of birth. These documents need to be original copies. You should never copy them from someone else's computer, as this will be illegal and you run the risk of committing identity fraud. You need to provide evidence that you are who you say you are. You can provide this evidence by photocopying it from your bank statement, a picture ID, or a recorded signature.
After you have submitted your application you will then need to wait around two weeks for your verification email to come through from your bank. Your bank should send you a reply email informing you that your application was successful. If you do not get a reply then you should call the bank to find out whether the application was rejected due to your personal details being too outdated. This is an easy mistake to make, especially as the last time you checked you usually had a fresh profile. To avoid being denied for credit, you should make sure your details are as up to date as possible.
Finally, if you want to be sure that you are able to receive a Christmas visa, you need to know how to apply in time. It is highly unlikely that any UK immigration authorities will be free for the Christmas season, meaning you need to start early to secure your visa. You should apply between September and December. You should also not leave it until the end of November to apply for your normal seasonal visa. The visa bulletin will help you make sure that you do not miss out on your chance of travelling before the New Year, but you should also be prepared to spend time searching for your visa.
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