It’s common these days to assume that applying for a UK visa and being successful is about as simple and stress-free as applying for a credit card. So many people think that the UK’s policy on immigration is so lackadaisical that just as long as you put the right ticks in the right boxes, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be welcomed with open arms.

Of course, if you were to ask the thousands of unsuccessful applicants each and every month whether this is the case, chances are they’d tell you it’s quite to the contrary in reality. And indeed it is, as while there are more ways and means than ever before for the right people with the right talents to get into the UK, making it happen by way of visa application is anything but easy.

Some say it’s unnecessary, but these days the UK’s border services are more selective and downright picky than they have ever been before. According to the very best immigration lawyers at Hudson McKenzie, nit-picking has become such common practice among those considering visa applications that the simplest mistakes and errors are more often than not ruining what may otherwise have been fully valid applications. Of course, it’s not as if anyone looking to apply for the first time will have any real frame of reference with regard to how to get the job done, which is why it’s important to first read up.

So, to help matters along, here’s a quick rundown of five of the most commonly made visa application mistakes of all from those who specialise in getting it right:

1 – Poor Legal Advice

First of all, while it’s not strictly speaking an application mistake in its own right, choosing the wrong immigration lawyer is 100% guaranteed to steer any applicant down entirely the wrong path. You’ll be relying on your lawyer to take your case and ultimately tell you what to do and how to do it. And as you have no idea whether what they’re telling you is right or wrong, you’ll instinctively do as you’re told without questioning it. Not a problem with a fantastic lawyer on your side, but pretty much a guarantee of failure if you team up with a bum brand.

2 – Information Inconsistencies

The first thing any good lawyer will tell their clients when looking to make a visa application to the UK is to make sure that every last word across the application form itself is 100% honest. The reason being that it’s not as if the authorities just take what’s communicated at face value – they’ll make every effort to check and verify every single detail from top to bottom. As such, the moment they find even the slightest of inconsistencies with the information provided, they’ll simply take it as evidence that the applicant is in the habit of lying and therefore the application cannot be trusted as a whole.

3 – Documentation Absent

Each and every visa type the UK currently offers demands a specific set of accompanying documentation in order for it to even be considered. Along with the fee of course, this is the first thing they’ll check – if the right documentation isn’t there, the application is immediately rejected without even being read or considered. Suffice to say, this is one of the reasons why it’s important to choose a great lawyer to help you with your case as it’s not always clear what kind of documentation you might need and what substitutions can be made should you not have access to any of them.

4 – Too Many Random Details of No Consequence

The UK government needs to know a lot about you in order to consider your case – all of which will be covered by the questions during the application process. Nevertheless, there will always be those who make the decision to go completely OTT with additional information and pleas for acceptance throughout their applications, despite the fact that doing so can actually hamper their chances. You might think a certain added detail makes you look great, but if the border force sees it as a reason to investigate you further or simply doesn’t share your views, your application is in danger of being thrown out. Don’t include anything your lawyer hasn’t fully green-lighted.

5 – Incorrect Payment

And finally, as mentioned already it’s impossible to have your application considered without paying the necessary fees. Just be cautious of the fact that not all application centres accept the same payment methods and not all visa applications are the same price – get it right fee-wise or the rest is pretty superfluous.