Gambian Schengen visa candidates have voiced considerations over the extended interval of visa processing at EU embassies.
The Level has realized that short-term visa candidates from The Gambia now have to attend for nearly 50 days to obtain their journey paperwork from European embassies like Germany.
The processing of visa paperwork from the German Embassy in Senegal which normally took from two to 3 weeks at most for Gambians now lingers for a number of extra weeks.
One Gambian visa applicant, who spoke anonymously expressed displeasure on the method through which Gambians are being handled at sure European embassies, saying they battle all the best way to Senegal for his or her visa purposes solely to be made to attend for extended durations to obtain their paperwork.
He, like few others we spoke to, mentioned he utilized for a short-term Schengen visa on the German embassy in Dakar. Nevertheless, based on him; it was not made clear to him that he must await 45 days or extra to obtain his paperwork within the Gambia.
“I waited for a very long time with none information of my visa paperwork arriving or any calls. It was at the moment I visited the German consultant workplace in Bijilo the place I used to be knowledgeable that it took 45 days of processing and extra days for the despatched package deal to be obtained in The Gambia,” he mentioned.
“And even after the 45 days, I nonetheless didn’t obtain my journey paperwork, so I had to return to Dakar and that’s how I missed my journey dates and like different fellow candidates I met there who had been going through related difficulties with this 45 days issuing of paperwork,” the supply additional defined.
“We, the Gambian little children are bearing the brunt of getting to journey all the best way to Senegal to use for nearly every kind of Schengen visas, it will have been higher if these embassies had been in Gambia as an entire nation,” he lamented.
He referred to as on the Gambian authorities to search out widespread grounds with the EU nations to ease visa processing for Gambians, including that for now “younger Gambians would recognize any efforts by the Barrow authorities to barter a better means of our visas with out these tough circumstances in place.”
One other Gambian visa applicant below the pseudonym of John, mentioned he needed to await greater than six weeks earlier than he might get his paperwork from the German embassy.
“I needed to ship them a number of emails to investigate about my paperwork as a result of it took so lengthy. I believed I used to be going to overlook my journey date as a result of I had obtained my paperwork from the embassy only a week earlier than I used to be imagined to journey.”
When our reporter visited the German consular workplace in Bijilo, it was confirmed that it now took 45 days for processing and at the very least 5 extra days for Gambians to obtain their paperwork from the German embassy in Senegal.
Schengen is the widespread visa approval for international travellers to nearly 26 European nations within the European Union.
It could be recalled that the EU council carried out the choice (EU) 2021/1781 of seven October 2021 on the suspension of sure provisions of the Visa Code (EC) No 810/2009, in mild of the ‘reported’ unwillingness of the Gambian authorities to completely cooperate on repatriation of nationals from Europe.
In keeping with the provisions of the Articles on the Visa Code (EU) 2021/1781 with respect to The Gambia:
suspension of the overall 15 calendar days processing interval referred to in Article 23(1) (which as a consequence additionally excludes the appliance of the rule on the extension of this era as much as a most of 45 days in particular person circumstances).
The appliance of sure provisions of Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 ought to due to this fact be briefly suspended for nationals of The Gambia who’re topic to the visa requirement pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of the Council. This must encourage the Gambian authorities to undertake the required actions to enhance cooperation on readmission issues.
In keeping with the web site of the German Embassy in Senegal, the strict measures on Gambian candidates have been in impact since final 12 months as a part of a short lived suspension of the implementation of sure provisions of the Visa code which resulted in modified and stringent utility necessities and procedures for Gambians.
The knowledge discovered on the Visa and Consular part of the German embassy web site in Senegal clearly reiterates the above provisions as motive for the 45 days extension of visa processing for Gambian residents. The knowledge reads as follows:
INFO for Gambian candidates
With Council implementation choice (EU) 2021/1781 dated 07/10/2021 with respect to The Gambia, the council has determined the short-term suspension of the implementation of sure provisions of the Visa Code. This may end in modified utility necessities and procedures from 01/11/2021:
choice on the visa utility will solely be taken 45 days after the entire set of paperwork have been handed in with the Embassy
Latest reviews have recommended that some undocumented Gambians had been being rounded up for deportation from sure elements of Europe. If these reviews are confirmed to be true, then it begs the query of whether or not the ‘mentioned’ unwillingness from the Gambian authorities to obtain deportees solely utilized to a particular second once they had been unwilling to conform or if it solely utilized to sure EU nations
Infact, a report by The Commonplace revealed on July 15 2022 did really affirm the arrival of 25 deported Gambians from Germany.
The Commonplace quoted the director of Diaspora Affairs on the International Affairs ministry, Musa Camara as saying that The Gambia authorities ought to “not be blamed for accepting its residents who’ve exhausted all authorized treatments to remain in different nations.”
Subsequently, if these indicators of gradual dwindling of the ‘mentioned’ reluctance from the facet of the Gambian authorities to cooperate for the deportation of her residents had been something to go by, then the 45 days extension of visa processing for Gambian candidates ought to have been relaxed by now.
The Geneva Conference does enable for the deportation of refugees when their presence constitutes a hazard to the safety of the nation through which they’re discovered. Nevertheless, it’s unclear why some undocumented Gambian migrants who constituted no hazard had been being rounded up and camped (within the method it was reported by some media retailers) nearly readied for rapid deportation again to the Gambia – a rustic whose authorities have ‘purportedly’ expressed ‘unwillingness to cooperate’ on this matter, based on the EU communique launched on October seventh 2021.
When contacted, the Ministry of International Affairs in Gambia didn’t reply.