NGOs Condemn Unfair Visa Processing for Europe in Senegal

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

Twenty-seven civil society organizations are calling for the reform of the visa application process for countries such as France, the UK, Canada, South Africa, and Spain. They denounce the injustice in the treatment of applications between Northern and Southern countries, particularly highlighting the outsourcing of these requests by states and the emergence of illicit appointment trafficking.

In a letter addressed to five European embassies, as well as those of South Africa and the United States, the signatories criticize a complex and opaque obstacle course to obtain a visa.

The primary target of these grievances is the management of visa applications by private service providers. Intended to streamline consulates and prevent favoritism, this approach has proven unsuccessful, with queues remaining as long as before.

A Growing Illicit Appointment Trade

Marina Kabu, a member of the collective of civil society organizations for the protection of migrant rights leading this petition, highlights the emergence of an illicit trade, not for obtaining a visa, but merely securing an appointment at the consulate to apply—something that can cost up to 600 euros. She expresses dismay, saying, “How many academics, businessmen, patients, students, or parents have been unable to travel for medical treatment or attend forums simply because they could not secure an appointment?”

Ending Private Service Providers

The argument put forth is that with a functional system, more Senegalese individuals could obtain visas and travel. The 27 organizations demand the termination of private service providers in favor of a more transparent and equitable online procedure, where visa refusals are adequately justified.

These organizations also call for reciprocity, advocating for similar treatment for Europeans seeking to visit Senegal. The plea underscores the importance of fairness, transparency, and equal access to travel opportunities.

Soukaina Sghir

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