Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Friend's Green Passport

Hmm.. here we go again

I don’t specifically know what must be going on in my friend's mind, cos she's putting up a strong face I think..., and I think I believe she would be feeling down but she's saying it's not true.

My friend packed her bags from the beautiful city of Jo'burg, South Africa to come home to Nigeria in order to apply for a visa to attend a meeting in the Netherlands billed to hold from July 11-15 where she is to deliver training on the last day and she also decided to use the opportunity to process her Study Permit extension.

She was homebound to Lagos on Sunday, July 2 via a Virgin Nigeria flight. Forgetting she was coming to Nigeria, she planned to go to the embassy on Monday, do an interview on Tuesday and get visa before the end of the week, travel to the Netherlands on Saturday and return to Jo’burg by the next Sunday. She didn't even plan to play with family for a long time during her stay but was forced to courtesy of the Netherlands embassy, they weren't opening visa shop on Monday because of a reason I can’t remember and that meant their telephone line which is the only means for booking appointments was not going through.

Well, considering that my friend is blessed with the Nigeria's tenacity, she pressed on and kept on calling the line which would enter the switchboard, tell you to press 1 for visa purposes, press another 1 to book appointment and hold on for an answer………(which never came for my friend). As I said, she is a Nigerian, so instead of pressing the first 1, she pressed another number for general information.

And the general information given to her was to visit their website or send an e-mail to an address. She chose to pursue her goal further by sending an email to the address begging the person for an interview appointment. Guess what……, she succeed. She was given an appointment via the internet!

I must tell you, even though she didn’t say it, I’m sure she must have felt it was the hand of God and not man. She got an appointment for Wednesday. She flew to Abuja on Wednesday, stayed with me which I enjoyed very much (since I don’t really have friends in Abuja) and attended her interview on Wednesday. She was told to check back the next day for the status of her application.

The next day, she went to the embassy and she was told that she needed to present more documents which could only be received from her on Tuesday. That meant she was stuck in Abuja. She stayed back with me (we had a lovely time together, though I was working on an important project in the office, but we were able to visit an old friend of ours and another of hers).

She went to present the documents on Tuesday and she was again told to check back the next day, Wednesday. I was particularly optimistic that she would get a visa to attend the meeting.
Well dear all, she went to the Royal Dutch (Netherlands) Embassy on Wednesday and her passport was returned to her STAMPED with no visa and with a letter on Refusal of Visa application written in Dutch!

She went back to Lagos today and will deliver her training remotely from Nigeria with the aid of technology.

When will the reign of embassies come to an End in Nigeria???


Anonymous said...

Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it.

My Thots said...

Thanks anonymous....but really I would love to appreciate you kind comment more believing I am talking to a real person rather than anonymous...?

ayoalade said...

The Green Passport palaver is a frustrating one. I mean these "embassies" especially the European countries do not really see us as persons otherwise the kind of treatment we are given are totally uncalled for. A recent experience is that of my sister who recently received her Canadian Permanent resident visa! With a Canadian Visa on your passport (especially for a permanent residency) you'd think getting an ordinary transit visa to stop over for 6 hours in Frankfurt should not be a problem. Well, to cut the story short, her passport was thrown back at her face by the German attendee.Why? because she had a renewed Nigerian passport and which by new German rule, cannot be used for Visa purposes.

Now here is the puzzling part in all of this: here is an individual with a Canadian Permanent Resident Visa been refused an ordinary transit visa to German, and on top of that had a passport thrown to her face! I wonder, I just wonder.

Kol said...

You seem quite creative and proactive. very good website. Are you really based in Abuja. I am an Civil engineer and only been to Abuja twice. Tell me a little bit more about abuja.


Anonymous said...

great blog.this is your good blog.i like your blog.Green Passport. it's very helpful to me.

Sulman Farooq said...

Hello: I must tell you, even though she didn’t say it, I’m sure she must have felt it was the hand of God and not man.Green Passport She got an appointment for Wednesday.

Sulman Farooq said...
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