Apr 15, 2009, 6:13 AM
We are very much concerned about the way and manner some consular officers are treating Gambians, when they apply for visa.
While we have no right or control over the visa regulations of the foreign diplomatic missions in the country, we feel the way some of them are treating our Gambian brothers and sisters is unfair.
With all due respect, we see no reason why genuine applicants who have a clear intent and documents for their journey should be denied a visa.
Visa processing fees are non-refundable, and getting increased quite often nowadays; thus the need to issue a visa to those who really deserve it.
In this global village, people have families and relatives abroad, and they must visit each other.
On the other hand, officials, experts and organizational delegates must also be allowed to attend functions and programmes, without any visa problems.
The lengthy and unnecessary delays faced by students, officials and scholars applying for a visa, or example, is just not proper.
Indeed, denying genuine Gambians who intend to travel a visa is unacceptable, and must stop!
`The University of The Gambia does not offer all the required courses that Gambian students would like to pursue and, as a result, one needs to go abroad for such courses.
For instance, if Gambians wishing to study abroad are denied visa, it should be a matter of serious concern to our authorities.
We, therefore, urge the Gambian authorities, especially at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, to pursue the matter through diplomatic channels with the various embassies and their consular officers.