#Editorial

Good Morning Mr. President: Visa issues and migration

Jul 4, 2022, 9:59 AM

Mr. President, Gambians encounter a lot of problems and difficulties to obtain entry visas for both visitors/students to anywhere in the world and that is contrary to the other side.

As we all know Gambians are very friendly and peaceful. We will take the two biggest world bodies; USA and The UK to authenticate our views.

As a British colony, and member of the Commonwealth, Gambians look up to the UK as our fatherland and home to run to not for assistance but for opportunities, working very hard for family sustainability and education. Our forefathers played a very vital role during both world wars, as very brave and loyal soldiers and servants; some stayed and helped build the United Kingdom in various fields of development and were never decorated or compensated as neither honorarium paid to them nor their families. Gambians, therefore, deserve better benefits and treatments from the UK, entry visa being the least. Nonetheless to mention, it was not like this before the July 22nd takeover. Governments come and go but the UK and The Gambia stays.

Mr. President, many Gambians have families and friends in the UK, and it will be more convenient and sensible to obtain a 10-year UK visiting visa for regular visitors, which is over seven hundred pounds and non refundable when one is rejected.  This was never the case with the British High Commission. They used to tell the applicants the reason for being rejected and refund their money but they have now stopped without giving reasons. 

For the US Embassy from the onset, visa fees were non refundable when you are rejected for both students or visitors. 

Mr. President, in other countries like Senegal, their citizens are issued a 10-year visa when approved. Here in The Gambia, we are given only five years and moreover, to acquire some other documents you need, you have to travel to Senegal. At times more than one trip is required, especially if it involves a green card application or any other important documents which is very inconsistent and inconvenient as all Green Cards (immigration visas) from The Gambia are processed in Dakar.

Our question is, “Is the American Embassy in The Gambia not capable of handling such cases in The Gambia?” If they can issue visas, why can’t they issue Green Cards even though the process might be different, it should still be achievable.

Mr. President, we urge your government to look into these matters of importance to the citizens who are crying out loud and shout for the obvious and above issues to be taken into consideration. Foreign ministry officials of the Gambia should also dialogue with European countries whose embassies are based in Dakar to help facilitate Gambians who have valid docWe urge your government once again to look into these burning issues for the benefit of her citizens. These and much more are the causes of our youth taking the “back way” with thousands dying or being handled in the most inhumane manner as we all see everyday. 

Finally, Mr. President, all African Presidents should condemn the brutality of the Moroccan security forces to African migrants who attempted to enter Spain.

Two weeks ago we saw horrible videos on social media and it was shocking to see the violent and degrading treatment of African migrants. Many of them lost their lives because of the tortures by the Moroccan security forces.

Many Gambian youth are now trying the backway through Senegal. Both the Gambian and Senegalese governments should equip their forces with boats to patrol their seas for vessels smuggling migrants. The youth should be trained through the skills center or give them job opportunities to eliminate the illegal migration.

 

Good day! 

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