Do something about visa inequality

Do something about visa inequality

AS a Namibian living abroad, your newspaper helps me to keep in touch with news from home thanks to the Internet.

I can also listen to Radio Kudu via Internet and hopefully NBC will follow their examples and upgrade to this feature in the near future too. I’m not writing because I miss news from home though, but because I have a complaint about Visas.We Namibians require visas for all European countries except the UK.To my surprise Namibians need a visa to enter Germany – after all there are some Germans who live half year in Namibia and half year in Germany and yet wish to be called Namibians.The list of countries where Namibians must have a Visa before entering is endless compared to ONLY six countries where Namibians don’t need a visa prior.Why this unfairness? One might argue that Namibia benefits from tourism hence it waves visas for foreigners visiting Namibia.But why should we apply for visas to countries whose nationals do not need a visa to enter Namibia? Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs doing something about this or do they actually not bother because most Government officials travel on diplomatic passports? Getting a visa is not only time consuming but expensive too.Beside the whole thing is just really annoying after a time – especially when work requires you to travel a lot on the spur of the moment.I find it discriminating and selfish that most European countries want their nationals to go to African countries without visas but yet don’t want to let Africans visit or transit their countries without visas.As a tourist to Germany e.g. I pay for the visa, hotel, food, transport and of course some shopping, but the German tourist to Namibia skips the visa fees.At least they ought to pay entrance fees when they get that “entry stamp” instead of visa fees.This will probably make the whole thing sound equal and will definitely contribute to Government revenue.Even better would be if countries whose nationals need no visas to enter Namibia MUST also wave visas for Namibians.I hope this letter will start our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our High Commissioners and Ambassadors to start thinking about the issue or to negotiate harder.I’m not writing because I miss news from home though, but because I have a complaint about Visas. We Namibians require visas for all European countries except the UK. To my surprise Namibians need a visa to enter Germany – after all there are some Germans who live half year in Namibia and half year in Germany and yet wish to be called Namibians. The list of countries where Namibians must have a Visa before entering is endless compared to ONLY six countries where Namibians don’t need a visa prior. Why this unfairness? One might argue that Namibia benefits from tourism hence it waves visas for foreigners visiting Namibia. But why should we apply for visas to countries whose nationals do not need a visa to enter Namibia? Is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs doing something about this or do they actually not bother because most Government officials travel on diplomatic passports? Getting a visa is not only time consuming but expensive too. Beside the whole thing is just really annoying after a time – especially when work requires you to travel a lot on the spur of the moment. I find it discriminating and selfish that most European countries want their nationals to go to African countries without visas but yet don’t want to let Africans visit or transit their countries without visas. As a tourist to Germany e.g. I pay for the visa, hotel, food, transport and of course some shopping, but the German tourist to Namibia skips the visa fees. At least they ought to pay entrance fees when they get that “entry stamp” instead of visa fees. This will probably make the whole thing sound equal and will definitely contribute to Government revenue. Even better would be if countries whose nationals need no visas to enter Namibia MUST also wave visas for Namibians. I hope this letter will start our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our High Commissioners and Ambassadors to start thinking about the issue or to negotiate harder.

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