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Complexities in visa applications – Business Daily

It is high season for visa applications worldwide. So it is not surprising that this topic has suddenly heated up so much, with the Belgian embassy on the receiving end over the past two weeks. For those of us who have to deal with these requests, it is clear that behind every request is a human story, often charged with emotion or tragedy.

For example, a student may be planning to travel for a course funded by a scholarship, a businessman may be looking for a potential life-changing partner, a child may want to visit a parent, or someone may be dealing with a life-changing situation . -threatening illness or injury. These are all complex and sensitive situations.

Those of us responsible for making decisions for our sovereign states have a duty to process them in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. A visa is a privilege, not a right. The process is transparent and clearly communicated through all channels.

Applicants must complete the forms correctly and honestly and state exactly why they need the visa, but often this is not the case. Despite the challenges, data from the Belgian Embassy shows that on average 80 percent of applicants in Kenya receive a visa. Claiming that the process is a scam, discriminatory or abusive is baseless.

If an application is rejected, the reason is clearly communicated so that the applicant can correct the deficiencies by means of an appeal or by submitting a new file. Decisions are made within 15 to 60 days, depending on the quality of the file. This delay is necessary to process all received requests, some of which are complex.

The TLS visa service in Nairobi offers services for different countries with different requirements. For example, while some countries offer expedited visa services, Belgium does not have this option. In addition, it does not charge any fees for requesting a passport before the visa is granted. The procedures followed are derived from the Vienna Convention.

The Convention on Consular Relations says that states have the right to refuse a visa to anyone without explanation or justification, and this refusal does not affect the person’s right to reapply for a visa later. It establishes the rights and obligations of consular officers in relation to visa applications, including the provision of information, assistance and protection to their nationals. It also regulates the fees, validity, duration and revocation of visas and the procedures for appeal and review of visa decisions.

The procedures for appealing or reviewing a visa decision vary depending on the type of visa and the country of destination. However, there are some general steps followed if a visa application is rejected. The applicant will normally receive a written notice explaining the reasons for the denial and the options for appeal or review. The notification also states the term and to which authority the appeal or objection must be submitted.

The applicant can submit a new visa application with additional or corrected documents, or challenge the refusal decision by filing an appeal or review. An appeal is a formal request to reconsider the decision based on existing evidence. At the same time, a review is a request to examine the decision based on new facts or circumstances that were not available at the time of the original request.

The appeal or review must be filed within the specified time period, usually thirty days from the date of notice of denial. The applicant must follow the instructions in the notice and provide all required information and documents to support their claim. They may also have to pay a fee for the appeal or review process.

The appeal or review will be handled by the competent authority. This may be the same consulate or embassy that issued the denial, a higher consular authority, an administrative tribunal or a judicial tribunal, depending on the case. The authority shall assess the merits of the appeal or review and decide whether to uphold or quash the refusal decision.

The applicant will be notified of the outcome in writing, usually within 90 days of the filing date of the appeal or review. If the appeal or review is successful, the applicant will be granted a visa and can continue with their travel plans. If the appeal or review is unsuccessful, the applicant can accept the decision or, if possible and desired, take further legal action. However, this may incur additional costs and delays and a positive outcome is not guaranteed.

Visa applications are inherently complex and often carry significant emotional weight. Although strict laws and regulations govern the process, it is also open and fair.

The writer is Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium, Mission to the European Union, Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the World Customs Organization. The article is written on a personal level.

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