EU raises bar for Gambian, Senegalese visa applicants  

EU raises bar for Gambian, Senegalese visa applicants  

European officials have confirmed to The Point that they will continue to “raise the bar” for visa applicants from countries such as The Gambia and Senegal as protest and dispute over deportations of asylum seekers linger.

Despite the endless arguments across the EU from both the pro and anti-deportation camps over who has the right to stay or not, the controversial topic still remains as one of the most important bones of contention.

Also, EU officials and other politicians are piling pressure on countries that “refused to accept their nationals back following deportation orders”.

Gambian officials also maintained that Banjul is required “to only receive people identified as Gambian citizens and therefore those it cannot officially recognise would not be accepted”.

Nonetheless, EU officials further accused the affected countries of not only “unwilling to accept their own citizens” but also “hindering lawful repatriation”.

Gambians who contacted The Point also expressed concern over their “fate and status of their applications”.  Some of them said that they have been waiting for an “outcome” for several years. 

Responding to this correspondent, an EU spokesperson noted: “These are countries that are causing repatriation approved by our courts practically impossible…”

The official, who refused to specifically dwell on issues concerning Gambian nationals, added: “They are our partners and this particular issue is one of our most vital mechanisms to improve cooperation… thus the change to our visa policy”.

In addition, other documents seen by The Point also pointed out concerns by the European Convention on Human Rights and include the “…increasing pressure on affected countries…slow visa applications and raised visa fees”. 

So far thousands of asylum seekers and other migrants have been deported across the EU. The German Interior Ministry recorded that last year alone, nearly 13,000 people were expelled.

However, despite protest over deportations by both groups, legal documents also revealed that expulsion can be also adjourned, postponed or even cancelled in certain cases especially where applicants are politically persecuted.

Source: The Point

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