Do you require a visa for entry in the EU?

If you want to know whether you require a visa prior to entry in a country of the European Union, you may refer to the Council regulation CE No 1932/2006 of 13 July 2006. If you did previously, now you may not, probably; and that as from 31 December 2006.

In our case, this regulation amends previous regulation CE No 539/2001 which imposed visa requirements to Mauritian nationals. We are now on the list of visa exempted countries. Good news or a hoax? Nobody was aware until yesterday when the information appeared in a weekly. Embassies do not deny they knew; but prior arrangement has to be made between the government and the EU before it becomes effective, they say.

In the meantime people will continue to be subjected to stringent conditions before they can obtain a visa if they want to visit a relative or proceed on mission or holiday. You have to apply several days in advance; and it’s no “cut and paste” exercise. You have to watch for the days and times of opening of the embassy, get up early so as secure the first positions in the never-ending queue, in the cold or in the heat; you shouldn’t miss any documents, photos, invitation letters, leave letters, lodging certificate, proof of funds or you’ll have to call again at the next opening. And, mind you, they are not open every day, two days a week on half-day basis most of the time. Granted or not, you don’t get a reply on the same day, well very rarely if at all. No explanations for a refusal, or a refund of the accompanying fees, either. Will these worries end soon?

Surprising as it may seem, there’s no reaction yet from the government. A former Mauritian Ambassador, now retired, said on radio broadcast this afternoon he can’t understand how this information has remained unrevealed for so long; worse, why the authorities haven’t initiated any action yet.

A retired government officer, former trade unionist and occupational safety & health management consultant based in Rodrigues Islands, Alfa King (real name: Amanoola Khayrattee) is a bilingual contributor to This Week News (http://thisweeknews.info). He has been editor of trade union newsletter and has contributed articles for various in-house magazines, publications, and the local press. He blogs since 2007, and when he is not reading or surfing on the internet, he is hiking over an 8-km-daily routine.
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