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.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].