Story Telling

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Samia Barud

Mexico
Last year, I was selected to intern at a big project in Germany and I could not take part of it since I needed to get a special visa and the waiting time was too long. I was very disappointed because I was really looking forward to participate in this project and the only reason why I could not go was that I did not have a working permit. In addition, I have applied to other jobs and projects in Europe (since my study focus was Europe) but the employers always seem to face visa issues because of my nationality. I wish that in the future this will not be an obstacle to take more opportunities in Europe. Read more

Merve P

Turkey
After several attempts to apply for a Visa to volunteer in Belgium, I decided to apply one last time. A few days later they called me to inform me that I had to prove that I had enough funds to support myself during my stay, although all the costs were covered. I had to show them my mother’s bank statements and her retirement pension and some money in cash. I finally got the visa but under the condition that I would go back to the consulate within 10 days of my return to Turkey. Otherwise they would make the process harder for my next applications for any other Schengen country. The whole process was frustrating. Read more

Mo L

Turkey
I study in Turkey in a French high school. As part of my education I had to go to a conference in France so I applied for a visa. They asked me for a lot of documents including some income statements to justify the financial situation of my parents. And also the consulate lost my documents so I had to send them all over again. Not the most pleasant, that is for sure. Read more

Anon. A

Bosnia and Herzegovina
I come from Bosnia. I have always been drawn to the UK and wanted to visit London, to do some volunteering there. Unfortunately a few weeks after I submitted my visa application I received a notification saying that it got refused. They said that I did not have enough funding on my credit card to cover my expenses there. Volunteering in London will have to wait, but for what reason? Read more

Arturas P

Lithuania
I live in Lithuania, which is bordering Belarus. I tried to go there to participate in EU projects but the process it is always complicated. The process is very long and normally you spend a lot of money to get the visa. Their visa policy is very complicated and hard to get around. Many friends of mine have gotten their visa applications rejected a couple of times with no clear reason why.   Read more

Maria P

Georgia
I had just started my EVS project in Slovakia when I had to go back to Georgia to fix some problems with my visa. I love to be a volunteer. It feels good to help some people and you normally get to know great people and some of them become friends for life. That’s why I went to Slovakia for an EVS-Volunteer project. But one month after I had started it I got a notification that said that there was some complication with my visa. That meant that I had to fly back to Georgia to solve the problem.A lot of time was wasted for my project and a lot of money as well.   Read more

Dasha T

Russia
I got accepted for two weeks intensive language course in the UK and because I am from Russia that meant that I had to apply for a visa. The process cost me a large amount of money in tickets, accommodation and school fees and also for the visa application. In the end my visa got denied and the reasons for the refusal were not clear at all.   Read more

Mehmez E

Turkey
I had to travel around 1.000km to go to Izmir only to hand in my application. I was very happy when I found out that I was granted an Erasmus studies grant in Palermo, Italy. But I had to fix some things before I could start my experience there. I am from Gaziantep in southern east Turkey. Unfortunately for me I had to apply for my visa in Izmir, that is more than 1.000km away from my city. They told me I was supposed to have some sort of interview but in the end I just went there to hand in my application and supported documents. Very costly and annoying. Read more

Burak S

Turkey
I have applied for different EU programs in the last years. Almost every time I want to participate in one I know that I am going to have to go though a complicated process in order to get the visa. One example was Latvia. I needed a lot of extraordinary documents to support my application and also the process was quite costly. The behaviour of the offices working at the consulate was also not very nice. I felt a little of what I call turkophobia. Read more

Anon. A

Ghana
Even though I had a Schengen visa and had been studying two years in Germany it took a lot of time to get my residence permit to study in Austria. I had been studying for two years in Germany when I got an Erasmus Mundus grant to study in Vienna, Austria. I had a Schengen visa at that time so I thought the process would be fairly easy. But I was wrong. It took me a long time to get a residence permit in Austria. I had to go to various administrative offices and got different information from every one of them. Read more

Moraya S

Israel
I am from Israel and I wanted to complete my studies in a circus school in Spain. For the second year of school I had some problems with my visa application. There was a general lack of information about the visa bureaucracy and the officers were quite unfriendly. Also it was difficult due to the language of the documents that I had to fill. Finally the visa arrived ten days late and I could not continue my studies there. Read more

Daria K

Russia
In my many visa applications I have had quite some issues and bad experiences. The thing that surprises me the most is the funds that you are supposed to have when you apply for a visa. In most of the Schengen countries they ask for at least 62€ per day even when your accommodation and food are covered by the volunteer organisation you are working for. Also you are supposed to have a booked flight even before knowing that you would get the visa or not. This is just not logical. Read more

Anon. A

Armenia
I needed a health certificate for my visa application so I got one at my local clinic only to find out later on that I would need one from one specific certified clinic valid for the Belgium authorities so I had to pay 9000 drams (16 Euros) for the examination and another 10.000 drams (20 Euros) for the seal and certification of the document. The communication with the visa centre was almost non-existent. I had to call on a regular basis as they would not notify me if there were any issues to solve. In the end, I had to start my volunteer service two months later than I expected, which changed all my plans. Read more

Alexi V

Russia
I wanted to go to Belgium for my EVS as I thought it would be a good experience. The procedure to get my visa was quite slow and expensive. I had to wait one month to get my certificate of good conduct and another month to get it translated and legalised. Once all the paperwork was done I had to wait a further 2 weeks for the decision of the Belgium authorities: a total wait of ten weeks. Read more

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