The European Union (EU) is planning to place restrictions on Nigerian nationals wishing to get visa, popularly known as Schengen Visa, to some European countries. The idea is to tighten the procedures for getting Schengen Visa by Nigerians as the country has not been able to show enough willingness to play its part in the return and readmission of its citizens, who are illegal immigrants in Europe.
In a statement by the EU spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Virginie Battu-Henriksson, the EU is planning to introduce some measures that will make it more difficult for Nigerians to get Schengen Visa due to lack of cooperation from the country’s Government.
Battu-Henriksson said, “What the EU can do since new rules on short-stay visas to the EU became applicable on 2 February 2020, is to adapt the rules on processing short-stay visa applications, depending on whether a non-EU country cooperates satisfactorily on the return and readmission of their nationals staying irregularly in the EU.’’
Why it matters: Battu-Henriksson stated that unlike the one introduced by the Trump administration in the US, this is not a ban on Nigerian nationals.
The new rules and procedures, according to him, are expected to regularly assess the level of cooperation of non-EU countries on the readmission of irregular migrants and will place a temporary more restrictive implementation of certain provisions of the visa code for countries that the level of cooperation is insufficient. This would impact on the processing time, length of validity of the visa to be issued, the level of the visa fee to be charged and the fee waivers.
The spokesperson claimed that Nigerians were among the top 10 nationalities detected as irregular migrants in the EU.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is still battling with the visa restriction placed on it by US President, Donald Trump early this month. The US Government said that Nigeria and five other countries had failed to meet US security and information sharing standards.
Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had on Thursday in a meeting with US Ambassador to Nigeria, asked the United States Government to drop the ban as the country is too important an ally of US to deserve such sanction.