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New Schengen visa exemptions for 6 countries

Immigration to European countries, don't post UK or Ireland related topics!

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Dawie
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Post by Dawie » Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:08 pm

The Schengen Agreement isn't based upon economics or wealth. It's based upon an international treaty for law enforcement agencies to share data. It's more about access to databases, criminal records, biometric data, and certain standards in types of passports (newer, biometric/RFID machine readable).
This is true....if you're talking about qualifying to join the Schengen agreement. This discussion is actually about who does or does not get to be on the Schengen visa-free list, not about becoming a member of the Schengen agreement.
When certain governments aren't willing to share the data openly in standardized, agreed upon ways, they do not qualify to become Schengen members.
Again, this is true, but I don't see how it is relevant to a discussion about who does or does not get to be on the Schengen visa-free list.
Many of these smaller nations are able to meet the requirements due to small populations, isolation, and thorough law-enforcement record keeping that can be shared. Poverty or wealth becomes fairly irrelevant regarding the individual citizens of those countries.
Again, true, but not relevant to this discussion.
South Africa, for example, has a huge population of people that the government cannot ensure background checks or validity of documents. India suffers the same problem. Both countries for different and similar reasons of general chaos in their systems and corruption.
The United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland are 3 major European countries who seem perfectly happy not to require visas from South Africans. I would also argue that 2 countries with very similar socio-economic conditions to South Africa, Brazil and Mexico, with equally large and unaccountable populations enjoy visa-free access to the Schengen countries. Mexico and Brazil are arguably a lot more corrupt than South Africa.
Russia would be another example where anything can be bought for a price, so their passports are worthless as far as credible background-check documents.
If background checks are so important, why is no one checking the backgrounds of all those people who come into Schengenland visa-free?
In a few years time we'll look back on immigration control like we look back on American prohibition in the thirties - futile and counter-productive.

joesoap101
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Post by joesoap101 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:40 pm

South Africa's passport issuing process really needs to be improved and I believe this is a large stumbling block for ease of visa requirements. Home Affairs officials are routinely charged with corruption and this needs to be sorted out! This will improve with the implementation of the epassport http://www.dha.gov.za/ep_project.asp

Having said that, I dont think the passport issuing systems of latin America are particularly secure, in fact South Africa is considered to be less corrupt than all of latin america with the exception of chile and also less corrupt or at the same level than most of the new EU states that joined in 2004/2007.

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Post by Dawie » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:53 pm

To be brutally honest and cynical I think the major stumbling block for the easing of visa requirements for South Africans is the large amount of black people who live in South Africa.

There is currently not a single African country in the visa-free list for the Schengen countries (or on the list of US visa waiver countries) although there are definitely a handful who deserve to be (South Africa being amongst them). One cannot help but come to the conclusion that this is racially motivated.

Although I have frequently experienced the frustration that comes with obtaining a South African passport from Home Affairs, I don't think they are any more or less corrupt than any other country.
In a few years time we'll look back on immigration control like we look back on American prohibition in the thirties - futile and counter-productive.

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Post by stedman » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:48 pm

Dawie wrote:To be brutally honest and cynical I think the major stumbling block for the easing of visa requirements for South Africans is the large amount of black people who live in South Africa.
Don't understand this - aren't "South Africans" and "the large number of black people who live in south Africa" the same? It's like someone saying "the major stumbling block for the easing of visa requirements for English people is the large amount of white people who live in England"

South Africa's visa requirements came about from the apartheid era, didn't they? The country was more or less shunned internationally until its apartheid policy was abolished in 1989.

If it was to do with skin colour, then Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas etc who have black people as the majority, just like South Africa, won't be able to enter the UK visa free. And Albanians and Russians would.

Commonwealth West Africans travelled to the UK visa free until 1983 when most w/african countries started experiencing economic hardship and wars, and the visa free arrangement was abused and understandably stopped. I personally had and have no problem with this.

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Post by Christophe » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:43 am

stedman wrote:South Africa's visa requirements came about from the apartheid era, didn't they? The country was more or less shunned internationally until its apartheid policy was abolished in 1989.

If it was to do with skin colour, then Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas etc who have black people as the majority, just like South Africa, won't be able to enter the UK visa free. And Albanians and Russians would.
But, to be fair, Dawie was talking about visa requirements for visitors to the Schengen area, which has quite separate requirements from those of the UK.

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Post by Administrator » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:50 am

.

Dawie, I believe the part of my post you misinterpreted was that the countries of the Schengen zone enter into international treaties with other countries based upon information exchange between the governments and the associated security forces.

For example, the United States and the Schengen bloc have standardized agreements on types of background checks those countries perform and a certain level of transparency between the databases of those countries.

A person coming in from South Africa or from Russia and presenting their passport to enter a Schengen country does not meet the criteria for information exchange between the governments of the affected countries.

Asserting that South Africa or Russia is 'no more corrupt than any other country' is pretty laughable, by the way. Your arguments will have more credibility if your opinion is based a little firmer in reality.

To be brutally honest.
Dawie wrote:If background checks are so important, why is no one checking the backgrounds of all those people who come into Schengenland visa-free?
Citizens of certain countries have very thoroughly checked backgrounds to be issued a passport. That's the concept behind Schengen. There are other statistical conditions as well as treaty agreements involved, too.

joesoap101 wrote:also less corrupt or at the same level than most of the new EU states that joined in 2004/2007
Let's not compare apples to banana's here ....

They are in the European Union .. there are numerous visa-free treaty agreements. Even if the corruption level is the same (which I would argue, it is not), there is still a great deal more direct cooperation between the governments and police agencies.

Having lived in Latvia for nearly four years, one thing I can assure you of is how brutally thorough the documentation and process is. There is an excruciatingly detailed trail of my paperwork through the system, and it is largely electronic and shared throughout Europe and the U.S. now.

The new EU-27 accession states will be coming up to speed rather rapidly, and they have met targets and requirements to be accepted as new member states, no matter the problems that are still before them.

Montenegro, the Ukraine, Moldova and Turkey not meeting requirements for EU accession is for a reason. The EU has no confidence (at this time) in the cooperation and information exchange with those governments needed to interface with the current agreements in place.

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joesoap101
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Post by joesoap101 » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:29 pm

I've lived in the EU for 5 years and Europe is most definitely a dearly beloved place, and it is shocking how they put up this facade to the contrary its total hypocrisy! South Africa's visa problems indeed stem from the fact that there are 37 million black people in the country (mainly poor), which Europe fear. Sure Antigua and all the islands do have majority black populations but the numbers are so small they are essentially insignificant.

As for Latvia and its wasteful paper trail(which is largely electronic- talk about apples and bananas!) this is no indication of how corrupt a country is. My point was that countries that are now members of the EU have corruption levels which would be considered the same or worse than South Africa i.e. the use of corruption as an excuse not to facilitate visa agreements are becoming overstretched!

You might argue that corruption levels are not the same and you would be correct. They are worse in a few of the new member states. Do your homework before posting statements such as this.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781359.html

Dawie
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Post by Dawie » Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:58 pm

Dawie, I believe the part of my post you misinterpreted was that the countries of the Schengen zone enter into international treaties with other countries based upon information exchange between the governments and the associated security forces.

For example, the United States and the Schengen bloc have standardized agreements on types of background checks those countries perform and a certain level of transparency between the databases of those countries.

A person coming in from South Africa or from Russia and presenting their passport to enter a Schengen country does not meet the criteria for information exchange between the governments of the affected countries.
Your argument doesn't explain how all those dodgy Central and South American countries got to be on the Schengen visa-free list. Are you trying to tell me that countries like Guatamala or Honduras, who are on the visa-free list, have got better run governments than South Africa? What about El Salvador and Panama? By any accounts these are third-world countries and stick out like sore thumbs on the Schengen visa-free list.

I'm afraid the reality is that any country, regardless of how prosperous it is, will not get on the Schengen visa-free list if it has a large population of black people. Simple.
Asserting that South Africa or Russia is 'no more corrupt than any other country' is pretty laughable, by the way. Your arguments will have more credibility if your opinion is based a little firmer in reality.
Really? Have you not heard of a certain British prime minister squashing a certain corruption investigation involving a certain rather nefarious Arab nation? The British government is just as corrupt as any other nation, they just happen to be a lot better at hiding it!
In a few years time we'll look back on immigration control like we look back on American prohibition in the thirties - futile and counter-productive.

stedman
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Post by stedman » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:38 pm

Christophe wrote:
stedman wrote:South Africa's visa requirements came about from the apartheid era, didn't they? The country was more or less shunned internationally until its apartheid policy was abolished in 1989.

If it was to do with skin colour, then Antigua, Barbados, Bahamas etc who have black people as the majority, just like South Africa, won't be able to enter the UK visa free. And Albanians and Russians would.
But, to be fair, Dawie was talking about visa requirements for visitors to the Schengen area, which has quite separate requirements from those of the UK.
My mistake - I meant the Schengen area, not the UK.

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Post by Administrator » Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:57 am

.

Have fun in the swill, kids.

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Dawie
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Post by Dawie » Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:32 pm

Administrator wrote:.

Have fun in the swill, kids.

The Admin
Hehe, at least you stuck your toe in! It can get a bit dirty sometimes....
In a few years time we'll look back on immigration control like we look back on American prohibition in the thirties - futile and counter-productive.

Fairtrade
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Proof Schengen Countries are dearly beloved

Post by Fairtrade » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:05 am

From the New York Times 1982, October 2

"South Africans will need a visa to enter the Netherlands from Jan.
1, the Foreign Ministry said today, indicating Dutch opposition to the
policy of "apartheid".

The move ends a visa agreement between the Netherlands and South
Africa made 30 years ago. Under the accord, visas were abolished for
South Africans visiting the Netherlands for up to three months. Visas
were issued free of charge to Dutch citizens visiting South Africa"



Now that Apartheid is gone why
is there NOW no visa free travel for South Africans??

:twisted:

Has it maybe got to do that now there are 37 million Africans living
in South Africa and in the 1960s ,70s and beginning of the 80s the
Dutch welcomed white South Africans visa free because they are white?

Why is there now no visa free travel to the Netherlands for South Africans anymore?

Well to me it is so obvious, because why would they allow white South Africa to travel to The Netherlands visa free for over 30 years and now stop it just before Apartheid ended....

They were more than willing to allow white South Africans in during the majority of the Aparteid period. And they use (what I call) the "excuse" of not allowing south africans visa free because of Apartheid when they knowingly knew Apartheid was comming to an end. (and after Apartheid they never started again giving south africans visa free travel.

It is so obvious the Schengen countries are dearly beloved and they are willing to hide it so well, so much so that when questioned about not allowing majority black countries in, they suddenly changed their rules to allow so called new small insignificant so called majority black Islands visa free travel

The only countries that are not dearly beloved is Britain, Ireland and Switzwerland still allowing South Africans visa free travel.

and yes south africa was also a Dutch colony not just British

joesoap101
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Post by joesoap101 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:01 pm

At least South Africa will never be as mind numbingly boring as the Netherlands. Their culture is completely stagnant, I lived there for 2 years and could'nt take it anymore so at least no one is really missing out on the Netherlands, however the whole Schengen agreement is dearly beloved indeed!

Fairtrade
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Post by Fairtrade » Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:20 pm

Yes, I will have to agree, The Netherlands are surely not one of the most pictures countries in the world, afterall it is not called the Lowlands for nothing.

It is not the fact that I want to live in the Netherlands it is the fact that I need a visa to go there for holiday (lets say Amsterdam for a weekend from the Uk) when I can clearly remember in school back in South Africa we use to have loads of Dutchies going to school with me. Most of them immigrated from the Netherlands to South Africa after the war in Europe and also to escape cold dark europe to start a new life in South Africa in the 60s 70s and 80s. Those days South Africans didn't even needed a visas to travel to netherlands, in fact the netherlands needed a visa to come to south africa, but now after (south africa) became a majority black country, they now have change their immigration policy very quickly to ask south africans visas!

Boring maybe dearly beloved Yes!! South africa after all gladly accepted their immigrants when they were running away from cold dark europe.

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Rep

Post by pedro_han » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:06 am

:(
I think some of you are just being very steryotypical
I'm from Seychelles and go check out world GDP per capita
and that might back it up to some extent
how can you say these countries live in a devastating poverty?

joesoap101
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Post by joesoap101 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:53 pm

The Seychelles has a relatively low GDP per capita compared to say the Bahamas but thats not the point. Europe needs to stop pretending to the world that they are tolerant and non-racists when this couldnt be further from the truth. So allowing these island nations visa-free travel will allow them to say oh but our visa policy is not dearly beloved when in fact it most definately is- talk about a smoke screen!

If anyone is guilty of stereotyping it is the EU with their Schengen laws.

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Post by Fairtrade » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:56 pm

Hi Pedro han!!

I never said the Seychelles are poor (I personally have never been there but heard it is a great place for a holiday, nice hotels, clear water ect.)

The Schengen countries never allowed any black majority country in the world visa free travel to the Schengen countries , yes never.

They even allowed countries from latin America but no predominately black countries visa free travel even if those countries in latin america had worse economies and more corrupt governments.

Once this was pointed out to them it is only now yes only now (why suddenly now I don't know) that they change their tune and allow small black islands to travel visa free.

Surely if you can allow countries like Costa Rica, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondorus ect just to mention a few to travel visa free in europe why isn't there any black countries allowed to travel visa free?

Why wasn't those black islands like the Scheychelles allowed to have visa free travel from the start, it is only after complaining about not having any predominatly black country visa free travel that they now quickly have changed their minds because they don't want to be know as being dearly beloved. They are giving only small islands of black majority countries visa free travel.

Just look at South Africa during Apartheid white South Africans could have traveled to the Netherlands visa free
that change just before the end of Apartheid but they were happy to have white south africans travelling visa free and now they ask the majority black south africans visas.

Talk about using these islands with small black populations as a smoke screen!!
Last edited by Fairtrade on Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:14 pm, edited 9 times in total.

joesoap101
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Post by joesoap101 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:10 pm

I have to add that even those countries which do allow visa free travel for South Africans are somewhat selective in who they admit. A recent report has found that black South Africans were far more likely to be denied entry into the UK compared to white South Africans. And when the South African government complained to the UK authorities the UK suddenly said that they may need to review the visa free situation for South Africans - why? so that they can avoid very embarrassing situations such as these where reports are published showing their true colours.

So the Schengen countries just avoid such a situation all together by not allowing visa-free travel. In the context of South African citizens- the visa refusal rate for Schengen countries is very low and for US visas South Africans have a refusal rate of less than 5%. In fact, visa-waiver rules to the US were about to change when they realised that South Africa (amongst a few other countries) would become eligible for the US visa-waiver programme. Needless to say the rules didnt change for this reason to avoid awkward questions from these countries - ironic that they now have to please explain to the new EU countries why they havent been included in the programme yet.

Its all politics in the end. And last but not least, why would the ANC champion visa free access for South Africans when most of the travellers from SA are still white? There's nothing in it for the government!

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Post by Fairtrade » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:42 pm

The reply South Africa gave to the Uk when the Uk said they might have to review the Visa free travel for south africans was that South Africa would do the same...(eg. asking brits also for visas when visiting South Africa)

Annually almost a quarter of a million Brtis travel to South Africa for tourist purposes, business ect....... So lets see a quarter of a million Brits paying 60 euros for a visa..... Since that day you never heard a word from the UK goverment about reviewing the visa policy.

Annually just over 7 million tourist flock to south africa, not to mention all the illegal Africans. Just imagine the football world cup in South Africa 2010, 12 million tourist flock to south africa all have to pay 60 euros for a visa.....well let's see who in europe will be complaining first. :lol:

By the way getting back to the Topic does anybody know when will the Schengen countries extend the visa exemption to:

Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Mauritius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the Seychelles;

Just looked at the Netherlands embassy website in london and also the German embassy and there is still no mention that these countries can travel visa free..... So am I right in saying there is still no black majority countries that can travel visa free in Schengen europe?

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Post by hconfiance » Sun May 27, 2007 2:33 am

it may take a while for this proposal becoming law as each member country of the Eu has to debate on the specifics.The idea of this proposal was to bring the EU schengen visas agreement in line with British visa regualtions. For example all the countries listed here do not need a visa to travel to the UK.

As a Seychellois (living in the UK)i feel that i must explain why i think seychelles should be in the list. First of all it is becaus of our cultural links to France and the UK. As seychelles was a French and British colony for 300 years or more around 80% of our population has at least one French or british great grandparent from the settlers and their workers. Before the Schengen visa regulation came into being we were allowed to travel to France and The EU without a Visa. It became inconvenient to travel to France after the Visa regulation and reinstating us ( along with Mauritius whom we share a common history, culture and language) would be a return to the normal proceeding of things. Mauritians and seychellois can travel and live freely in the UK, switzwerland etc without a visa. Even if this law does not pass it would not be a problem as it is quite easy for us seychellois and mauritians to obtain a schengen anyway ( takes 4 days).

My point again.is that most of these state s on the lists did not need a visa to travel to the EU before Schengen came into force. This law will bring it back in line with the UK visa policy.

oh and ,that coment about most of these countries being poor is hilarious...i would like to suggest they have a look at the UN human developement index . two highest placed nations in Africa are surprise surprise...seychelles and mauritius. our education and living standard are high enough that we do not need to live in the EU or anywhere else to enjoy a high standard of living. yes seychelles and Mauritius GDP may be lower than south Africa, but it is much higher when we calculate it per capita...anyways enough ranting..gotta book my spanish holiday!

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