We knew when we applied for our European visas that the process would take a lot of time. Ahmad is Palestinian and his travel document is not sufficient so he would have to apply for an exceptional passport as it was called. The process would take around 2 months versus the 10 days it takes for me, as a Lebanese passport holder.
The two months have passed and we are yet to receive our visas. It’s not that they weren’t approved, it’s just that due to some clerical and technical errors, the handing over keeps getting delayed.
We were supposed to get them today, but surprise, surprise, nothing yet!
For reasons still not made clear to me, I was supposed to get my passport and visa in mid-July, but then the application got cancelled and they reapplied for me with Ahmad. Which meant that my passport got stuck at the Embassy. Now, I’m told it has gotten approved for the second time, but it still lacks a signature. So, to sum it up, my passport has been stuck there for two months. I’m so glad I didn’t need to urgently travel anywhere during that time.
But knowing it’s not at home is still stress-inducing,
And that’s not even half the story.
Since the end of June when we handed in our applications, Ahmad and I have made four trips to the embassy (actually I’ve only been once), and every single time, there’s been long waiting in the heat, with people who don’t even have a clue what they’re doing.
I always wonder why can we gather all the papers needed months ahead and make every effort to respect the country we want to visit while others cannot?
The waiting times keep getting more and more incredulous. Today, he spent four hours waiting for his turn to come up, only to be told that the printer was not working. Couldn’t this have been solved with a phone call or a sign? Four hours that we will never have back spent in a badly lit room with questionable ventilation.
So how does this all factor in for us? Obviously, we’re nervous and we’re upset. No one should have to make that many trips to get a visa nor should they be subjected to vague answers every single time. And no one should have to wonder with only a month to go if they’re allowed to be excited about going on their honeymoon.
I mean, I can’t even plan anything because I won’t believe it until my passport is back in my hands, with the visa sticker affixed onto it.
All of this makes you wonder, when are we finally going to stop being humiliated at the doors of embassies because we want to explore and travel yet have one of the worst passports in the world?