Africa: European Union plans to impose new visa rules on Nigeria

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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 migrants in Europe.

According to PUNCH, Virginie Battu-Henriksson, EU spokesperson for foreign affairs and security policy, said though the number of irregular Nigerians entering the EU reduced last year, they still ranked among the top 10 nationals staying there irregularly. 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.”

She, however, said the measure would not amount to a visa ban but only allow for a more restrictive implementation of some visa rules. “It is important to note that this mechanism does not amount to a visa ban and does not call into question the right to submit an application for a visa or to be granted a visa,” she was quoted to have said.

It could be recalled that 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.

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