Have an account?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


You're sitting in a pub with your friends, and suddenly a plan for an amazing trip comes up! You shout "yeeeey" in the middle of the place filled with excitement and then it all exponentially goes away because you remember the traumatizing fact that you need a "visa"! As much as this trip would be the most exciting plan you ever planned for, you still prevent yourself from getting too excited about it because fact is, you're Lebanese and getting the visa is like winning the lottery; chance plays a big role.
For almost 2 months, the idea of getting this Visa was more than a paranoia issue, i want to start planning, i want to get excited but all i'm trying to do is keep my feet on the ground so that i don't get too disappointed.

And the quest for the visa starts...

You have to be prepared, you have to know all the answers and all the places you're planning to go visit and which sandwich you're gonna pick up from the street... You gotta know which roof you'll be sleeping under so a road trip and backpacking around a country is not designed for you.

And you have to show you can afford it, which makes sense but since you need to apply several months in advance, well maybe your bank accounts can't speak for themselves yet and you need to start saving much earlier.
You should find ways to show you're not a terrorist and specify in an application that you're not planning to do any terrorist activity.
You have to look for people who would certify the reasons you're visiting and you need to be well prepared with evidence that you're not planning to do anything abiding by the law in the country you're visiting.

Then the real nightmare "fun" begins, you take an appointment which can be set after a couple of weeks, and be grateful if it was the second day.
When the appointment date arrives, you spend the night panicking, obsessing about the interview and prepare in your head all the answers to any possible question the interviewer might feel like asking.
You put on 3 alarms, ask all the people you know to make sure you wake up, well obviously you cannot take a risk of not showing up on time during the interview.

The moment of truth arrives and you reach the embassy... you wait in line, make sure you do not having anything on you (other than your pile of documents) and you get checked more than 3 times, and you need to explain to everyone why you wanna visit that country.
And then you sit in a waiting room, and you wait endlessly for your name to be called. You could be asked about anything, people you don't know can ask you very personal questions and you have to answer honestly. You have to show you're trustworthy of visiting their country. Sometimes you directly get the answer, sometimes you have to wait for a couple of weeks.
And when they give you a positive answer, you're filled with joy and start jumping and suddenly it hits you that you're actually going to travel. People congratulate you, and it just feels like graduation!

And now you have to hope than nothing interrupts your trip or cancels it because if you get a visa and don't use it then it's a negative point on your record. YOU HAVE TO GO NO MATTER WHAT!

And that's the easy part because what i described above is a happy ending, and just one scenario of more dramatic ones you can encounter in your life, like living with a visa rejection...

I think it's really unfair, i mean why do i have to give evidence of why i'm planning to visit a certain country while its citizens don't need to worry about visiting mine? Why do i have to feel that i need to celebrate getting a visa, when they should be glad i'm planning to spend my money in their country?!
Why would i have to plan for a trip 3 months in advance?
Why would people wish they had a foreign passport that would save them all this humiliation and feel like a normal human being?

And that doesn't end here...you have to hope that your trip goes smoothly and you don't more humiliated just because you're Lebanese. I leave it to a friend's article to explain more on what i'm talking about : HOW IT FEELS TO BE SECOND CLASS



  1. "...when they should be glad i'm planning to spend my money in their country"
    Exactly. If I ever get a foreign "passe-partout" passport, I think I'll start going to Visa interviews (with my good'ole lebanese passport) just to mess with them...
    I think a foreign passport is one of those dangerous that could happen to me :P

  2. HAHAHAHA I'd love to see that happen!I'll make u my hero!!
    And when they tell u oh sorry ur not getting the visa just say : "oh, too bad, i'm going anyways"

  3. Well put loro :) and u forgot the part where you have to beg and plead for an invitation, cuz you know god forbid you mention you are just going there for Oh... Tourism!!!

  4. Oh yeah of course shiro, b3id alf shar!!You have to show you're too serious to go just for tourism...we're people who don't have time for that...