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Corruption, News

EU Embassies Making Money out of No Visa Liberation in Kosovo

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Once again the EU has denied the citizens of Kosovo free movement, even though the Government had promised that they would get it. Prior to Yugoslavia being broken up, all citizens had freedom of movement, but now only Kosovars are kept as prisoners within the confines of the border apart from being able to travel to neighbouring countries and Turkey.

The only countries that Kosovars are allowed to travel to without a visa are Albania, Bermuda, Cook Islands, Dominica, Ecuador, Micronesia, Haiti, St Kits and Nevis, Montenegro, Macedonia, Niue, Philippines, Singapore, El Salvador, Turkey, St Vincent and the Grenadines. All these countries apart from three are not places that people on a very low income would wish to visit on holiday. Nearly every family in Kosovo has a relative living outside, who they would like to visit from time to time. Young people would like to travel to study, to a university that is recognised and their qualifications would not be questioned in the future, as it is widely known that degrees from Kosovo universities can be easily bought.

While Kosovo was denied Visa Liberation on this occasion, Georgia and Ukraine were granted it. This is just another example of how, getting countries away from Vladimir Putin and into the EU is the real agenda and to hell with the citizens of Kosovo. Even though all the criteria and technical requirements were met, once again Kosovo was turned down, with the excuse that the country was not stable. In other words they are blackmailing the opposition to work with the corrupt government that are the real reason, of disruption in the country. Kosovo will never move forward as long as the US and EU are protecting this corrupt leaders. More or less saying, if you do not support the US corrupt puppet government, you will not get visa liberation. In fact it has been nothing but false promises.

This is the price the people have to pay under US control, as Kosovo is not a priority because the citizens are not likely to side with Putin. The countries chosen to  enter the EU has more to do with the Cold War (which has never ended, as far as the US is concerned) and nothing to do with strengthening the EU. Why on earth would they give visa liberation to war torn Ukraine, which is bankrupt? One million refugees from Ukraine have already moved to Russia and the rest will now head for Europe.

More people in Kosovo are becoming aware of this and beginning to turn against the US and their policies here. The US prefers the status quo, to keep Kosovo to themselves and a foothold in Europe, where they can work with the EU to get as many countries away from Putin as they can. Maybe it is against US interests to allow free travel in Kosovo. They will not allow Kosovo to be part of Albania, as they have the largest base outside the US in Kosovo. What if Putin decided to help the Albanians create a Greater Albania? You would then see Kosovo fast tracked into the EU, but at the moment it is more important for the US to get Serbia into the EU and away from Putin. Kosovo is not a priority for the US, until every other ex Soviet Union country is part of the EU will they even consider Kosovo. By which time the European Union will not exist.

This latest decision is going to cause more demonstrations against Hashim Thaci and Isa Mustafa, whose election promise, was that Kosovo citizens would be free to travel by the end of the year. Demonstrations will continue and loyalty to the US will weaken, as they insist on protecting these corrupt leaders.

How the Schengen Embassies are making money by refusing Kosovo visa liberation.

European Embassies in Kosovo have been deliberately working a scam to make money out of the Kosovo citizens who need a visa to travel to visit relatives in Europe. 

Schengen country Embassies in Kosovo are making money from the poorest in Europe who want to travel within Europe, to visit relatives or on holiday. The Kosovars who decided to stay in Kosovo after the war are being punished and are prisoners in their own country, while those who left during the war have freedom of travel. Kosovo is now the only country from the former Yugoslavia, that is denied entrance into the Schengen freedom of travel.

In the summer the diaspora return to Kosovo in flashy cars they have begged, borrowed or stolen to rub in the noses of those who are refused travel visas.

This is just one experience of Xhemajl Avdyli  who applied for a visa to travel to  Austria just for a weekend to visit his brother. After having his visa refused twice, he decided to get answers.

Receipt for payment

Receipt for payment

His first visa was granted in 2010 was granted and he spent 10 days in Vienna and returned to Prishtina.

In 2011 he wanted to travel again just for a weekend and applied for a visa again but this time it was turned down and his passport was stamped visa denied. No reason was given for this and the 60 euro payment was lost.

Later in the same year he tried again for a visa to Austria and once again his visa was denied and his passport was stamped with a second stamp saying visa denied. Before he found out whether he had the visa or not they made him sign a paper, which he didn’t understand and then handed over his passport and told him his visa was denied, giving him a paper in German which he did not understand. The receipt for the money had no signature and no stamp. He was not only asked for bank statements, to prove he had enough money for his trip, but they wanted him to give bank statements going back months.

Mr Avdyli worked for a Ministry of Economic Development in Prishtina and had a secure job. He also had a business and a family in Prishtina and was going to travel alone to visit his sister who was very sick. Even though he covered all the criteria needed for his visa, he was shocked when it was turned down with no reason given and he had lost another 60 euros. This time he wanted answers. As the Embassy refused to give him a reason and threatened to get security to throw him out the Embassy for even asking.

Once outside the Embassy he met a young boy and asked him if he had been granted a visa and he told him he did. He asked the boy if he is working and he said no, he also asked if he has relatives in Austria and he said no.

So he was annoyed that someone with no money and no secure job, was granted a visa. So if they are turning down visas because they are worried about people overstaying the visa, this did not make any sense.

What happened next really shocked him and in his own words he said “After few minutes, some people came to me, asked what’s happen with my Visa, I didn’t know them. I told them my visa is refused, and then they told me, if you want to get Visa we can help, but need to pay, I just was curious to know, and asked them, how much, first they said about Euro 3,500, and I said no thanks, then they said 3000, I said no thanks, I don’t want.  (They promised the Visa would be Original by Austrian or Swiss embassy, and Schengen). Than they gone.”

Not happy with losing 120 euros and no visa, he took the matter further and wrote directly to the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in Austria. Telling them he had met all the criteria for a visa and wanted to know why it was refused. He told them he had been granted a visa to travel  in July 2010 and return to Kosovo after ten days, with no problems.

He than applied for  a visa in February 2011 and this one was turned down. He thought it was probably turned down because it was too close to the time he travelled before, but when he was turned down again in September 2011, he realised that this is not the case. He told the Minister that he was asked for documents that were not on the list of documents needed. That he had to sign a document that was in German that he didn’t understand and told he would not have his passport returned unless he signed. They then returned his passport with another stamp, ‘visa refused’. When he asked why it has been refused they told him to get out or they would call security. Before he had a chance to speak the security removed him from the building.

He also told them had planned to go to Austria for 10 days holidays, or maybe less, to visit my brother and other relatives, and to check a Masters Degree, because he was finishing a Masters Degree in Literature in University of Pristina, and wanted to know something about literature at the University of Graz. I went out of embassy and decided to stay in-front, lots of people there. About 90% who applied was refused (within a day in both embassies, Austrian and Swiss have about 100 people apply). All had paid 60 euro, fee for Embassy. The embassy give to us only an A4 paper to prove we paid, but no signature and no stamp on that paper

He told them what he had witnessed next. “After few minutes, some people came to me, asked me if I had got my Visa, I didn’t these people. I told them my visa is refused, and then they asked me, if you want to get Visa we can help, but need to pay, I just was curious to know, and asked them, how much, first they said about Euro 3500, and I said no thanks, than they said 3000, I said no thanks, I don’t want.  (They promised the Visa would be Original by Austrian or Swiss embassy, and Schengen). Than they were gone.”

He also told them about the young man who was given a visa without meeting the criteria. He told them he wanted answers as to why he was turned down, when he met the criteria and others, that obviously had the funds where offered  a visa if they paid for it. He finished the email by telling them that he was an Intellectual who loves his country and cannot accept the Embassies stealing money from his country in this way.

It didn’t take long for him to get a reply saying that Switzerland deals with the Austrian visa, so she trying to pass the buck to the Swiss Embassy, suggesting he ask them.

Sir,

Thank you for your clarification. As far as I understand you applied at the Swiss Embassy in Pristina? The Swiss Embassy is representing Austria in visa matters in Kosovo and handles applications totally independent. Neither the Austrian embassy nor this Ministry have any influence concerning the decision or the handling of an application. Did you already contact the Swiss Embassy?

 Is the Austrian Embassy in any way involved in your application?

Best regards,

keyimg20080328-8904800-2-dataNot happy with the reply he wrote back telling them that there is nobody to ask the reason why visas are denied. The Embassies do not answer the phones and it is impossible to meet anyone in person and asking why it is up to Switzerland to decide who gets an Austrian visa?.

Very angry with the reply, it was at this stage he decided to do his own investigations.

So why was this boy given a visa and not him. Maybe the boy cannot afford the 3,500 euros so got a free visa. Once they know you are working and have money you are refused. The extra documentation they asked for was 3 months of bank statements, so they knew exactly how much he was earning.

How were the men hanging around outside must have known that the ones turned down for a visa were the ones who had money. After asking around who got a visa and who didn’t, he estimated that only 10% were given visas out of about 100. So just on the 60 euro payments along the Embassies are making approximately 27,000 euros a week and 1,404,000 euros per year from one Embassy alone and this doesn’t even include the money they are earning on the 3,500 euro visas.

This made him investigate more, on how people are actually buying visas and how these people were working this scam. He then found people who had actually paid for visas ranging from 2,500 euros upwards. They are told of a website to go to where they ask for information on how to get a visa and are then approached by the sellers. First it was thought it must be one corrupt person working in the Embassy selling visas for money, but then he found out that there was a rotation among the embassies a monthly basis. So this rules out one corrupt person in one Embassy but an organised money making scheme between all the Embassies that are raking in millions. This money would be lost if Kosovo were given visa liberation.

He was so angry at what was happening he sent her another email.

Thanks for your e-mail, please read till the end, and check the link below

 I really don’t understand how I can apply for a visa for Austria and for that should decide people by Swiss embassy, however it is the only place where I can apply. Your Embassy doesn’t accept applications, and I couldn’t contact them, I tried to call and I wrote, like at you, but not any response from them. I also tried to contact and the Swiss embassy but the same thing, they are closed to talk with people, or to get any answer, as I told when I tried to talk to them, the security threw me out. They don’t answer on phone calls either, so is impossible to contact any of the embassies.

Please, if you have any address where to go or with who to talk, I would do it. but, I would like to tell you, the Swiss embassy is playing with your applications, I have met and some other people which are mad about what is going on with application process. ex. they refused to give a visa and for my grandmother, which have both her sons living, and citizens of Austria for more than 20 years, without no reason. If that will continue, is better for you to close the Visa sector, because we know now we cant get any visa for Austria.

 Also, the embassy put 2 stamps in my passport, that is terrible.

It didn’t take long before the angry traveller was invited to a meeting with this woman who had travelled from Austria to Kosovo.

Botschafter_Dr__Johann_Brieger_V1

Austrian Ambassador Johann Brieger

The meeting included  the Swiss Ambassador, the Austrian Ambassador, somebody from Macedonia, the man who processed the application and the woman I had contacted in Austria. During the meeting he asked why his visa was turned down the first time. He was told he did not specify all the places he would visit. He told them he was travelling for a weekend as a tourist and would get a map while he was there and go sightseeing. They tried to tell him he did not have enough money to stay in a hotel for his travel, but he told them he didn’t need to stay in a hotel, because he will stay with his brother.

Then he asked why the second visa was turned down and was told he didn’t have enough money in his account. The man that processed his visa told him. “That is a lie”, he told him. “Look again”. The man turned over the page of the bank statement which showed the full amount, which made him look pretty stupid. There was no reason why two visas had been turned down and now the passport marked with ‘visa denied’, which would make it impossible for him to get a visa from any country with that in his passport. He complained at the meeting about these stamps being in his passport and was told to apply again and he would get a visa. This made him very angry, telling them that his holiday time is now finished and he never wants to go to Austria after this.

Then they wanted him to go back to the Swiss Embassy and look for the men who were offering visas for money, but he was so angry about the way he was treated, he refused. He was so angry about with the Austrian Ambassador, that we can not put down in words what he said he wanted to do the the Ambassador’s wife.

This is just one of the examples of how people in Kosovo are treated and there are many more stories like this. Students who get accepted into Universities and then are refused visas. In Austria if you are accepted into a University, you will have to pay rent on an apartment in Austria and give the rent receipts as proof, at the time of applying for a visa. I know of one person who had to pay for 3 months rent on an apartment in Vienna, that was empty while he was waiting for his visa. This is another scam they pull at the Swiss/Austrian Embassy, when applying for a visa.

Kosovo is now the only country in the Balkans whose citizens needs visas to enter the EU. Citizens of Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have been able to travel without visas into the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone since 2010.

JLC/FOK

 

 

 

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