An answer about this issue has been received from the Embassy by email. Please see the update underneath. (Last update: 27th of December 2016)
Many Tunisians know how painful it can be for them to travel to Europe or anywhere else where they need to ask for a visa. But the story the other way around is quite unknown; for most people can come to Tunisia without asking for a visa. Here is the text of a letter that has been sent by mail to the Ambassador of Tunisia in the United Kingdom. It is about a friend who asked for a visa to come to Tunisia.
To the Tunisian Embassy in London
Embassy of Tunisia, 29 Prince’s Gate
London SW7 1QG – UK
Berlin, 29th of November 2016
To his Excellency, the Ambassador of Tunisia in the UK,
Object: The procedure of Visa to enter Tunisia
I am writing you this letter as a Tunisian citizen, a thinker and a writer, and a tourism and business professional who has been actively trying to bring tourists and economic development to Tunisia since 2011.
My friend Shoaib Khan is a Pakistani citizen who I met in Canada several years ago. He has been working for many years in Finance and accountancy audit. He worked among other places in the USA and for the past 3 years in the UK, currently in the region of London. Shoaib is a big traveler and a very open minded, educated and curious person. He traveled to more than 60 countries around the globe.
1st Visa request to Tunisia:
In 2014, he addressed his first Visa request to visit Tunisia at the Embassy of Tunisia in London. £30 visa fees and £15 mail and processing fees. He waited for weeks and then he called the embassy. They told him to call again in one week. After one week he called again, and they told him to call again in one week. And so on… After several months, the lady in the embassy told him that it might be better if he applies again.
2nd Visa request to Tunisia:
Shoaib thought that his first request has been maybe lost within the administration. So he applied again in 2016. He provided like usual all the required documents including a hotel reservation in Tunisia. He also sent by mail a prepaid envelope to get back his passport. Like the first time, he paid again the £30 visa fees and £15 mail and processing fees.
After a while, he received this envelope with his passport inside it, nothing more. So he opened his passport and looked at it page by page trying to find the visa. Nothing. He thought that maybe they forgot to put the stamp on the passport as there was no letter and nothing that says that the visa has been rejected.
So he called at the Embassy again. This time, he was luckier. A lady at the Embassy told him that his visa has been rejected. She confirmed to him that yes he submitted all the documents requested but that the rejection came from Tunisia’s ministry and that they did not know the reason. The name of this lady is Monia.
Every country has the right to deny the entry on its territories to any foreigner and without giving a particular reason. This is not the subject of this letter.
I wanted to ask you if the procedures of visa rejection have been in this case respected?
Is there a procedure within the Embassy saying that to reject a visa to someone, we have to let him wait several months asking him to call again every week? And then to ask him to apply again?
In the second request, is there a procedure within the Embassy saying that to a reject a visa to someone, we have to send him back his passport without any written note?
My last question is:
- If those are the procedures, how do they support the global politics of the government wanting to promote Tunisia and develop business and tourism?
- If those are not the procedures, who is responsible for this non-procedural visa rejection process and why?
A copy of this letter will be sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Tunisia and to everyone who can help us to answer those questions. It will also be publicly published and forwarded until we get an answer to those important questions.
Those questions are important for the future of our country, our economy, our international image, our tourism and our values.
The case of Shoaib himself is not important at all. He told me “it’s not the end of the world”, and he went instead to spend his vacation in Tanzania.
An answer about this issue would be highly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your attention.
نديم الحاج فرج
The following answer has been received from the Embassy by email:
Dear Mr. Nadim;
Thank you for you Email below.
Regarding the case of Mr. Shoaib (…) Pakistani national born on (…) and Who submitted on the 21st of October 2016 his application of an entry visa to Tunisia for tourism purposes, we would like to inform you that concerned department at the Ministry of Interior to which we have addressed the application has decided to not grant him the visa without giving any raison for that decision, as it is the case of all the decisions made by the Ministry of Interior. We should note that the Embassy is not involved in the decision making process.
As soon as we heart about the outcome of his visa application, we have sent to him back his passport.
For the letter of refusal that you mentioned in your Email, we are used to send back to the applicant his passport accompanied with a letter announcing whether the bias has been granted or no.
We thank you for letting us know that Mr didn’t receive a letter announcing the refusal of his application and we’ll ensure that the case won’t happen in the future.
Tunisian Embassy in London