Thus, one of ForUm's interlocutors, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had a job invitation from Italy. His previous visa expired and he thought there would be no problems to issue a new one. "But I was advised not to apply for visa in the nearest future in order not to get a refusal. And I am not the only one in such situation," he said.
At the same time, one of the companies-mediators, helping the citizens to collect documents and get visas, told ForUm it does not have any problems with Schengen visas yet.
One of the big tour operators in Kyiv, also wishing to remain unnamed, told ForUm that October 18 EU embassies in Ukraine warned tour operators on toughening the requirements for visa applicants, working in state structures, ministries, prosecutions, etc.
The embassies asked tour operators to offer the above mentioned categories of applicants other directions for traveling.
Having sent an official inquiry in the Foreign Ministry and waiting for an answer, ForUm decided to visit EU embassies in Kyiv and to question the people.
Ivan Tolozenko, advisor of Emergency Minister:
"That's true what they say. Our delegation has urgent visit to Germany, but the consulate has refused us visas, saying we are late to apply the documents. But in fact we applied back on October 15. Now we can lose a beneficial contract with a German firm. The only thing to do is to call the minister, but hey, have you even seen a minister coming for a visa personally?!
Raisa Nikolaenko, visa mediator:
"Nothing of the kind. They keep issuing visas as before, refusing only to unemployed or youth, or those who have suspicious documents. There are always reasons to refuse, and these reasons are grounded. I've been helping people to get visas for five years, I know."
Oleksiy Yarmoliuk, an applicant:
"Five years ago I went to Germany on invitation. I got visa in three days back then. Now I've been waiting for one month already. They ask three times more documents.
Yaroslav Krinitsin, visa mediator:
"Two years ago I was sending people to Europe, and there was no such bureaucracy. But now you have to pass all circles of hell to get the visa. Europeans set the toughest requirements ever, while they enter Ukraine without any visas.
Olga Sokolova, an applicant:
It's not the first time I am going tot Czech Republic. I brought the usual pack of documents, but this time the consulate asked for another pack, referring to some innovations. If you go on invitation to visit some relatives, they demand proves, including telephone calls, photos, letters. And they don't care that it violates the right on private life.
Having listened to the emotions of people, ForUm addressed experts to hear their competent opinions.
Oleksandr Paliy said he knows about visa problems only from people's words. "They say the percentage of refusal has increased, but final decision can be made after a thorough analysis of the statistics," he said.
"May be it is connected with the expected second wave of the economic crisis, may be because of political factors," he added.
Deputy head of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs Taras Chornovil told ForUm he also heard from people about EU visa difficulties.
According to him, because of political issues EU embassies are taking it out on ordinary people. "This is one of the cases of pseudo-principles of the European Union. I cannot state there is an official position, but I believe there were certain orders to complicate the process. This is all because of political problems," Chornovil said.
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