What is remonstration? Should you remonstrate or just do another application?
Getting a Visa is harder than getting into heaven these days, especially for non-eu nationals. If you are a national of an African country or middle east then you know what I mean. The measures have been so strict to us as if they are meant to keep us out of travelling abroad. It is as if our feet are so dirty and they will filth their velvet carpets which seem to be placed from the borders.
It is although very possible to apply and get lucky and maybe issue you with a visa. Most of the time unfortunately,what most of us get is a negative decision. You end up asking yourself what really went wrong even though you had all the required documents, but still you were denied that visa to allow you to either Study,Work,Volunteer or even just visiting. Most of the foreign embassies claim that having all the documents will not guarantee you getting a positive decision for the visa which begs the question, why even bother asking for the documents anyway?
I have been writing this article so that I can help and give information on how to properly write a Remonstration against a negative decision since most of the consulate websites give vague information or no information at all. For the sake of this explanation I am going to talk about German National Visa Remonstration.
German Embassy Nairobi
If you are a Citizen of Kenya or Somalia then you know what I mean. The Nairobi german consulate has a reputation of being enigmatic and some people have always termed it as unfair and disregarding. This are not my words but reviews from the consulate’s Facebook page. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what you feel about the German people working at the embassy but we can all agree that German people are the most nicest people in Europe, forget all the stereotypes and profiling. Germany has been the dream immigration country after US, not because of the guys working at the Nairobi Germany embassy but for the rich culture and history. And that is why I personally like Germany and the German language. So I wanted to go there one day. Legally.
Just to give you a back story, I have really wanted to learn the beautiful language of German also known as ‘Deutsch’ I have always wanted to learn it for two main reasons; I have worked in a tourism environment and I wanted to be able to communicate to Germans and anyone who speaks it. Second reason was to be able to use it with friends and it’s just good to have a foreign language in my CV, isn’t it? So I embarked on a journey to learn the language at Goethe Institut in Nairobi.
Learning the language
The experience was great, I enjoyed every minute while learning at Goethe Institut but there is always a problem. The problem was that I could write some German but experiencing it through speaking and listening took a bit of time because of the fact I never had anyone to practice the skills with, so I thought the best thing is to find an opportunity to go to Germany for the purpose of learning the language of ‘Angela Merkel’.
So I did all the research online and I found Two major possibilities; either I enroll in a language school or find an Au-Pair family. Enrolling for a language school was out of my reach because I could definitely not afford it, so that meant Au-pair is my gateway.
The hustle of finding ways to find a family who will host me so that in return I can practice my german skills and maybe help the family in small chores for food and shelter. I could not find any. It is so difficult to find a family through agents since most of the agents refrain from Africans (I won’t give more explanation to this…)
My dream was basically nailed into a coffin. I thought. Time went by without finding any family but one day I met a group of students who happen to be my agemates from Germany. They were so nice made me wonder why the ones at the embassy don’t feel the same. We became friends and helped them here and there somehow during their stay in Nairobi and later in Mombasa which happens to be my hometown. It is from my interactions with this guys that really change everything.
Of course made sure I spoke as much German as possible to this guys. I wasn’t going to let this opportunity just pass by? who do you think I am? an idiot? Had to practice the language, also mentioned to this guys about how I have been trying to find a family and they were totally happy to help. I was lucky enough because one of the guys worked as a social worker and she definitely has heard of families through maybe friends who need an Au-Pair boy! They later told me to give them more time and once they get back to Germany they will get back to me.
So the guys left for Germany and I was now so excited. Months went by without hearing from any of the guys but I was still hopeful. I had no reason to doubt these guys. I was nice to all of them and I expected the same from them.
One morning when I had actually somehow forgotten about it, I got a whatsapp message from a German number!!! Did I tell you I had given one of the guys my number? Well,now you know. I had given the Social worker my mobile number and my facebook to keep in touch. The message read, “Wie gehts es dir, Diddy?” I knew this was good news.It was a family who needed a boy Au-pair!! So we started all the arrangements for my visa and contract. After everything was done, I got an appointment in the German embassy NAIROBI.
You probably know how interviews go so I am not going to elaborate more on that.
4 weeks later after my interview, I got my passport back. There was no Visa in it!! My heart sunk. I was out of breath for some seconds. This was brutal. After all I have done? This was an opportunity for a lifetime which I might not get any other time and these people at the embassy just decided to go against it? I was furious. I was determined not to let this ‘Injustice’ pass. So I remonstrated.
Remonstration against a visa decision is usually an informal way of appealing the decision. This process is free of charge and you don’t need an agent or a commercial third party to do it but you can ask a representative to do it. So here is how to do it:
It is always good to know what exactly is the issue that caused the denial. Keeping this in mind will help you file a very strong remonstration
Please do not add your passport while remonstrating. If you get a positive decision the embassy will contact you to submit it.
As soon as your remonstration is received in the Embassy and had complied with all time limits and formal requirements your Visa application will be fully checked again. Later delivered documents in the process of the remonstration and your explanations in the remonstration letter will be taken into consideration. Perhaps the Visa section will contact you to deliver more documents or to ask further questions
In case the issuance of the desired Visa will be possible after completing the process of the remonstration, you will be asked again for a personal appearance and interview in the German
Embassy. If this is not the case you will receive a remonstration notification – which gives you the reasons for the rejection of the Visa and the maintenance of these reasons. One month after issuance of this remonstration notification it is possible to file a suit in the administrative court in Berlin. It is NOT necessary to consult a travel agency or a commercial company for writing a
Please keep in mind that the process of remonstration can take upto 6 weeks for Schengen Visa (Short-term) and even more weeks for National Visa(Studies, Volunteer,Work and family reunion) So you need to invest on a lot of patience.
One other thing to really put in mind is avoiding contacting the consulate during the process as this might lead to negative decision. You need to show that you have a life than wanting a visa. let them contact you. Also don’t you hate it when someone keeps nagging when you are working?
I wish you all the best. If you have any questions please tweet me @diddynadhiri