According to wikipedia, e Visa is the following:

A visa (from the Latin charta visa, lit. “paper that has been seen”[1]) is an indication that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was “issued”, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant’s passport. Some countries do not require a visa in some situations, such as a result of reciprocal treaty arrangements. The country issuing the visa typically attaches various conditions to the visa, such as the territory covered by the visa, the time that the visa is valid, the period that the person may stay in the country, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit, etc.

Doesn’t sound that bad, does it? So why do I think it sucks then? Well, let me explain the situation.

I know this girl from Egypt via the internet. We something chat and cam and what not. Last week she told me she wanted to come to Belgium, and she already booked hotel and flights. Awesome news is awesome, right? But no, as she is from Egypt she needs a visa.

I do understand that people from certain countries need a visa. Some basic screening of the people who want to visit the schengen area is important. Checks like: don’t they have a criminal record, are they coming back, etc etc. whatever, I can agree with those rules. Apparently she also needs an invitation letter. Don’t ask me why, she has enough money, she has booked everything already, she doesn’t have a criminal record.. . Another thing I hold against that is all the illegal people in Belgium. did they need an invitation letter? I don’t think so.. but apparently tourist people are more dangerous than illegal people.

The law is the law I guess, so I went writing some nice letter that I know her, and I’ll show her some parts of Belgium, so she doesn’t get lost, make sure she will be on the plane back etc etc. I included some personal data of me, that I normally don’t share due to privacy rules, but I know her well enough that I can trust her. So she went with my letter to the Belgian consulate in Cairo, where they told her that the letter isn’t good, because I don’t work for over a year yet. It’s kinda hard for someone who just stopped school to already have a job for over a year, right? And why do I need a job? She supports herself, I don’t need to pay a dime for her?

As I travel the world I know that most people in the world are nice people. The cool thing about me is that I’m European. I don’t need to have a visa to go to most places in the world. And even if I need one, it’s not that hard to get one. Why is it then so hard for non-EU / US people to get into Europe? Does anyone have an explanation for that?