March 31, 2008
You want to leave Sudan? That will be $2,000
From today's Al-Intibaha newspaper.
Sudan: Interior Ministry sets strict exit visa regulations
A number of citizens yesterday protested in front of the building of the General Passports and Immigration Administration [GPIA] following the decision issued by police commander to set conditions for granting [exit] visas to sales representatives. These include paying a 2,000 US dollar fee and passing inquiries by the criminal investigations department. The Ministry of Interior has further implemented stricter measures on women travelling abroad.
An informed source said the decision was issued against the background of the great increase in immoral behaviour practised by Sudanese nationals abroad.
The source said the GPIA and civil registry had set up a committee to review these latest regulations which caused confusion to citizens and to put in place new regulations to correspond to developments abroad. He said the committee would present its report within two weeks.
It is the first time that I have heard of Sudanese nationals having problems with exit visas.
They have long been a problem for expats.
Most foreign charity workers have to apply for permission to leave the country whenever they want to go on holiday or move on to another job. You are always hearing stories of people missing weddings and funerals while ministry officials take their time over processing permits. One charity worker who was expelled from Sudan actually had to wait to be kicked out because his visa hadn't been stamped.
Foreign correspondents are allowed to apply for multi entrance/exit visas (at the end of an annual two-month-long $2,000 paperwork marathon that includes work permits, single entry visas and press cards). For the privilege of being able to enter and leave the country whenever you want, we also have to "pass" an HIV/Aids test carried out behind a grubby curtain in a corner of an office crowded with immigration police and officials. But that is a story for another day.
By the way, have any of you out there noticed this "great increase in immoral behaviour practised by Sudanese nationals abroad"? What are they getting up to?
Posted by aheavens at March 31, 2008 2:17 PM