Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Are you single?"

When I first started my Youtube channel, I made a video with tips for visa applicants.  I had just applied for my second European visa in preparation to come here (Spain), and I thought the information I learned might be useful for anyone going on exchange or thinking of working abroad. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

Since then, I've received a barrage of e-mails from people, all from third world countries, asking me for shortcuts and loopholes and/or just help to get their applications passed, like I'm a multicountry embassy or something.  I was in way over my head, because when I originally made that video, the audience I had in mind were mostly other fellow North Americans/Australians/New Zealanders/Europeans/people from countries that wouldn't have any trouble getting a visa - I talked about planning well, cautioning about bureaucracies, etc. 

But now, working in an international company headquarters, I know that Spain has a list of countries whose people they just WON'T grant visas to (often because they'll just stay here illegally beyond the expiry, etc.) and a list that they sometimes (but rarely) grant visas to.  And if Spain has such a list, I'm betting that most - if not all - countries do, too.  The first list is mainly comprised of third world countries, of course.

I probably should have mentioned that I'm really not an immigration expert and I'm absolutely NOT interested in helping anyone get anywhere illegally or through underhanded ways.

Then yesterday, I got this little gem - I'd put (sic) after every mistake, but it'd just impede the rhythm of your reading, so enjoy:

hi my name is ashkan 24boy from iran ..
I whant to go to europe for visiting france italy spain germany norvey..
So i need shingen visa some of my friends told me they never give visa
to singles :( so i whach your video on youtube ..
Are you single?
Wher are you from bicus you speek english like an american!
I hope you culd help me and im waiting for your answer..

Well, ashkan 24boy from iran..,

Thank you for whaching my video.  I am from Canada, which might explain why I speek english like an american.  I'm relieved that you didn't bother to read up that info on my profile, however, because it's right there.  But sorry, I culd not help you - your country's on List #2, so despite the fact that you whant to go to Europe, it is likely that you will run into a host of problems, although your singledom probably won't have anything to do with it.

And my marital status is none of your business.

Good luck with your visa application.


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