Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dnevnik, Macedonia: Students “blocked” at the Bulgarian Consulate

Skopje. About 5,000 Macedonian university students that study in Bulgaria would not be able to show up at exams in January and will not be able to attest their term attendance since they are waiting to receive their visas for Bulgaria. Students in state-run universities are panicked since they have received information their exam session will not be delayed, the Macedonian daily Dnevnik writes today.
“I had to start the procedure on receiving a visa about two or three months ago but I had to take an exam and I could not come back to Macedonia. I came back before the end of the year and I called the Bulgarian Consulate to make an appointment. I had to have a visa before the end of the year. And now I have exams to take. Additional pressure is the fact that if we take a tourist visa now, we will not be able to take a student’s visa after that”, a student from Bitola, who attends a private Ukrainian university in Sofia, had said.
Another student, who has graduated the Faculty of Law in Sofia, has said that he would miss his opportunity to start work now because he cannot take his diploma.
The Macedonian Foreign Ministry has stated that no one has filed a complaint so far regarding the procedure on receiving visas for Bulgaria.
“We were told that Macedonian students will receive visas according to a short procedure. They just need to prove they are students and the embassy will give them tourist visas so that they could keep up with their engagements. Then they could start a procedure for receiving students’ visas, which lasts for about 30-40 days”, the Macedonian Foreign Ministry has stated.
Bulgarian Embassy in Skopje refuted the information that there is some short procedure for visa issuing, the newspaper adds.
“There are students that come to us on Friday and want their visas be ready on Monday because they have exams to take. We are sorry, but this is impossible. We cannot make exceptions. Why didn’t they start the procedure in December? The 30-40 days procedure is just the same as the one that was valid before the official introduction of the visas”, the Bulgarian embassy has stated.

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