I have two colleagues coming to Prague from West Africa for a five-day training later this month, and we’ve all been in visa hell.

We had to produce the official Letter of Invitation, which you can only get by going over to the Foreigners’ Police and waiting in line. The letters of invitation had to be sent by DHL so that they would get there in time.

My colleague from Sierra Leone has to travel to Accra, Ghana, in order to get his Czech visa, because Accra is where the Czechs handle requests from Sierra Leone.

My Nigerian colleague has to pay a $2,000 cash deposit in order to secure her Czech visa.

But then they have to secure transit visas for their two-hour layovers in European hub airports. My colleague from Sierra Leone has to travel back to Freetown with the Czech visa, so that the British High Commission can issue the transit visa.

My colleague from Nigeria has to travel from Abuja, where she lives, to Lagos, where she can get her German transit visa.

And before any of you start to say idiotic bullshit like “well, just try getting a [fill in the blank, most probably US] visa,” just remember that it doesn’t make my colleagues’ troubles any easier.

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