As part of the Deconfining project, On the Move has produced a brand new report looking at the issue of visa processing, with a particular focus on the African continent and the Schengen Visa Code.
The report is the result of close collaboration between On the Move members and partners who have spent many years working on the challenges associated with the movement of artists and cultural professionals. These collaborators include renowned organisations such as alba KULTUR, Pearle – Live Performance Europe, and the International Music Council, to name but a few.
This collaboration involved a total of 131 people in Africa, as well as representatives of organisations in the Schengen countries. Their contribution to the surveys conducted has documented at least 435 cases of Schengen visas granted to artists and cultural professionals from the African continent since the revision of the Visa Code in June 2019.
The results of this survey largely reflect the findings of the previous research carried out in 2012. Among the negative aspects that stand out are the difficulty in obtaining appointments, requests for non-mandatory documents, the opacity surrounding visa processing, as well as the repercussions of rejected applications on careers, finances and local sectors.
However, on the positive side, participants in the study highlighted potential solutions, such as the digitisation of visa procedures and training for embassy and consulate staff.
Finally, artists and professional organisations also identified priority areas for improvement: training within the arts sector itself, greater transparency regarding the external agencies involved in the visa process, and better communication between the Ministries of the Interior, Foreign Affairs and Culture of the Schengen countries.
Read the report on the On the Move website.