Nigerian man based in Germany loses job after embassy refuses passport renewal
A Nigerian resident in Germany, identified only as Kelvin, lamented that he lost a job offer due to the failure of the Nigerian embassy to renew his international passport in Berlin.
Kelvin told SaharaReporters that he had been looking for a job for years and when he finally got an offer the German company had to consider another candidate as they kept waiting for his passport.
According to Kelvin, whose passport expired on Tuesday, it was a calculated action by the Nigerian government to upset Nigerians in the diaspora whom they believed to have participated in the #EndSARS protest last year.
He further stated that he did not know what his fate would be, although he had a residence permit from another country. He added that German authorities do not respect foreigners without an international passport as most survival activities depend on it.
Kelvin told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that he lamented that the Nigerian embassy asked him to call in September to find out whether the passport he had processed was ready or not.
“I have been looking for a job for a very long time here in Germany. And I was able to get an offer from one of the companies here. But after talking to the company on the phone, they told me to send my documents, but my passport at that time was valid for five more months. So they told me to renew my documents and get back to them.
“So I immediately contacted the Nigerian Embassy and they made an appointment with me. The previous interview was therefore about three or four months. So I had to book it like this. I went to the embassy and had my picture taken. My prints were taken.
“But at the end of the whole process, they told me to come back in September to get my passport, which to me was ridiculous. As I speak to you right now, my passport expires today (Tuesday).
“I am stateless because I don’t have a passport. Here they only care about your passport, they don’t even care about your residence. This is because I have permanent residence from another country not from Germany. Even when I make a bank account in Germany, they only care about my passport.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen now. About the job opportunity, they had to call me to tell me that they were sorry to have to move on with another candidate who had all the documents ready. It really devastated me. And I felt it was a deliberate action by the Nigerian government. Since the #EndSARS protest last year we started having this passport problem to renew documents seems impossible.
“If you open the link to the Nigerian Embassy in Germany, the first thing that pops up is that those given the May 27 collection date should bother to come because they don’t have a passbook. This means that people who are supposed to take their passports on May 27 must have taken photos three months ago or in January or February. Now they don’t have a booklet yet. They just took my own contact details a few months ago and asked me to come back in September.
“If those who are promised May have no hope of getting their passports, how many more people have had their own photos captured afterwards. It’s embarassing. There are so many offices I have to go to, I will start explaining the passport book to them in my country.
“I think this is a deliberate government action to frustrate us overseas. They think we’re the sponsor of EndSARS, that we’ve supported them and done a lot of go-fund-me and things like that. If they frustrate you here, you won’t have time to reason with the people in Nigeria, ”Kelvin said.
While speaking, he recalled that his two friends had a similar problem and expressed his displeasure as news houses in Nigeria were not talking about the sad problem plaguing Nigerians in Europe.
“Another case in other European countries, for example in Poland and Lithuania, they only give residence permits on an annual basis or at most two years. Now, if you are studying for a four year course and get your first license a year ago, which will expire this year, they expect you to bring your passport to get a new one. They will never give you a residence permit or visa on an expired passport.
“It should inspire you to go home. We have to postpone admission and have spent a lot of money. Start visiting embassies in Nigeria and reapply to return to Europe. Maybe after you got your passport in Nigeria and I don’t know if it’s possible, ”he added.