No one wants to go through the heartache of dealing with rejection, but as a Sudanese passport holder you’d be kidding yourself if you thought you’re spared. Researchers have found that 85% of the people reading this article right now have faced rejection due to possession of a green or dark blue object in the shape of a square. I am of course referring to the rejection of a visa application to a foreign country, namely the US, UK or any other European country… and no, not winning the US Lottery every year for the last decade does not qualify; at least not in this article.

In 2012 I was subjected to this very rejection myself when I applied for a visa to the Netherlands from Khartoum, to attend a friend’s graduation. There I was, eager to get my passport back with a visa stamp, and instead I was handed a piece of paper that destroyed all my hopes and dreams. It hurt. It really, really hurt. Particularly since all my paperwork was complete and no explanation was offered.

Based on this incident, and on the fact that this is an ordeal many of us face on account of our Sudanese citizenship and nothing more, I thought it fitting to write a quick guide on how to deal with the trauma of this rejection. I considered writing a guide on how to successfully get a visa, but I’m not an expert on the matter and let’s face it, the odds are against you if you a) hold a Sudanese passport and b) happen to be a breather of air. 

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Practice preventive medicine
Okay, I would be remiss to skip this important piece of advice. The most efficient way to overcome the grief of a visa rejection is by not applying for one to begin with. Your boy/girlfriend wouldn’t dump you if they didn’t exist, would they? Plan your holiday around countries that do not require visas; you can take a pick from all seven of them. Here’s a handy list.

Do some therapeutic writing
Whenever I am faced with a difficult situation, I find that writing things down releases a lot of my frustration. You don’t have to be a writer; you can express yourself in any way you like. For example, write a list of all the countries you’re going to buy when you’re rich and famous, and what you’re going to name them (for example, when I buy the Netherlands I’m definitely renaming it the Mahalands).

Accept the rejection early
The earlier you accept your rejection, the faster your grieving period will be. Don’t waste your time calling, emailing or visiting the embassy or consulate that handed you that dreaded piece of paper; they will never care about your mundane existence. Rather, come to terms with things and always remember: it’s not you, it’s them… and it’s the NCP.

Distract yourself
Distract yourself by doing all sorts of activities you never had the chance to do because you were so focused on planning a failed trip to your dream destination. Remember, didn’t you always want to learn Japanese? And didn’t your second cousin’s best friend’s neighbor recently have a baby and you never got to visit? I’m sure your mother will be pleased that you’re going to help her de-clutter the house and do a little spring cleaning. That ought to distract the hell out of you.

Reject someone or something
Go on a rejection streak to prove a point. You have the ability to say no too, you know. Someone proposes to marry you? Say no on the spot. You’re offered a new job? Hell to the no. Would you like cheese with that? No thanks. Your application to the Netherlands has been accepted? No…. wait what?

This post is also available in: Arabic


Maha ElSanosi

Writer and blogger