Egyptian takes Portugal to court over visa hiatus
Egyptian Hossam Ismail of the United Arab Emirates is married to a Portuguese and wants to spend his summer holidays here with her and his children – but he can’t get a visa. Or put another way, to get one he has to use in Indian firm, based in Dubai, which he doesn’t trust with his personal data.
Ismail feels so strongly about the situation he is taking Portugal to court.
His lawyer Miguel Reis said that his client is also considering complaining to the European Ombudsman and the Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination.
A source for the foreign ministry says Ismail’s reaction “is not correct”.
VFS Global – the Indian firm the Portuguese government uses to deal with visa applications from citizens in the Middle East – is “legal and data protection is assured”.
But the family feels it is being victimised, explains Ismail’s wife of 13 years Sandra Costa, complaining that staff manning the telephones at the Portuguese embassy in UAE speak neither Portuguese nor Arabic, only English.