My husband has a Palestinian passport, which is a real thing, I swear. I once had to have him send me a photo of it so that I could convince someone in a bar that he didn’t just have “papers,” and that Palestine does have the right to produce their own passports. Many Palestinians have Lebanese papers that states their refugee status but isn’t actually a passport. Or they have a Jordanian or Lebanese passport that states their refugee status, but also grants an actual passport. But Palestine does also issue passports!
Of course, there are different kinds of passports in this world. There are ones that make it easy to travel and there are ones that make it difficult to travel. He’s allowed to travel to 39 countries without hassle. (With my American passport I can travel to 176 countries without hassle.) Outside those 39 countries, he has to apply for a visa and cross his fingers.
I didn’t know what it meant to apply for a visa before I came here. Because I have a golden ticket passport, I just showed up in Europe and was like “hi!” Then I came here and had to get a working visa. (If I was visiting, I still could have just showed up and said “hi!”) Then I went to India, which wisely requires people to pay for visit visas, so I had to apply for a visa. Since then, I’ve also had to apply for a Zimbabwe visa and so many Turkish ones, but when I apply for a visa it’s almost always going to be approved.
My husband will not always be approved. Or it’s not worth the hassle/cost. When we lived in Turkish Cyprus, it would have been fun to cross the border into Greek Cyprus, but lol no. I could just walk on over. For him, he would have had to find an embassy (which would have meant flying back to mainland Turkey) and pay fees and probably get rejected because who gives an unemployed Palestinian a Schengen visa?
This summer we are hoping my husband can come with me to America. Which means he has to make an appointment, pay a nonrefundable fee of $160 (which is a lot to him because he is poor), gather all the documents (marriage certificate, working papers, my working papers, financial documents, invitation letter), and hope that they let him come say hi. We’re hoping they say yes, but because my husband is poor, there’s a good chance they’ll be too afraid that he’ll overstay his visa and become an illegal immigrant. He wouldn’t, but they don’t know that. And there’s little trust afforded those without the right passports.
Fingers crossed he gets it!