Following Germany’s footsteps… 3 more European countries facilitate granting visas to Syrians and Turks affected by the earthquake


Three European countries decided to facilitate visa procedures for those affected by the earthquake in Syria and Türkiye, to be hosted by their relatives residing throughout Europe.

Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium, after Germany, have taken measures to facilitate visa applications for Turkish and Syrian citizens residing in them so that they can host their relatives temporarily.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration said in a statement that people whose homes were destroyed in earthquakes should apply for emergency medical support to take advantage of the fast-track visa process.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration explained that these victims can obtain a fast-track form from the Swiss Consulate General in Istanbul, but the visa procedures will still be carried out under the Schengen policy.

The Secretariat indicated that so far 603 visa applications had been submitted along these lines.

The Dutch government also announced that it will provide priority visa appointments for those who want to travel to their relatives in the Netherlands from Türkiye, and explained that spouses and relatives of Dutch citizens who apply for a temporary visa to the Netherlands can obtain a priority visa appointment from the intermediary institution by sending their phone numbers to Ministry of Foreign Affairs by mail.

The Belgian Minister for Asylum and Immigration, Nicole de Moor, said that many Belgians would like to help their relatives in Türkiye and take care of them temporarily in Belgium.

She wrote on Twitter: “I’ve instructed the Immigration Office to expedite the visa application procedures”.

Also, a campaign has been launched in the United Kingdom urging the government to issue special visas for Turkish earthquake victims who have relatives in the country.

More than 68,000 people have signed the petition so far.

Germany also plans to allow earthquake victims in Türkiye and Syria to stay temporarily with their relatives in Germany.

Earlier this week, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the process would be done as part of normal visas but would be done quickly.

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