From Turkey and Syria: More than 7500 visas for earthquake victims

Status: 04/03/2023 3:17 p.m

Earthquake victims from Syria and Turkey should receive visas for Germany quickly and unbureaucratically. Initially, the allocation was sluggish. But in the meantime, more than 7,500 people affected have received an entry permit.

The issuing of visas for those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria is progressing faster than before: Almost two months after the disaster that killed tens of thousands, the authorities have issued more than 7,500 visas.

Many affected people with relatives in Germany

A spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office announced that a total of 7,652 visas had been issued by Friday last week. Those affected from Turkey received more than two thirds of them.

6567 visas were issued in a simplified procedure to those affected from the region with relatives in Germany. According to the ministry spokesman, the other visas – a total of 1,085 – are national visas for family reunification, which are primarily used by Syrians. Entry documents are valid for 90 days.

Compared to the previous month, the number of visas issued has quintupled: By the beginning of March, just 1,300 visas had been issued.

criticism of the process

Two earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 7.8 hit southern Turkey and northern Syria severely on February 6. According to the authorities, more than 50,000 people in Turkey and almost 6,000 people in Syria lost their lives, hundreds of thousands were injured and made homeless.

After the disaster, the federal government announced that visas would be issued more easily. Those affected should be given the opportunity to temporarily stay with their families in Germany in as unbureaucratic a manner as possible. Application acceptance points have also been set up in the region for this purpose.

The project has been criticized in part because, despite the promise of an unbureaucratic procedure, a valid passport and a biometric photo are required, for example. Many people lost everything in the rubble, including important documents.

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