European countries provide visa facilitation for earthquake victims
Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium decided to facilitate visa applications of those affected by the earthquake in order to allow them to be hosted temporarily by their relatives in these countries.
The German Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that the earthquake victims who apply for a visa to Germany will be granted the document within five days, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.
Necessary efforts were being made to ensure that earthquake victims can obtain visas as quickly and unbureaucratically as possible and additional personnel were allocated to diplomatic representations in Ankara and Istanbul to speed up the visa process, a German Foreign Ministry official said.
Germany is planning to grant a three-month free of charge visa to earthquake victims who apply, Deutsche Welle Turkish said.
Switzerland State Secretariat for Migration SEM announced that an accelerated process will be applied for the visa applications of earthquake victims and that they must apply for emergency medical support in order to benefit from this process.
In the statement, it was noted that the relevant persons can get a "rapid pass form” from the Swiss Consulate General in Istanbul. Visa applications will be processed in accordance with Schengen law, the statement said.
“Additional personnel will be sent to Turkey to assist with the visa application process at the Swiss Consulate General in Istanbul. Our aim is to ensure that the visa applications of earthquake victims who have relatives in Switzerland can be processed quickly," SEM said.
SEM also announced that 603 visa applications have been made so far.
The Dutch government has also announced that it will provide "priority visa appointments" to those who seek to travel to their relatives in the Netherlands from Turkey, TRT World reported.
“Spouses and relatives of Dutch nationals who apply for a temporary visa to the Netherlands can get a priority visa appointment from the intermediary institution by sending their phone numbers to the Foreign Ministry through the mail,” it said.
"Many Belgians have families affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria and they want to host their relatives in their homes. Visa applications from the region have been ordered to be processed faster," Belgian Immigration and Asylum Minister Nicole de Moor said in a statement on her Twitter account.