Switzerland, Belgium to ease visa for quake survivors

Switzerland, Belgium to ease visa for quake survivors

Switzerland, Belgium to ease visa for quake survivors

After Germany’s decision, Switzerland and Belgium have also announced that they will ease the visa applications of earthquake survivors in Türkiye.

Switzerland and Belgium decided to facilitate the visa applications made by Turkish citizens in their countries in order to temporarily host their relatives who got injured or lost their houses.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) stated that visas are still required for entry to the country, with some exceptions, but people whose houses were destroyed in earthquakes should apply for emergency medical support to benefit from the accelerated process.

Earthquake victims who are taking care of by their relatives in these countries will be granted visas for up to three months.

Within the scope of visa facilitation, earthquake survivors whose visas have expired will be able to extend them.

Those whose houses have collapsed from the quakes will not have to return for a while.

On the other hand, a Belgian daily, Nieuwsblad, criticized Belgium for “requesting a lot of documents from people who have lost their houses,” noting that it would take weeks for earthquake victims to benefit from the rapid visa application.

The Belgian Immigration Office (DVZ) emphasizes that it “does not want to create false expectations” for earthquake survivors seeking to come from Türkiye to their relatives in Belgium.

DVZ states that those affected by the quakes will be asked for the same documents as a usual applicant, and only the application process will be accelerated.

Visa procedures, which normally take about three months, will be reduced to a few weeks for earthquake victims.

Belgium and Germany are preparing adequate personnel reinforcements for this.